We use necessary cookies that allow our site to work. We also set optional cookies that help us improve our website.

For more information about the types of cookies we use, and to manage your preferences, visit our Cookies policy here.

Cookie settings



Improving your reading skills

Explore our five daily activities that can help improve your reading skills.

Read the news and books

Building a regular reading habit is a great way to boost your reading.

Reading the news

Try to find three articles a week that interest you and read them. You can download news apps or find articles online.

Here are a list of news sources where you can find what interests you. If you use social media, you can find news accounts to follow too.


Social media:

Reading books

Reading both fiction and non-fiction regularly and finding books that interest you are brilliant ways to improve and practise your reading skills. Explore our booklists for teens and young adults.

Turn on your subtitles when watching TV

Turning on the subtitles when you are watching TV or films can help to improve your reading.

It can help improve your reading speed, your vocabulary and your reading comprehension.

You can also record the new words that you hear or read to help you to remember them.

When reading at work ask for clarification

Sometimes we might not understand everything that we read at work, for example in a newsletter.

  • You can read text aloud to help your understanding.
  • You can use a dictionary to explore the meaning of a word.
  • You can ask a colleague to explain a section of text.

Sometimes, it is really hard to ask someone for help but it will help further your learning and reading skills.

You could say something like… “This word is new to me, can you explain it?”

Talk about what you have read

Talking about what you have read is a good way to ensure you have understood. It can help if you summarise what you have learnt and practise using any new vocabulary that you may have come across.

When reading texts you can ask yourself what three things you would share with someone else.

This is really useful to do at work too.

Read aloud

So much about literacy is having the confidence to use your skills.

Challenge yourself to read aloud. This can be to an empty room, in front of a mirror or to a friend or family member.

This sounds awkward but it doesn’t have to be. Why not mention to a friend that you read a really interesting article and want to share it with them? You can read a couple of lines aloud to build your confidence. Try this at work too – you might have read something that you want to share with your manager or colleague.

Check out our selection of activities to help you to improve your reading skills including activities to get thinking and writing about your favourite books and exclusive videos with best-loved authors.

Book lists for teens and young adults

International Women's Day

Mark Holocaust Memorial Day

  • Complete writing and research tasks by Liz Kessler.jpg

    Research and write about the Holocaust with author Liz Kessler

    Learn more
  • Liz Kessler © Jillian Edelstein - Hannah Hedges.jpg

    Read extracts of When The World Was Ours by Liz Kessler

    Read more


  • Becoming - MB.jpg

    Becoming by Michelle Obama ( 13+)

    Watch Michelle Obama talk about her debut memoir, Becoming

  • Crosses.jpg

    Naughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman (13+)

    Watch the BBC's version of Noughts + Crosses by Malorie Blackman

  • Diana Evans.jpg

    Ordinary People by Diana Evans ( 16+)

    Watch Diana Evans introduce her award winning novel, Ordinary People

  • Bernardine Evaristo.jpg

    Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (16+)

    Hear Bernardine Evaristo`s recommended reads that are helping her escape to somewhere else entirely.

  • Nikesh.jpg

    Nikesh Shukla editor of The Good Immigrant (16+)

    Watch Nikesh Shukla, editor of The Good Immigrant, shares some of the ideas that inspired the book

  • sarah crossan author pic.jpg

    In conversation with Sarah Crossan (13+)

    Watch Sarah Crossan discuss her award winning novel Toffee and answer questions about her career

  • Alex Wheatle.png

    In conversation with Alex Wheatle

    Watch author Alex Wheatle discuss his latest novel Cane Warriors and answer questions about his career