Hey, everyone. I'm Alex.
Thanks for clicking, and welcome to this lesson on "How to Improve Your English By Reading".
So, it might be very obvious how reading can help you improve, you know, your speaking
in English, particularly your vocabulary, but there are a number of reasons and a number
of things that reading regularly and reading in specific ways can actually help you to
improve your English, and also not only like your reading English, but your ability to
speak properly or to speak confidently.
And again, this applies not only to English as a second language learners, but also to
English speakers, period.
So pick up a book, and here's how picking up a book can help you to improve your English.
So, number one: You can improve your English by picking up any book, reading out loud,
and exaggerating what you're reading.
You might think: "This sounds ridiculous", but if you are a second language learner,
this is a fantastic way to improve your enunciation, your pronunciation, and presentation skills.
Even if you're not a second language learner...
English as a second language learner.
So, for example, it doesn't matter what type of genre you like, what type of books you like.
Me, personally, I love science-fiction, I love fantasy.
And I can turn to, you know, pages in any of these books and read out loud, exaggerate
what I'm saying, and just the act of doing this, of speaking out loud what I'm reading
makes me feel, again, more confident speaking in front of an audience, for example.
So I'll just open to a random page here and...
Okay, so in this book, just so you know, there's a horse, his name is Artaq.
And it says: "Artaq did not hesitate.
He veered toward the Silver River.
The wolves came after, soundless, fluid, black terror.
Will was sure that this time they would not escape.
Allanon was no longer there to help them.
They were all alone."
Now, what you notice is I'm...
I'm trying to exaggerate: "They were all alone."
Even like my l's.
And focus on every letter when you're reading, because this type of reading, reading out
loud, exaggerating, if you are a professional, this is a great way to build that clarity
in your speech when you're speaking in front of people, and pacing yourself, how fast you
speak as well is important, obviously, when you're giving a presentation.
This second part...
Again, this one can apply to both native speakers of English, but it's more specifically geared
towards English as a second language speakers, and that is: Paying attention to word endings.
And especially "ed" and "s" endings.
So, specifically past tense words, like "wanted", okay?
Or plural words, like "hawks" instead of one hawk, because a lot of, again, English as
a second language learners sometimes forget the "ed" ending when they're reading.
I've taught classes where, you know, students have to read out loud, and they're so focused
on reading and getting the words correct, but the pronunciation, they just drop the
ends of words sometimes, especially "ed", especially "s".
So let me see if I can quickly find an example.
Okay, here's one: "When he stayed on his feet..."
Oh, why am I pointing?
You can't see that.
You can't see that.
So: "When he stayed on his feet" this is one part of the sentence.
Again, you have the verb "stayed", so some new learners of English will sometimes read
that as: "When he stay", "When he stay", and they just drop the end.
So please, please, please focus on those "ed" and "s" endings, and this will really help
your fluency, the ability of others to understand you, as well as your enunciation.
Number three: Pay attention to punctuation.
Now, punctuation refers to the use of commas, periods, question marks, exclamation marks
when you're reading.
By paying attention to these things, you can actually focus on improving your intonation
and your fluency; two specific things.
So, the intonation refers to the up and down movement of your voice when you are saying
something or reading something.
So, for example, you know, raise...
In the second part I said: "Raise intonation for yes or no questions."
So if you notice when you're reading that, you know, this person is asking a yes or no
question, then your voice should be moving up at the end.
And, you know in speaking, this also improves that.
So, for example, in this book there is...
Okay, here's a yes or no question, the question is: "Did you find her?"
So, I see a question mark, I see a yes or no question, and let's say I want to read
this out loud and exaggerate.
I can also say: "Did you find her?
Did you find her?
Did you find her?"
And it sounds ridiculous, I understand, when you're reading out loud, exaggerating, but
after some time, you know, that exaggeration, that focusing on your enunciation, which is
kind of like making your sounds as clear and distinct as possible, focusing on every "l",
every "e", every "s" in a word, that will actually improve your pronunciation and the
ability of other people to understand you long term.
Another thing punctuation does: Pause briefly after periods, and pause after commas.
So, again, if you're giving a list of things, if you're reading and it says: "They went...
He went to the store and he bought apples, pears, and oranges", you could say:
"He went to the store and he bought apples, pears, and oranges", or:
"He went to the store and he bought apples, pears, and oranges."
It might not sound like there was a pause, but I did pause very briefly between each
word in that list.
So, paying attention to those things also teaches you, again, how to clearly enunciate
and also your fluency.
Now, again, your fluency is how smooth your language sounds when you're speaking.
So if you're just saying: "Dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah", it's fast and you think:
"I can speak quickly in English."
But it doesn't sound natural.
Nobody speaks like...
I mean, people do speak like that, it's more difficult to understand them, but it's better,
obviously, if you pay attention to short pause.
And finally: Highlight words you don't know.
So when you're reading, obviously, this is one of the major benefits of reading, is vocabulary,
It's so important, I put it twice.
That's what happened here, okay?
So, maybe I will open this book and I'm going to read...
Okay, there's a person saying something here, and he says:
"There are books, ancient books of healing from the old world."
And maybe I'm a new English speaker, and I say:
"Healing, healing. I've never heard the word 'healing' before.
Maybe I want to stop, highlight that, go back, check it out on the dictionary or something,
online, on my phone, somewhere, and you just learned a new word.
So obviously, if you're reading a book and you're stopping 20 times in one page, your
book is probably too difficult for you.
But if you're stopping four, five, maybe six times a page because of new vocabulary, as
a new English learner, that's not bad.
All right, so like I mentioned, reading, reading, reading can really help you improve your English
in a number of ways.
It can improve definitely your presentation skills by reading out loud and exaggerating,
your enunciation which is your ability to pronounce each sound correctly and distinctly
in a word, your pronunciation which is, you know, you're saying "book" instead of "booque".
By paying attention to word endings, specifically "ed" and "s" will improve others' ability
to understand you, especially if you are an English as a second language learner.
Punctuation will also improve your fluency, your intonation if you're paying attention
to question marks or anything else; periods, commas, exclamations.
And highlighting words you don't know, all of these books, these books specifically,
other books, too, that you enjoy, will help you to improve your vocabulary.
So, unlike other lessons, there is no quiz for this one.
All I want you guys to do is pick up a book, pick up something you're interested in,
try out these methods, and let me know if it works for you because it's been working for me,
so let me know if it also works for you.
Also, don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel,
and I'll see you guys another time.