reading tip: mix up your reading outlets and content

(December 2018)

A key tip for English reading is the importance of being able to try out different outlets for you to improve and boost your proficiency in this area. While you may want to focus solely on newspaper articles, short stories, passages as well as snippets from magazines, I believe it is absolutely necessary to expose yourself to an array of written content especially in different areas. From sports magazines to newspaper articles, it is key in boosting your vocabulary to focus on reading different kinds of outlets to gain a broader and more well-developed perspective of what the English language is.

In addition, you will also be able to read the writings of different authors by mixing it up from columnists to authors to poets. Each form of reading will be different from the next and you will be able to recognize and interpret different styles of writing in English based on your capacity to read from different outlets. If you want to be a well-versed English reader, you’ll need to be proficient in not just a short story or a magazine article but also to be able to understand and interpret newspapers, books, and assorted poems. Having such a wide array of content knowledge as well as of different subjects will put you ahead of other students in terms of English reading proficiency.

There will come a time in your English studies when you will be asked to speak or write about a newspaper article or a short story that you read from a teacher and a professor. Please be sure to read the article or story with thoroughness and don’t be afraid to take notes, translate from English to your native language in order to grasp the content better. By exposing yourself to reading different types of content (magazines, stories, articles, books, poetry), your English proficiency will improve in not only reading comprehension but also in the areas of vocabulary and grammar.

How you interpret the reading you do is very important as well. Please be sure to do your best to speak or write about what you have read in English and try to practice with a friend or a family member since this kind of assignment is likely to come up eventually during your lessons, classes, and/or courses in this language. If you take an hour or two a week to read in English only and to focus on different types of reading content week by week, you’ll well be on your way to having a high level of English reading proficiency.

REading tip: focus on your own level of proficiency

(October 2018)

The most relevant tip I can give for a English language learner when it comes to developing your reading abilities in this language is to start at your level of proficiency whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced reader. The main thing to keep in mind is to not overdo it by reading at a level that you are not comfortable with tackling yet. If you are reading at a beginner level and you try to go for reading an advanced kind of reading material in English, it’s likely to not work out for you in terms of your comprehension and overall understanding.

It may be difficult for you to start out slow but you’ll progress more over time if you start at the basic level of reading and continue to make your way up the proficiency levels with consistent reading practice. However, it’s much better for the average English reader to read at their own level so that they can best understand the vocabulary, grammar, and syntax and to be able to draw their own conclusions about the reading material rather than to force themselves in reading a much more difficult piece of reading that will be nearly impossible to understand.

For a beginner reader, it would be best to focus on short stories of an elementary level of syntax as well as short articles of 500 words or less as well.

For an intermediate reader, you can focus on longer newspaper articles, regular magazine articles, and short novels of an intermediate level of grammar and vocabulary.

For an advanced reader, they should be able to read an average length size of a book, novel, etc. as well as be able to comprehend the meaning of most of the articles in a newspaper and a magazine rather than just a few as an intermediate reader would. They should also be able to read a research paper and/or an academic essay without feeling lost or confused.

The main thing to take away from being an English reader is to go at your own pace and don’t force yourself to read at a higher level than you are comfortable with. It’s really best to stay consistent with your reading at a beginner, intermediate, or advanced level and be able to master the vocabulary, grammar, syntax, etc. that goes with that level before taking it further. Once you have been tested enough on your reading comprehension at that level, you can be comfortable enough with moving up to a more advanced proficiency of reading and have a better chance of success that way in your studies.