5 Tips For Learning English By Reading
No matter what your age or level of English, it's never too late to improve your vocabulary in the language of Shakespeare! One of the best ways to do this is to read books in OV. Here are 5 practical tips for learning English by reading.
1- Establish a daily reading ritual
Like any other language learning method, reading novels or other books in VO must be done regularly to be effective.
So the first of the 5 tips for learning English by reading is to establish a daily ritual. Give yourself a daily reading slot of at least 20 minutes.
For this daily routine to pay off and help you progress in Shakespeare's language, you need to find not only a slot in your schedule but also a quiet place where you can focus on the text without being disturbed.
Most importantly, have fun! Choose stories that appeal to you and don't dwell on every word you don't understand. Instead, help yourself to the context to deduce their meaning.
2- Choose books that correspond to your level
The second of the 5 tips for learning English by reading may seem obvious, but it is nonetheless very important: choose books that match your level in the language.
If you start reading books that are too complex, you may feel discouraged very quickly and forget your good resolutions after only a few days...
Therefore, before tackling New York Times bestsellers, target simpler works such as chick lit novels or teen sagas, especially if you want to get back into English after a long break.
3- Don't hesitate to start with children's books
It may seem a bit odd for an adult to read children's or teenage books or magazines... And yet it's a great way to get familiar with Shakespeare's language when you're a beginner.
Among the 5 tips for learning English by reading, remember that you shouldn't hesitate to start at the beginning!
Browsing through children's books with illustrations that make the story easier to understand is a good tip for acquiring or consolidating the basics of a foreign language.
In short, agree to start small and acquire basic vocabulary before embarking on more ambitious reading, whether it's novels or the English-language press.
4- Use an online dictionary
Another of the 5 tips for learning English by reading is to help yourself to an online dictionary.
While you don't have to understand every word to follow the flow of a story, I recommend checking the meaning of unfamiliar words you encounter several times in the text in order to expand your vocabulary.
Forget the paper dictionaries of our childhood that are difficult to handle as you read! Digital tools like Google Translate have the big advantage of giving a much faster response.
In fact, I recommend you try English ebooks on a e-reader or touch tablet, because with these tools finding a definition or translation is even easier. When reading an e-book in Amazon format, for example, simply select the word you don't understand to access the dictionary and translation functions.
5- Think about audio books
The last of the 5 tips for learning English by reading is to alternate classical reading with listening to audio books.
The audiobook is a great tool for perfecting your knowledge of Shakespeare's language because it allows you to work on your listening skills and accent.
If you can find the same text in both written and audio versions, it can be interesting to combine these two media and listen to the audio version while following the text with your eyes.
Finally, unlike paper books and e-books, the audio version allows you to work on your English even when you are standing in public transportation or doing the dishes... What more could you want?