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.