How to read in a foreign language and boost your vocabulary, part 1


By Denise Doty  April 13, 2017

What does reading do for you?

  • Reading increases your vocabulary.
    • By reading you are being exposed to lots of words that you may not hear in everyday conversation and even less likely to see in language textbooks.
  • Reading demonstrates different uses of vocabulary. 
    • Reading allows vocabulary to be used in various ways. Some words can mean different things by the way they are used in a sentence.
  • Reading contextualizes meaning.
    • Reading drives you to imagine the meaning behind the words causing you to create a picture in your head. This creative process enhances your memorization skills.
  • Reading teaches you slang/ colloquialisms. 
    • One way to improve your language skills is to add slang to your vocabulary usage.
  • Reading allows you to go at your own pace. 
    • You can skim an article or you can dissect it learning every word, every grammar point, and every nuance there is in the article. It’s up to you to decide.
  • Reading increases your confidence.  
    • When you read a phrase or a word over and over again, you create an understanding and a familiarity with that phrase/word, it is this understanding, this familiarity, which builds confidence and thus will allow you to use it in conversation.
  • Reading teaches you how to tell stories.  
    • Reading stories give you examples to mimic on how to tell stories.
  • Reading forces, you to learn complex words and phrases. 
    • Writers tend to be precise and their word choice is elevated more than the spoken language.
  • Reading teaches you about the culture. 
    • Whether you read about a specific holiday, a story about a family or a travel brochure or even the local newspaper you will learn about the culture.



As you can see, there are many benefits to reading. What do you like to read?


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