Over the last few decades, English has become the de facto world language. About 20% of earth’s population or 1.5 billion people speak English. It’s now more important than ever to speak, read, write, and understand it well. Even if you are far from England or the US, you can use it everywhere from Cameroon to Thailand. It’s no surprise that reading in English is one of the best ways to learn the language. So if you want to improve your reading skills, be sure to follow these top learning hacks.
Improve Your English by Reading Books: 5 Tips & Tricks
1) eBooks Are Your Best Friend
It’s never been easier to access books in English. You can find eBooks online for any language skill level and often even for free. Whether you want to read the Harry Potter series or find something a little rarer, you have the power of the internet at your fingertips. Just be sure to use a mobile VPN when you download any free books. VPNs or virtual private networks protect your network connection by encrypting it. Many free sites contain malware and other potential security threats. With a VPN, you can safely visit these sites and download eBooks. A VPN likewise can help you bypass geo-restrictions to access content that may only be available in certain countries.
2) Use an e-Reader
eBooks are fantastic, but your reading experience will be much better if you use an e-reader like Amazon’s Kindle. These devices have a wide range of benefits. First, they use special e-ink that reduces eye strain making reading a less tiring experience. Secondly, they are separate devices from your phone, so it’s much easier to resist the temptation of checking your social media accounts. Finally, they have many unique features like built-in dictionaries so you can look up any words you don’t know. You can even create individual glossaries so you can go back and make sure you remember the new words.
3) Read Comic Books
Some people might feel like comic books are for kids. Nowadays, there are plenty of fantastic comic books and graphic novels written for adults. If you are not interested in superheroes or fantasy, there are many other excellent choices out there from realistic detective novels to love stories and more. Comic books are excellent because the illustrations provide context and meaning. This is essential for enhancing comprehension and reading skills on a deeper level.
4) Interact with the Text
There are two kinds of learning—active and passive. Passive modes of learning include things like reading, watching videos, and listening to recordings. Active modes are activities like speaking, writing, and playing games. To become fluent in any language, you need a combination of both methods.
Reading is excellent, but if you want to really absorb the material, keep a notebook by your side. Find some friends who’d be reading the same book simultaneously with you, then write down questions you have about the text. From here, you can have discussion sessions. This will help you improve not only your reading skills but your speaking and listening as well. You can also take advantage of online chat groups and forums to interact with other people about what you are reading. However, remain extra careful when engaging in conversations with people you don’t know.
5) Change Your Subjects
Deep reading is a great way to improve your language skills. However, don’t confine yourself to only one genre. If you really want to learn, you need to mix it up. This way, you’ll get exposed to new words, idioms, and topics. It’s a good idea to identify your broad interests in different categories. Then, create a schedule where you move from different types of books. For example, you might begin with a fantasy story then move on to a short non-fiction history piece followed by something on science. This will constantly challenge yourself and at the same time improve your skills.
Improve Your English in Five Steps
More than anything, the most important thing you can do is be patient. Learning a language is just like any other activity. You can’t expect amazing results overnight. However, if you practice consistently, you’ll see significant gains over time. So take advantage of the vast amount of free resources available online.