Reading is a pleasure for millions of people around the world, and it is alongside writing one of the cognitive skills that have enabled human beings to begin to be able to record and understand what is happening. happened before their own existence .: The invention of writing and with it of reading supposes the passage from prehistory to history, and even before that there were already communicative acts at the pictorial level that we could be “read”.
But reading is an activity that can be done in different ways and for different purposes, which makes it possible to talk about many types of reading. Throughout this article, we will report on it.
Main types of reading (and their characteristics)
There are many ways to read and understand the written word. Although we will not list all the types of reading that exist, below we will see the main ones that can be performed.
1. Oral reading
This type of reading in which the subject expresses by voice what is read. In other words, oral reading is what we do when we read aloud.
It is often used when reading something to another person or when we intend to use sound as a memory track or as a method to be able to focus on the content of the reading even under sub- optimal.
2. Sub-voice or silent reading
Silent or sub-vocal reading is that which is performed silently and in an internalized manner. We do not produce any sound, even if we reproduce it mentally.
It is a type of reading that requires the ability to concentrate and some mastery of the ability to read fluently, as it goes directly to interpreting visual material without translating from the outside to the sound (going directly to the internal level).
3. Quick reading
Fast or superficial reading is characterized by fast execution without stopping or delving into what has been read. This allows us to get an idea of what we are reading, the theme and perhaps the basic structure, but in a general way and without taking into account deeper or more complex aspects.
4. Sequential read
A reading that is done without haste and taking into account the whole of the text, without skipping anything but without stopping to reflect in depth on any of its sections.
5. Intensive reading
Another type of reading is intensive, which means that a thorough and conscientious reading of the whole text is carried out and in which every detail has been carefully considered.
6. Unintentional or unconscious reading
Unintentional reading, as the term tells us, is what happens unconsciously and without the subject’s willingness to read the content.
This reading implies a certain capacity for reading comprehension, because we must be able to process the written message before even realizing that we are reading it. This is what happens when we read something by accident. An example can be found in almost any advertising product because it is something that is used in marketing with outgoing stimuli and lowercase letters.
7. Mechanical reading
Mechanical reading is called what is done automatically but voluntarily, transforming written symbols and messages into sounds. It goes from graphemes to phonemes. however, it is not necessary to just understand the message. This would be the first of the types of reading that they come to learn, because it is the preliminary step necessary to be able to understand reading.
8. Full or receptive reading
Complete reading is characterized by the fact that the material read is understood by the reader, so that the act of reading involves the integration of knowledge and a valid interpretation of the material read. understand supposes be able to draw conclusions from material extracted from the text then group the material read together and extract the main ideas from the text. It also requires sufficient mechanical reading capacity to exist.
9. Selective reading
Similar to speed reading, selective reading is characterized by the fact that the reader does not analyze the entire text, but skips reading based on the most relevant parts such as concepts considered key, titles or items that the reader is looking directly at.
10. Reflective reading
Reflective reading is characterized by the fact that by reading the text, the person reading it is able not only to draw conclusions and assess the adequacy of the text, but also it can also allow you to reflect and reflect on your own knowledge, Gaps and strengths beyond what can be extracted and valued from the material itself.
11. Literal reading
This type of reading is characterized by the fact that the information extracted from the text is processed without any inference, so that only the direct meaning of the written words is taken into account. The possible existence of double meanings or different interpretations is not valued beyond what the message explicitly means.
12. Inferential reading
Unlike literal reading, inferential reading is based on things implicit in the text, even if they do not appear directly in the text.
Ideas and meanings obtained not only from the direct text, but from the context in which the material is produced, the possible intentions of the authors or the knowledge the reader has in this regard are used. It allows conclusions to be drawn that are not found in the text itself, As well as interpret the double meanings and other meanings of the content.
13. Critical reading
Critical reading involves an inferential reading of written material to which an evaluative nuance is added by the reader: It is not only a question of reading but of analyzing the text. In addition to interpreting the written information, he evaluates and judges not only what is written but what can be extracted from it, and especially if what is read is valid and reliable according to the point of view and the judgment of the reader.
14. Informative reading
We consider informative reading as that whose main objective is the acquisition and / or transmission of knowledge, and the aim of the act of reading to incorporate data can be obtained from the material. It is not intended to be entertaining or entertaining, although it may be secondary.
15. Recreational reading
Recreational reading is characterized primarily by the fact that it is performed for the sole purpose of entertaining and enjoying, Without intending to receive actual information or improve knowledge (although this can be achieved, this will not be the real purpose of the reading but a secondary benefit).
16. Scientific reading
We can call scientific reading what aims to be of interest and application at the scientific level, which implies a complete and critical reading in addition to the realization of a thorough search for verifiable information. It also aims to acquire knowledge, generally on a specific subject identified previously. It may include reading and interpreting statistical data and formulas specific to different scientific disciplines.
17. Phonetic reading
Phonetic reading is characterized by the fact that it is not so much about finding meaning in written content and material, but rather about working with the sound, articulation and phonetics with which words are read.
18. Music reading
Music reading is a type of reading that differs from others in that, where appropriate, the symbolism performed does not focus on finding meaning at the concept level, but mainly provides information about a sound, in addition to its pace. and the melody in which he must be read. This is the kind of reading by which the musicians interpret the scores.
19. Braille reading
Braille reading is a type of reading that has the particularity of not being based on the interpretation of symbols perceived by vision, but the symbolism used for reading is perceived by touch. This system is the main reading mechanism of the blind population.
20. Pictographic reading
A pictorial reading is a reading activity in which the subject does not interpret graphemes as letters, but reads from pictorial images and symbols that represent concrete ideas. In fact, the earliest forms of written communication were of the pictographic type, as examples could be found practically from prehistoric times.
- Weaver, C. (1994). Reading and practice process: from psycho-linguistics to full language. Portsmouth (New Hampshire): Heinemann.