Tips for Reading in English

1. Start easy. Don't read something that is too hard for you. If something is so difficult that you can't understand it, you will get frustrated and give up. Treat yourself like a child. Read children's stories, cartoons, jokes, and short stories. Don't be embarrassed – children's books quite often have very high-level language!

2. Enjoy it. Find something that you find fun to read. When you like the topic, reading will be interesting and rewarding.

3. Listen to the story as you read. It's a good idea to listen to the audio file as you read, or have a teacher or a native-speaker friend read the story to you. This is a great way to learn natural pronunciation. It will help you learn the new words from the story so that you can recognize them in lots of different situations. And your listening comprehension will improve greatly. (In addition, you will learn to read in English much faster by following along while listening to the story.)

4. Don't look everything up. When you come to a word that you don't understand, don't immediately run to the dictionary. First, read the whole sentence and see if you can understand the meaning from context. Even if you don't know the exact definition, you might understand the basic idea. If you have no idea what the sentence means because of that word, then look it up. Or simply underline it and come back to it later. As you continue to read page after page, you will get into the rhythm of reading in English. But if you stop every minute to look up a word, you won't be able to concentrate on the story. If there are a lot of words you don't understand at all, try choosing something easier.

5. Read it again. The first time you read something, you will understand part of it. When you re-read it, you will be surprised at how much you missed the first time. Reading something again helps you fill in a lot of what you missed because now you already have a general feel for what the text is about. Also, when you re-read something, the words that were new for you before will be reviewed. The second or third time you read something, you will start to remember the new words with just the sentence to help you. Re-reading is a great way to solidify new vocab.

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