How Reading Helps You Improve Your Foreign Language Skills

How can you learn to write well? How can you enrich your vocabulary? How can you improve your ability to express ideas and concepts? How can you improve your language skills while having fun and enjoying yourself at the same time?

If you want to improve your foreign language skills, the best advice would certainly be to read as much as possible! Likewise, if you want to keep learning new vocabulary and improving your ability to express yourself in a foreign language—whether orally or in writing—we strongly recommend that you read foreign-language stories or novels in their original version.

Many people think it takes highly advanced language skills to be able to read a book, but this isn’t the case at all! All you need to gain a general understanding of a text are 300 carefully chosen words. Right from the very first weeks of learning a new language, you can start benefitting from the joys of reading … Simply follow these tips:
  • Use “graded readers”, books indicating their required reading level (details to follow).
  • Choose books carefully. Don’t forget that reading should be enjoyable, despite the effort it takes. Select books that interest you and stories that intrigue you!
  • Don’t start translating every word you don’t know, use context to help you understand the meanings of the sentences.
  • Identify key phrases. If you don’t understand them, look up the most important words in the dictionary and write down their meanings. MosaLingua applications will soon offer users the option to add their own flash cards …
  • Start with short stories and texts so that you can become confident in your skills and won’t tire yourself out.
  • Then, move on to novels. It’s best to choose compelling novels that you won’t be able to put down and that you will therefore finish faster.
In the next article, we’ll explore in detail a selection of books to read when you’re learning a foreign language
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