Approaches to Reading Comprehension

Books, magazines, newspapers are available everywhere and are inexpensive tools.

A lot of reading material – often with translations for selected vocabulary – is available on the Internet – often for free!

Getting started

You should, of course, start out simply if you are a beginner in the target language. You can find perhaps a children’s story or fairytale – preferably one that you already know – and begin reading.

  • At first, a long sentence per week, then as you improve…
  • A paragraph,
  • Then a whole page

Tip: In order to avoid reading becoming too much work or boring…

  • Do NOT look up each and every word that you do not understand
  • Look up only those words necessary for you to comprehend the story.
  • Keep a vocabulary list of those words and their translations for reference and study

Once you have finished a chapter or a book, you can read it again. You will then realize how much you now understand and can look up additional words.

Here are some websites offering free books for download:

Language learning magazines

Once you have advanced a bit, there are magazines for English speakers learning a second language.

Such magazines provide articles in the target language with vocabulary translated for you.

They often include short vocabulary and grammar lessons and tips

One example is: Eli Language Magazines

http://www.elimagazines.com

Audio Books

In order to get an ear for the language, you can get audio books for those books you are reading or have already read.

For example, when I began with Spanish, I…

  • downloaded and read the Spanish text for the Mark Twain short story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”.
  • then I downloaded audio files for the Spanish text.

Now I could read along as I listened to the story – matching written words to audio!

Two sites where you can find audio book files free are:

http://archive.org/
http://www.booksshouldbefree.com/

Of course, you can also find and pay for foreign language book and audio books on Amazon, among other online shops.

Newspapers and magazines – on the newstand or online

Once you have pretty much mastered one book, try to raise you reading level with the next book, and start looking for (free!) online newspaper and magazine articles on subjects that REALLY interest you!

For example, if you are a sports fan, find articles about your favorite sport or team.

Again,

  • Look up only those words necessary for you to comprehend the story.
  • Keep a vocabulary list of those words and their translations for reference and study

Have fun!

 

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