One of the greatest ways to learn English as a non-native speaker of English is to spend your time reading books in English. By simply trying to read an unfamiliar language, you will be immersing your brain in the visual and physical sense of the language on the page. Of course, this strategy assumes that you have a basic knowledge of English, as many non-native speakers do, so that you have a foothold on which to stand as you work your way to becoming proficient in English.
So here are a few tips for reading English well and using your reading to become a better English speaker.
Use a Translator's Dictionary
Whenever you read English, you should use a translator's dictionary, one that has words in your native language and their equals in English. As you read through the book, immediately look up and words you don't recognize. Use context clues to help you get a better sense of their meaning as you look for different definitions. Reread the sentence with the meaning in your mind and make sure it makes sense to you.
Another thing that you can do to help you learn English by reading English is this: take notes as you read. Taking notes will make you actively engage with the material that you are reading. You will have to not only read the material, but also think about the material and use your notes to figure out what exactly the author is trying to say. The physical activity of writing down your thoughts and responses to the reading will help you work through some of the tougher meanings that you're struggling to understand.
Read Out Loud
If you find that reading silently isn't slow enough to let you focus on the meanings, then you should try to read aloud as best you can. This will help you practice pronunciation of unfamiliar words, which you can look up in the dictionary or use the Internet to hear proper pronunciation. Also, it will slow down your reading to help you stay concentrated on the meaning of the words you are reading and not on other, more distracting things.
Have a Friend Read to You
Finally, a great way to learn English is to have someone who is proficient at English, maybe a friend, read aloud to you. That way you can hear English spoken naturally as you listen to the reading. Also, you can ask your friend to help explain some of the tougher words to you. It's always great to learn English together, and this is one way you can do that.
Don't Get Frustrated!
Remember, learning English on your own can be a very frustrating act, but it doesn't have to be. If you do find yourself becoming frustrated with the progress you're making, it's okay to take a break or to relax. Work slowly, but carefully. You don't have to rush through this project. After all, learning another language takes time and practice. The better you practice, the better you'll become.
Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about accredited online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to email@example.com.
Read us from your Inbox!