Are you struggling with reading? Follow these steps to make your reading more effective.
Reading isn’t everybody’s favourite activity. I have to say, it wasn’t mine either until I found what I like to read! It isn’t easy to start reading in a foreign language and you will need the motivation to get started. If you are looking for it, here it is!
STEP 1: Find something interesting
It may seem easy but where to look for something interesting? First, write a list of topics you like, such as travel, animals, environment, weather…etc. Don’t force yourself to read something you find boring (unless you have to). Next, research the topics on the internet, see if there are any websites dedicated to animal loves or check out travel blogs, in other words, start simple. Read the titles of articles and see if they appeal to you. If not, move on. You will be surprised how many different texts you read every day, you don’t need to start with a lengthy book.
A lot will depend on your English level. If you don’t know much English yet, start with very simple texts (short descriptions, Facebook or Instagram comments), if your English is more advanced, perhaps a book would be a good idea. Also, think about how much time (realistically) you can dedicate to reading. It may be just 5 min a day or one day a week, but make it a habit!
It may help to see if you can find a book you have already read in your own language translated into English. If you really enjoyed something, you will enjoy it again but this time learn new vocabulary during the process!
Make it fun!
STEP 2: Don’t translate every word
The worst you can do is to translate every word you don’t understand. It will get boring!
You need to train your brain to work out the meaning from the context. If you’re not sure what it says, read it again, and read around it, can you connect ideas or guess the meaning? Most of the time it will be possible for you to do so.
Try it and see for yourself!
STEP 3: Read regularly
Once you found what interests you, it should give you more motivation to carry on and read as often as you can. With your busy schedule, you may not feel like reading every day, however, even if it’s 10 minutes a day, it will make a huge difference to your language ability if you continue this habit for as long as you can.
After some time you will find you can read faster and more effectively. This will not only help you improve your reading but also other skills connected to it, such as advancing your vocabulary and improving grammar. With good knowledge of vocabulary and grammar, you will be able to write better sentences and elevate your writing skills too!
Make magic happen!
STEP 3: Keep a notebook with new vocabulary
You may come across some words, which will become useful for you. In that case write them down in a notebook with your own, personal example to try and remember the meaning.
Don’t write every word you don’t understand, choose the ones that you may want to use in the future. Focus on their meaning, find synonyms and examples and finally, start using them yourself. You may choose to use them in conversation or simply write your own notes or start a diary.
*Every little helps!
STEP 4: Practice new words
So, you have written new words down, but what can you do with them now? This depends on you!
Can you practise your English every day, or does everyone speak a different language around you? The latter will be more difficult but it’s not impossible. There are plenty of language/meet-up groups in major cities around the world or online. You just need to look.
The most important part is to never give up and keep learning!
*Proverb. every little helps. (UK) Even the smallest things are helpful when working towards a goal.