Episode transcript below:
Hey! How’s it going?
I’m so excited to talk to you about reading today, because a lot of Go Natural English learners have asked me, “How can I read faster, better? How can I enjoy it more? How can reading help me learn English?”
So, I’m really excited to share some things with you because reading is an amazing way to improve all of your English skills: your reading skills, obviously; your writing skills; your speaking skills; and even your listening skills. All your English skills will benefit from reading more, because reading will improve your vocabulary a lot, and reading will help you to understand the structure or the grammar of English. You’ll see the way that we put sentences together in different ways, and you’ll see how we organize our thoughts in paragraphs and across pages and in chapters. So, it will really help you.
Not only will it help your English, but reading is really enjoyable. Well, it can be.
Listen, I remember when I was in grad school, I had to read some really boring textbooks. And I was so tired of reading by the time I got my Masters degree in teaching English as a second language, that I swore I would not read another book for an entire year after I graduated! And I didn’t! And it was a very sad time in my life, because reading is actually very pleasurable if you’re reading things that you want to read. So, I encourage you to find something that you want to read. Now, I try to read every day and my goal for the year is to read a book each week.
So, let me know what your goal is and also if you have some recommendations for good books that you like, or if you have questions about books. I’ll be happy to hear from you in the comments.
Now, when you go to read, make sure that you are putting yourself in an environment that’s good for reading. It should be a quiet, relaxing, calm environment. So, there’s a reason why people don’t read at the nightclub. Typically, they don’t read books at the nightclub or at a bar because it’s noisy, there’s a lot of social interaction, a lot of distractions. So, I don’t recommend the nightclub or bar. I recommend maybe a library or at home or in a café or something like that.
What else? Choose something that is enjoyable for you and, yeah, there’s three tips I have to help you to read faster and better, but before I share those, before I forget, I want to invite you to join the Go Natural English Seven Steps to Fluency training course. There’s seven videos and they’ll teach you more about how to become fluent in English. All you have to do is visit gonaturalenglish.com and click on the big button to sign up for the training and I’ll share that with you for free! So I hope to see you there.
Now, three ways to improve your reading, to read faster, to understand better and to enjoy it more. First of all, if you’re reading and you don’t understand a certain word, just keep going. It’s likely that you’ll understand the word through other words, through the context or later on down the page once you realize the situation. You could probably get a general idea of what the word means. And if you don’t, if you still don’t understand what the word means, then after you’re finished reading, go back – you know, after you read for thirty minutes or so – go back and check the word later. You don’t want to stop many times when you’re reading because that will interrupt your flow. So, get into the flow of your reading and just enjoy the story.
Second, use your finger to read along, to trace the line of words as you read it. That will help you to focus and it will help to keep your mind from wandering or looking at other words or thinking about other things. So, when you involve some physical aspect, like moving your finger along the page as you read, it actually keeps you more focused. So, if you don’t like using your finger, you could use a pen or pencil, and you could even take notes while you read. That’s another way to read actively and engage in your reading.
Third – let’s see, what was the third one? Number one was skip over words you don’t know. Number two is use your finger to go along with the words. And third was – I have to check my notes. What was it? – Oh yeah! Start by reading an English book in your first language. So, start by reading a book in English that you’ve already read in your native language. So, that way you’re familiar with the content and you’ll get the ideas, you’ll get the vocabulary and it’ll make more sense. It’ll be easier to challenge yourself to read a new book in English if you already know what it’s about.
All right, so I hope those three tips were helpful. I want to wish you happy reading. and share your goals and your favorite books with me in the comments. Don’t forget to subscribe to Go Natural English on YouTube so you never miss an awesome Go Natural English episode.
Thanks for watching! Bye for now!