Whether you’re a native English speaker who’s looking for ways to improve English reading, or a beginner whose focus is learning the basics, there are plenty of ways to improve your English reading skills. Even if you don’t use some of my ideas, hopefully they will inspire you to come up with some of your own. That’s the beauty of reading; there are so many different directions you can go on your search to find something.
One way to improve English reading is, of course, to read books; but not just any old books. After you get beyond a basic level, what you want are books with ample vocabulary and unusually challenging grammatical structures. What usually fits this bill are foreign books that have been translated into English, like Crime and Punishment, or Don Quixote. The advantage you gain from reading books like these, is that as a result of originally having been written in a foreign language, they open up new possibilities and windows for your learning needs with a shared base of expression that transcends any one language. When you look to improve English reading, you need to look for new and unusual things that will give you a unique perspective on the English language. Trying a book that was translated from a language you know, or at least a language other than English, can give you a new perspective on communication through reading.
The expansion of English reading ability also can be gained through putting in some reading time with many of the great works in that language known as the classics. One of the surefire ways to improve English vocabulary through reading is to read these works, because they have actually created modern English literature. A few authors to read would include people like Homer, Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare and other authors of that kind. Yes, it’s challenging at first, but the importance of these authors is impossible to overstress. Although you’re not going to go around conversing this way, when it comes to reading, these are the pillars upon which modern literature are constructed and there is virtually no better way to improve English reading than by reading the classics. They enrich your grammar and expand your vocabulary to an unparalleled degree. Though many of the forms and words contained within these works are considered archaic, the works are still classics nonetheless, and are of paramount importance to anyone, whether beginner or veteran, who is looking for ways to improve their English reading at an advanced level.
Photo Credit: Sarah Sammis