What is the difference between reading strategies and reading skills: Two faces of the same coin

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What is the difference between reading strategies and reading skills: Two faces of the same coin

  • What is a strategy?
  • What is a skill?
  • Are they the same?
  • Do they differ?
  • Skill or Strategy?
  • skill is an acquired ability to perform well, proficiency.
  • strategy is a systematic plan, consciously adapted and monitored, to improve one’s performance in learning.
  • There seems to be some confusion or lack of consistency in the use of the terms skill and strategy.  This lack of consistency may, in fact, be confusing students and teachers alike and therefore, resulting in the possible discourse of what we teach and what students learn.
  • Skill research has a longer history than strategy research, as skills have been used for a hundred years in both psychology and education (Afflerbach, Pearson & Paris, 2008)
  • Reading skills can be seen as cognitive abilities, part of the generalized reading process, which a person is able to deploy when interacting with written texts (Urquhart & Weir, 1998).
  • At the same time, Psaltou-Joycey (2010) regards skills as the abilities that an individual possesses allowing him/her to perform something in an easy and fast way.
  • A person usually needs to go through training to become skillful at something. Skills are considered to be highly routinized, almost automatic behaviors that can be unconsciously selected through practice and repetition and applied across different kinds of texts (Dole, Duffy, Roehler & Pearson, 1991; Urquhart and Weir, 1998).
  • Strategy comes from the Greek word strategia, which means generalship or the art of war and implies planning, conscious manipulation and movement toward a goal (Oxford, 1990).
  • In our attempt to first define the broader term learning strategies we can conceptualize them as operations deployed by the learner to aid the acquisition, and use of information strategies are techniques, approaches, or deliberate actions that students take in order to facilitate the learning and defines learning strategies as the processes which are consciously used by learners and usually result in action in order to enhance the learning or use of a foreign language through the storage, retention, recall and application of information.
  • “Skills make up strategies.”
  • “Strategies lead to skills.”
  • “We learn strategies to do a skill.”
  • “Skills are automatic, strategies are effortful and mediated.”
  • “We use strategies as tools.”
  • “Strategies that work require a skill set.”
  • “We have to pay attention in learning skills, but, eventually we use them automatically.”

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