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Why Does Reading Help You Learn a New Language?

It goes without saying that we should learn a language to be able to read books and novels in that language, as you need to understand the language to be able to understand what you are reading.

Nahla Ben Belgacem
Nahla Ben Belgacem
Book lesson

It goes without saying that we should learn a language to be able to read books and novels in that language, as you need to understand the language to be able to understand what you are reading. However, it was proven that reading is very helpful and effective in learning languages. How come!

The idea is that you can grasp the meaning of a word from the context. By encountering the same word several times in the same word in the same book or in different books, you will learn that word more effectively than using classic methods of language learning.

Below are techniques that you can use to learn a language by reading:

Read Books that Correspond to Your Level in the Target Language

Choose books that are not too easy or too difficult for you. Books that are too easy will not help you learn new words in the language you read in or discover advanced metaphors and sentence structure. By reading books that are too difficult you will get bored too soon and may hate reading for the rest of your life. The best thing to do is to choose books that correspond to your level. This way you will find yourself diving into an interesting book and learning more about a new language.

Read a Book Which You Already Read in Your Mother Language

When you already know the story, the reading process will go smoother for you. This way you will learn more words and more sentence structures in the target language. I read “Gone with the wind” in English and French. The French version of American writer Margaret Mitchell’s story is as if it was written in French from scratch, not just a translation. I learnt a lot from it and it was among the best novels that I have read.

Select Paragraphs and Learn Them by Heart

If you want to learn a language in-depth and improve your writing style, the best way is to copy good passages from the books that you read and learn them by heart. This way, you will improve your knowledge of the language that you want to learn, specifically, sentence structure, metaphors, and advanced vocabulary.

Bilingual Books

Dual language books are the same story written in two languages. Your native language is on one page and your target language on the other. This way you can quickly check the meaning of a word.

Language Learning

Nahla Ben Belgacem

Hello! I'm a Legal translator. I like reading French literature in my free time. I'm experienced in teaching French and I intend to expand that experience by teaching French online.

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Milena Lazova

I'm an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience in providing original content. I really like writing educational articles which may help others learn some aspects of English.

Valentina Dordevic

Hello! My name is Valentina. Book digesting is my specialty. I transform book ideas into easy-to-follow summaries, articles, study guides, reviews, essays, analyses, slides, or e-books.

Beth Taylor

Hello! My name is Beth. I'm from France. I'm a French and English native speaker and I really like writing.