Magazine topic: 
Books
Total votes: 142

Reading in a Foreign Language

81
by : 
Rachel Lewis

If you're reading this magazine, then chances are you're a young learner of English as a Foreign Language, and are probably interested in reading too. So why not go one step further, and read novels in English? As a native English speaker who has learnt French, I have used this tactic to help improve my own language ability, and when done correctly, reading will not just help your comprehension, but your overall language use.

Why will reading in English help your writing and speaking, as well as your reading? It might sound very uncool, but one of my speaking techniques is to read aloud. By myself of course! But reading aloud means I can take as long as I like to get the correct pronunciation, intonation and meaning. I really believe it is one of the best tricks, and I will always be thankful to the friend who put me on to it. Where your writing is concerned, seeing the language in its written form is very helpful. The more you see something, the more you understand, especially as most humans are visual learners. So now, I want to help you choose your literature.

Everybody knows Harry Potter, right? So why not take a story that we all know and love, and read it in English? If you already understand the story, you'll be able to absorb the vocabulary with ease. The beauty of Harry Potter is that you can start with book 1, The Philosopher's Stone, which is short and simple, then you can progress all through the stories, up to book 7 with approximately 600 pages of complicated plot. Perhaps you're too cool for Harry Potter though.

For the girls, how about Twilight? And for the boys, what do you make of Lord of the Rings? Reading sequels provides you with ample material, and all three titles that I've suggested have been made into films. So after reading the book(s) you can watch the films in English too! In my quest for reading material in French, I stumbled across other such examples, like The Devil Wears Prada and The Kite Runner.

Using Amazon's recommended reads is also a great idea. If you run a few searches for books you already like (in English of course), Amazon will throw loads of new titles at you. This is a sneaky trick to get you to buy more from their website, but naturally, you're not obligated to. There's no law against running searches! If any of you have specific interests, feel free to comment on this blog post and I'll try to recommend books for different interests. I love to read, and would encourage young language learners to dive right into the world of foreign literature as soon as possible.

Discussion

Have you ever read any books in English?

Comments

Silvermist's picture
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Silvermist 3 January, 2016 - 10:09

I love reading in english and the fact is I only read english novels and books. Maybe a tiny bit of french but ENglish stands out first

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sona's picture
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sona 3 November, 2015 - 18:53

Please Jo Editor,can you tell me in which website should I look to read a book in English?I'm looking forward to seeing your answer.

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Tina - Coordinator's picture
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Tina - Coordinator 15 October, 2014 - 06:25

Hi semis,
Have you had a look at our Speaking exam section? There are some useful tips which will help you feel more confident. Do you have any English clubs at school you could join? Or how about starting your own club with your friends?
Good luck, Tina (LearnEnglish Teen Team)

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beatiful's picture
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beatiful 17 January, 2014 - 14:25

I like reading books the foregen languange, because I study new words
and I like reading stories in my country. ........

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besirchez's picture
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besirchez 7 January, 2014 - 14:43

Hi. I like reading books because i have obligation this from my religion.
I have read many books in my own language, but recently i want to expand my knowledges. And to arrive this, i must needs to learn new language, especially english language.
I congratulate everyone for creating this useful page. I will follow everything posted in this page, because seemingly here is a wonderful way to learn english language more easily.

Sorry for mistakes, i want someone improve me !

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HereWeGo's picture
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HereWeGo 24 November, 2013 - 10:32

I love reading! Yesterday I started reading Frances Hodgson Burnett' s book "The secret garden". It's my first book that i read in English. Half of the words (maybe more) i don't know, but the dictionary's here :)

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Jo - Coordinator's picture
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Jo - Coordinator 25 November, 2013 - 08:29

Good luck HereWeGo! I can see you've got the right attitude. The first book you read could be a challenge, but the next one will be easier. Stick at it! Please tell us how it goes, as well. Your tips could be really useful to other learners.

Joanna (LearnEnglishTeens team)

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justcricketforme's picture
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justcricketforme 23 October, 2013 - 13:26

Well can't count howmany english books i've read in my whole life probably 800 (only novels). I read 200 books last year.

