Scanning is a speed reading technique used to find specific information in a text. It can be used, for instance, to find telephone numbers, to browse television schedules, timetables, lists, catalogues or websites. This technique does not require us to read or understand every word, but to filter detailed information through rapid and focused reading of a text.

Unlike skimming, scanning is in fact processing print at a high speed while looking for answers to specific questions. When we scan, we often begin with a specific question and try to find a specific answer. Scanning for information in this way should be both quick and accurate.

Many learners find that running a finger across printed text helps them scan more effectively. When we read on a mobile device, scrolling strategically can also help us achieve the same results. Remember, with scanning, we need to focus our attention and engage in close reading of selected portions of the text until we can locate the answers. A dictionary would be useful for looking up unknown words because this would give us a more comprehensive understanding of the text.


Read the newspaper article below and scan for relevant information to answer the questions.

Abortion Rates in Developed Countries Have Fallen Since 1990

A rally outside of the Supreme Court in March when the court heard arguments about a Texas abortion law.

Abortion rates in developed countries have been falling steadily since 1990, but rates in developing countries have stayed roughly the same, a new study said.

The study, published Wednesday in The Lancet, found that the worldwide abortion rate dropped slightly from 1990 to 2014, to 35 from 40 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age. The decline is largely due to developed countries, where abortion rates dropped from 46 to 27 per 1,000. The United States has among the lowest rate, about 17 per 1,000.

In developing countries, the rate has changed little, to 37 per 1,000, from 39. The difference between developed and developing countries is directly correlated with contraception use, said the lead author, Gilda Sedgh, the principal research scientist at the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health organization that supports abortion rights. It conducted the study with the World Health Organization.

Dr. Sedgh said the gap in contraception use was much less about access than it used to be. “We have made contraception available to a lot more women,” she said. “In the 1980s, when women who wanted to avoid getting pregnant weren’t using a method, their most common reason was lack of access. Now that’s their least common reason, less than 5 percent.”

Rather, she said, in many developing countries, women do not receive enough education about contraceptive methods, and many think they can avoid pregnancy without contraception or worry about potential side effects.

Laws restricting abortion did not appear to diminish abortion rates, partly because in many countries with stringent laws, like some in Latin America, contraception use was low. Dr. Sedgh said that of the estimated 56 million annual abortions now, about 16 million occur “in a country where it is prohibited altogether or allowed only to save a woman’s life.”

Still, lack of legal restriction does not necessarily lead to fewer abortions. “The highest and lowest abortion rates exist in countries with liberal abortion laws,” said Dr. Sedgh, noting that the highest rates are in Eastern Europe and that the lowest are in Western and Northern Europe and in the United States and Canada.

Restrictive laws in developing countries do seem associated with increased numbers of unsafe abortions, with more than 30 percent of women who have abortions in developing countries experiencing a complication, compared with 0.05 percent of American women who have abortions, she said.

Largely because of population growth, the annual number of abortions increased globally, from 50 million in 1990 to 56 million in 2014, and about a quarter of all pregnancies end in abortion, the study found. That percentage dropped significantly in developed countries, to 28 percent from 39 percent, but rose slightly in the developing world, to 24 percent from 21 percent.

In addition, most abortions, 41 million a year in 2014, were obtained by married women, although in North America, the majority are obtained by unmarried women. Dr. Sedgh said that in many developing countries, married women are expected to conceive right away and may face societal pressure not to use contraception.

(Adapted from The New York Times)

Complete the following sentences, using NO MORE THAN FIVE WORDS from the text.

  1.  has the lowest abortion rate in the world.
  2. Many women in many developing countries do not have adequate .
  3. It is estimated that there are approximately  abortions in a country where it is prohibited altogether or allowed only to save a woman’s life.
  4. The annual number of abortions increased globally because of .

[spoiler title=’Answers’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]

  1. The United States
  2. education about contraceptive methods
  3. 16 million
  4. population growth



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