Language in Bloom

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Language Learning Tip: Read!

Read! And read some more!

There are tons of free resources out there to help you practice reading in whatever language you are studying. A great resource is this site that lets you read newspapers (in their original languages and some are translated into English) from all over the world.

Reading is the best way to experience language in context and acquire vocabulary at your own pace. You can take as long as you want, and re-read content as many times as needed.

How to make reading in another language as beneficial as possible:

  1. Skim the text once to see how much you can understand.
  2. Write a sentence (in the language you’re studying or in English, depending on your level) summarizing what you think the text is about.
  3. Read the text thoroughly, trying your best to guess the meaning of words you don’t know by their context. If you can’t guess, look them up. A great resource is WordReference because you can check out the forums for native speakers’ input.
  4. Keep a running list of the words that are new to you.
  5. In one sentence, summarize each paragraph.
  6. Write and answer your own comprehension questions for the whole text after you’re done.
  7. Check your running list of unfamiliar words. Check your guesses on an online dictionary. How close were you? If you weren’t close at all, go back to the original sentence. Does that change the meaning of the sentence? Of the paragraph? Of the whole text?
  8. Keep a record of those words you were unfamiliar with before. Test yourself periodically on those words, and you’ll see how quickly you grow your vocabulary!

These are just some tricks that are helpful for language learners when reading text. What are some others that you recommend?

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Written by

Tammy Bjelland
Language lover, teacher & coach.

Recent comments

2 responses to “Language Learning Tip: Read!”

  1. el hacha says:

    hi. my way of learning a different language consists of WRITING DOWN in a notebook those phrases I consider difficult for me to understand. my mother tongue is Spanish but I’ve been learning french, Italian and a bit of German for years and when I need to practice,mainly (vocabulary, syntax ), I take my notebook. YES, This may be a little boring but it is for people who really want to learn. Not everybody loves reading less writing!! If you don’t like reading it will be difficult to grasp the structure of language: the syntax. If I am wrong, correct me please!!

    • languageinbloom says:

      No, you’re not wrong at all! Reading is fundamental, although it’s not everyone’s favorite task.