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AnD's picture
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AnD 16 October, 2013 - 18:12

I've read Sh. Holmes in english. It's a very different experience from the translation! Do you like reading detectives or sci-fi in english too?

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justcricketforme's picture
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justcricketforme 5 September, 2013 - 12:41

Hi! I love reading. I read in English and I don't find it hard. I think it's as easy as winking. I also read in Urdu but, reading a forgien language, like English (to me) increses your vocabulary. I simply love Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia. English books are fun to read. Nice article, by the way!

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alisia_ledia's picture
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alisia_ledia 24 August, 2013 - 13:54

I just LOVE books.... They are an important thing of my life....
Since I was a kid I used to buy books at the bookshop ....Well now I think that reading has its own advantages ...And yeah reading English books helps me a lot to improve my English language ...
I started to read english long stories and started to translated them in my own language ( Albanian language) ..... Then I bought some English books to improve better my language...
Hope that one day I will speak English in a colloquial way :D :D

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Bosnianchild's picture
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Bosnianchild 13 August, 2013 - 12:48

I have started read book of Shakespeare.It was so difficult because it is old English language.I think it's good learning foreign language.All sections on this site helped me to improve my English language.

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36 users have voted.
Ilgın's picture
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Ilgın 2 August, 2013 - 12:18

I love reading books. I'm starting to learn English and in time I want to read English books because they're different for me:) I haven't started to read whole books yet, I just read short versions. But sometimes it's hard to understand idoms, though I try...

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JoEditor's picture
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JoEditor 2 August, 2013 - 13:18

Hi llgin,
That's great to hear that you're reading short books in English. Reading is a fantastic way to improve your level of English. Have you checked our our Read at your level section? We have texts written at 3 different levels of English to help you get started.
Best wishes and good luck with your studies. Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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lami narita's picture
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lami narita 20 May, 2013 - 15:42

salut i love reading books form a defferent language and i also want to read english books but i'm not good at english so it is not easy for me because in our country we don't speak english at all but I'm trying thx

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31 users have voted.
alvhernandes1's picture
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alvhernandes1 20 May, 2013 - 13:08

My favourite writer is Carlos Ruíz Zafón is a spanish writer and his books are very well. I recomend this writer

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Jo - Coordinator's picture
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Jo - Coordinator 9 April, 2013 - 20:27

Hi Asmoon,
That's great that you want to be a good writer! What kind of thing do you like writing?
Keep an eye out for a new section on this website - Improve your writing. Coming soon! Until then, if you want to write brilliant stories, watch the videos of authors giving their top tips on the World Book Day website:
http://www.worldbookday.com/storycraft/
About reading - Is there any kind of reading that you like? It doesn't have to be a novel. Reading the newspaper, a sport or music magazine or a comic is great for your English and for your writing too. Have you seen the Magazine section on LearnEnglish Teens? I bet you there's something you're interested in there! (And if you're not, come back to this page and tell us what you'd like to see.)
Good luck!
Joanna (LearnEnglish Teens team)

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taktak's picture
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taktak 2 April, 2013 - 13:23

I love reading books, but I don't have english books :( And I don't know which books is good for me and for beginners. I think reading is the best for education.

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29 users have voted.
lili's picture
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lili 22 March, 2013 - 17:12

I LOVE reading books in foregin language especially in english.One of the reasons is becouse i am from Albania and i live in Albania too and over here we speak albanian,but i love english and i always want 2 find books in english to read it but i can't always find.So usually i see movies in english and i try not 2 read the subtitles @ the and of the TV.Reading is good so we have 2 read @ least one book in foreign language,even if we read it the whole it won't hurt us.....aghahgha:D:):)

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MALINE's picture
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MALINE 19 March, 2013 - 01:18

I haven´t read a complete book in English but I´ve read magazines and newspapers and I like this section as its called you can read at your level you can find lots of articles and if you don´t understand them you can go to a lower level or if you find it easy you can find a more difficult article.
Thanks to all the Learn English Teens Team.

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Miley's picture
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Miley 14 March, 2013 - 19:34

Have u read Danny,The Champion of the world? If not, take my advice and read it..it will improve your English as well and it is a very interesting book..

