Learning to read phrases or even longer pieces of text can be quite a difficult task at first but it provides you with some particularly important skills. This is why many teachers suggest that their pupils read English novels, complex or simple, to understand sentence structuring, use of vocabulary and apply them to their reading and speaking abilities.
Nevertheless, it takes time and patience to learn how to in the first place. Often, one would need a specific set of skills to become better at it. Here are 5 tips for helping you read novels for English learners.
1. Find out what the novel is about.
To do this, check the cover, the back and the short excerpts online. You can also find what others think of the book, sometimes whether they are easy for non-native speakers to learn.
Check out https://www.goodreads.com/ for some very useful reviews.
2. Don’t read too much at once.
If you chunk paragraphs or sentences together, it can be easier to take in then a whole page of language. Also, you should set yourself targets, such as a page or even a paragraph a day.
3. Practice skimming (and scanning if looking for specific information).
If you’re having trouble reading whole pages worth of words, try to skim the page over in order to get a general idea of what is being said. This can allow you to read it easier the second time around.
4. See if there is an EAL or Graded Readers version of the book.
EAL and Graded Readers books are often easier-to-read versions of popular books making reading for English learners more accessible. If you find the plot of a book particularly interesting, see if there is an adapted version for non-native readers.
It might be useful to download the audiobook version while you read along. Audible is a particularly useful tool and it connects to Kindle as well, making following along easier.
5. Read what you enjoy!
If you love romance, read romance novels! If you love crime fiction, read it! Don’t just pick anything for the sake of learning English fluently or you won’t be motivated to keep going.
Now you have some useful tips for reading novels as an English learner, here are a few books you might want to look into:
● The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
The language used is simple, straightforward and easy to understand. It is about a boy with Asperger’s Syndrome (a form of Autism) who has difficulty communicating. When he finds the neighbour’s dog dead, he decides to investigate what happened.
● Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
This book is quite short and uses relatively simple language (though you should watch out for some contractions such as ‘ain’t’ and why’n’t). It’s about two migrant ranch workers in California in the 1930’s who have to travel around to find work but often find themselves in trouble.
● The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupéry
Although it is a children’s book, it is a wonderful book that has been translated into more than 10 languages. English is one of them. Because of its translation, the language is simple and straightforward. It’s about a fox who teaches the prince some important life lessons.
Which books have you read recently to help you improve your English skills? Book lessons with one of our lovely tutors here!: https://browncowenglish.com/product/online-english-courses/