One of the hardest skills to learn when you’re studying English is reading. Many students get stuck on words they don’t know and give up, or some of you may even find it quite boring! However, reading is an incredibly valuable skill and can improve your English in many ways. It’s a fantastic way to improve your vocabulary, but you can also see grammar structures in a ‘real’ English context, and it can help your writing improve by giving you a ‘model’ to follow.
There are some great resources you can use to improve your reading. One of my favourites is the website Breaking News English. It uses up-to-date news, split into levels depending on your ability. If you’re not so confident, you can begin reading at ‘level 1’, and then change to higher levels of the same article for more of a challenge. All of the texts also give you several activities to test your comprehension of the articles, to study difficult vocabulary, and learn something interesting about the world.
Another excellent idea is to use a graded reader. These are books that have been written specifically for different levels of English. Often, the stories are famous English works such as Dracula or Sherlock Holmes. There are also biographies of famous people and classic English folk tales like Robin Hood. There’s something for everyone! Here at Cavendish School of English, we have a library of graded readers from which adult students can borrow. The improvement these books make on our students’ reading skill is incredible!
The most important thing to remember about reading, though, is not to give up. Even if there is a very tricky word, try to understand it from the context! Stopping all the time to translate words makes you more likely to get frustrated and quit. After you’ve finished reading, go back through the text and write down any new words you came across, along with their definition and an example sentence. That way, it’s more likely you’ll remember it in future.
Did you discover any new words in this post? Happy reading!
Author: Shane Rynhart