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Miley's picture
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Miley 14 March, 2013 - 19:32

wow...I have read a lot of books in English and your advice was so helpful. Since I read this blog I started reading out loud and it really helped me cause now i can speak English better than i used to.And I also watch English programs and videos like Disney Channel...and now i can understand English better.
Thanks, Miley

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32 users have voted.
mari@ch tunisia's picture
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mari@ch tunisia 8 March, 2013 - 13:20

Hi everybody:)
I haven't read a lot of books but I had a really interesting experience reading some online english books and some short stories although english is not my native language .However I sometimes get bored while reading some classic french romans with very long decriptions and a lot of difficult words (about 15 words in one page) that's why I rarely finish reading french books which is totally different with both Arabic and English ones: I don't have problems with Arabic because it's my mother tongue; and for English, I find it easy and interesting :D

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Natalija's picture
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Natalija 7 March, 2013 - 22:14

Reading is my biggest passion and I enjoy reading. Last year I have started to read in English, 'cause I had realized that I am good at English, but I need to study more and more and reading books in English would be great for the improvement of vocab. I had read some books, sometimes the whole books, sometimes the short versions. Jane Austen's book really helped me in the improvement of my language skills, as the books of Scot Fitzerald, my favourite author. I admire his books, esp The beautiful and damned. Last week I have started to read Angela's ashes, by Frank McCourt and I find it a sad, but realistic story. My English teacher gives me books and she said me that reading in English or watching films could really help me in solving misunderstandings in English.

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megisiana's picture
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megisiana 28 February, 2013 - 19:38

As we know if we like to improve the English we should read, speak and listen,,,, Reading i a good way to start improve your English,,,,,,,,,,,Furthermore one author say:"If you a read a book don't matter the story but the language and the words that make our imagination",...
So i find very interesting reading book in foreign books but more i like English Book and Italian Book ,one book that i have read in english is "Once upon a time " my first book in english which was full with tales and magic................... but now i have read ' My world is only mine' and 'Feeling like a genius,,,,,,,,,,, beautiful books for me ....................... ,

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Jona's picture
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Jona 23 February, 2013 - 22:06

I have read a lot of books in english including The Lord of the Ring,Sarah plain and tall,A Christmas Carol and now I'm re3ading Crime and Punishment.
I love reading and I can read in english&italian .

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27 users have voted.
marli's picture
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marli 21 February, 2013 - 16:20

i think that reading books in foreign language is something helpful for as because its impruve our reading and speaking too. i am reading a book in english language this days

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30 users have voted.
Ash'Oosha's picture
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Ash'Oosha 21 February, 2013 - 14:51

I read some Novels in English.It really helped me in writing and added vocabulary to me.I think it's very helpful and fun,too.

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31 users have voted.
writer's picture
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writer 16 February, 2013 - 19:37

Hi everyone ! I love reading too and I think Harry Potter is a great book to read :) Can anyone suggest me any other book that's worth reading ? (a great useful article by the way ! )

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Mr Cheese's picture
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Mr Cheese 8 February, 2013 - 09:42

I love reading books in original language. I'm reading Guliver's Travels, Dr Jekyl and Mr Hide, and Sherlock Holmes Adventures in English. It's a bit difficult but I have to persevere because these stories are too interesting.
I also read in French a lot: Germinal, Nathan of Emile Zola.
I'm reading Don Quixotte de la Mancha but in french
I want to learn all languages: Russian, German, Spanish, Portuguese ...
to read all the books of the world in original languages.

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MariaMaria's picture
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MariaMaria 7 February, 2013 - 12:24

This summer I was bought a book on English (I''m from Ukraine), that was Ray Bradbury “Short Stories”! I was read 2 stories, and I liked it. I was read "Tyrannosaurus Rex" and "The Pedestrian". This stories are interesting! I advise you to read them. I LOVE HARRY POOOOTTER! And Lord og The Rings, of course!
But I hate The Twilight, this books and films are awful.
I love to read, bur sometimes I haven't time to reading. It's very-vaery bad.

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