Practice English Reading: Practice makes a man perfect!

How does one improve one’s language skills? You need to practice. Practice what? You need to practice English reading in order to improve your language skills. Remember, there is no overnight change that is going to take place in terms of your comprehension level. Your improvement in comprehension skills is going to be step-wise and you are gradually going to improve as a reader over a period of time.

Reading Suggestion-1

Article Name: Fidget Toys Aren’t Just Hype
Author Name: Katherine Isbistea
Source: Scientific American
Category: Behaviour and Society

Summary for this article:

The article talks about the study that shows how fidgeting toys can be used to prevent distraction and help retain focus. The fidget craze has been continuously increasing, but some teachers have banned them. And experts challenge the idea that spinners are good for conditions like ADHD and anxiety. The author and his research group has done some experiments and proved that certain type of fidgeting items helps improve focus and attention thereby eliminating distraction. However, the one that has annoyed the teachers are the fidget spinners that require hand-eye coordination. This grabs the attention of a student away from his teacher naturally annoying the teacher.

The author concludes saying that Fidget items do seem to serve a valuable purpose. There’s still science to be done, but they’re not just a fad. His research team continues to study fidgeting behavior and design, working to create next-generation smart fidget objects that support managing attention and keeping calm.

Words to learn from this article:

Homespun: Simple and unsophisticated
Fidgeting: Move restlessly
Cognition: The mental action of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.
Manipulating: Influence or control shrewdly
Bane: Something causing misery or death

Reading Suggestion-1: Click to read full article

Reading Suggestion-2

Article Name: The mathematics of mind-time
Author Name: Karl Friston
Source: Aeon
Category: Neuroscience/Philosophy

Summary for this article:

The article talks about ‘consciousness’ and the author finds it difficult to digest that ‘mind’ is a thing. Unlike cognitive scientists and philosophers, the author considers mind as something else. He states that it is difficult to assume things ‘exist’. Instead he tries to question: what sorts of processes give rise to the illusion that something exists? He feels a process can well define a thing. He defines ‘consciousness’ as a process rather than as thing. He coveys that it is like evolution. Just as evolution is not for nothing, consciousness is also for nothing. It is an unfolding process of which we are a product. Then he goes on with two examples (Darwin’s dangerous idea and Natural selection) to showcase that you do not need the mind to have consciousness.

Overall, this is a tough article that challenges your understanding of philosophy and neuroscience. Make sure you read this with a calm head else you will be blown away by this article.

Words to learn from this article:

Consciousness: Awareness/An alert mental state in which you are aware of yourself and your situation.
Gripe: Complain
Compelled: Force somebody to do something
Resonates: Be received or understood
Competence: he quality of being well qualified or skilled

Reading Suggestion-2: Click to read full article

Reading Suggestion-3

Article Name: Accelerationism: how a fringe philosophy predicted the future we live in
Author Name: Andy Beckett
Source: The Guardian
Category: Society

Summary for this article:

This is an unbelievably long read and you would do well to complete even 30 to 40% of the article. Remember, it is important to expose oneself to different streams of thoughts and ideas and be aware of different thought processes that exist. You do not have consume information in full always. Like in this case, you can selective and content with consuming the information in the first half of the article. The article essentially teaches you what is accelerationism. The author states that this is something that was just an idea and now has evolved into reality. The rapid pace of technology development has led to this and this article explains the same in great depth. Read this article to know more about this stream of thought and its main ideas.

Words to learn from this article:

Shaggy: Used of hair; thick and poorly groomed
Accelerated: Speeded up
Automation: The condition of being automatically operated
Deluding: Be false to; be dishonest with
Heresies: A belief that rejects the orthodox tenets or positions
Baffled: Confused or perplexed()

Reading Suggestion-3: Click to read full article

Practice English Reading in the best possible way:

  • Make sure you read on a daily basis.
  • Remember, you do not have to understand each and every word you read. If you understand the main ideas and key concepts in articles, you are doing a good job.
  • Try to learn 5 to 10 words from each article you read. You should not over-do word learning from a single article. If you read regularly, you will encounter the same words again and again.

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