How to read English books – tips for beginners

Have you ever read (or watched) Harry Potter? Have you noticed that in one translation there is Severus Snape, but in another translation there is Zloteus Zlei, Buklya can be Hedwiga, etc. Character dialogs sound different, some episodes are missing. This is simply because different translators worked on the text. What if you read the text in the original? You will enrich your vocabulary and enjoy the work in a foreign language.


Choosing books according to your level

For beginners, adapted literature, comics, even some books for children are suitable. By the way, if your child is also learning English, read together. Plus one more thing to add to the family hobby bank. We’ll leave Shakespeare for the future. For now, familiarize ourselves with the work of modern authors, so it will be easier to understand the speech of characters and you can learn a lot of popular “lively” expressions.

Read only interesting books

If you are a fan of fiction or detectives, don’t force yourself to read dramas. The only benefit you can get from such reading is a good night’s sleep.


Read wherever and whenever it suits you

Don’t turn reading into a ritual that requires preparation. Read on transportation, during breaks at work, at night before you go to bed. But a ritual isn’t such a bad idea if you don’t have to set up for three hours. Just take a book, make yourself comfortable in an armchair with a cup of aromatic tea and a chocolate bar, and here you have pleasant associations and a cozy atmosphere.


Will there be tricks and tips?

1. You can read in English something you have read in your native language before. The technique works great because you already know the plot and can pay more attention to the vocabulary the author used.

2. The parallel reading technique for learning English, which involves reading a text in English and translating it into your native language at the same time. This method allows the language learner to match foreign expressions with their native counterparts, improving contextual understanding and enriching vocabulary.

3. Google Play or the App Store has apps like “Books in English with Translation”. You read the text in English, and if you meet an unfamiliar word or do not understand the essence of the sentence – get a translation.

4. In the Choices: Stories You Play app you can both read and compose your own story – you choose how events will unfold. There is not much text, so it is suitable for those who are not very fond of reading.

5. Watch movies in English with subtitles. This will help you connect the spoken and written forms of the language, as well as tighten up the colloquial slang.

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What to do with new words?

If we are reading just for pleasure, it is not necessary to write out every unfamiliar word, especially if it is repeated only once or several times in the text. Memorize expressions that we would like to use later in speech. By the way, do not be afraid to reread paragraphs, because we do this even when we read something in our native language.

But if we work with the text for educational purposes and want to significantly enrich our vocabulary, we have to work hard:

— we read the paragraph without translation and dictionary, trying to catch the meaning;

— underline an unfamiliar word, sign the translation at the top; you can also write or stick a colored sticker in the margins of the page;

— send the word to your personal dictionary;

— you can write the same word many times on a separate sheet of paper, and now you remember how to spell it;

— work through a couple of pages of the book, and then come up with sentences with the new vocabulary, and it is better to use it immediately in speech, if possible;

— and consolidate success by retelling what you have read – a great opportunity to repeat grammar and new words, plus practicing pronunciation.

By the way, it’s better to read aloud, so we keep track of how we sound, whether we have the right intonation, and it also affects our speaking.

You have a great opportunity to work on your English now. Follow our advice, pick up the book and enjoy!