The Best Way To Improve Your Reading Skills


Well hey there! I'm Emma from mmmEnglish!

Have your English teachers ever told you

to read as much as you can in English?

Have they told you that it's a great way

to build your vocabulary?

And to see how words are used in context

in English?

Well, I absolutely agree!

But what can you do to improve your reading skills

in English so that you can

become a better reader and actually

start enjoying it?

That is exactly what this lesson is all about!

Now there are a ton

of benefits to reading English texts.

You're going to build your vocabulary, right?

As you learn new words.

But you'll be learning those words

together in chunks, right?

Together in sentences

so that you can learn how to use them correctly

and the words that they're often used with.

You'll also experience how words

express tone and feeling

through the interactions between characters.

So tone in writing is the author's attitude

and this is an incredibly useful way to learn

how to choose the right words to express

feeling and emotion in English.

So my first question for you today is

do you like reading English texts?

If your answer's yes,

what English text do you like to read?

Or even better,

what English book are you reading right now?

I'd love to see some recommendations

in the comments so if you've got a good one,

share it below!

But if your answer to this question is no,

well why do you think that is?

Maybe you don't really love reading

even in your own native language.

Well then, reading in English is probably going to be

even more painful, right?

But maybe you prefer watching movies or

listening to podcasts - something like that.

Perhaps you get frustrated because you feel like

reading's a chore.

And you really need to improve your skills

before you can start actually enjoying reading.

Fair enough!

Maybe you're an active person and you just don't like

sitting still and reading a book, right?

Well that's

not really an excuse because

Audible allows you to listen to books wherever you are.

I listen to my books now because

I don't like to sit still either!

So I listen when I go for a run.

If you want to try listening to English books instead

then I've added a link below in the description

to help you get your first

audiobook free from Audible.

The link's down there if you want to check it out!

But today I want you to stick around

all the way through to the end of this video.

I'm going to be sharing some really useful tips

to help you improve

your reading skills.

Hey guys! Just in case you haven't heard yet,

I'm doing the Lingoda Language Marathon

this year.

Definitely going to be my biggest language challenge

of two thousand and nineteen.

And maybe yours as well!

But I've created a private Facebook group

just for mmmEnglish language students

who are completing the marathon

and want to come and join me.

But you've got to use the link

that's in the description below this video to join.

In that group, I'll be sharing videos about my

experience and tips

and motivation to help you keep going

all the way to the end of that marathon.

So if you're ready for the challenge,

come and join me!

Enrollments close on the thirteenth of May.

That's this Monday!

So you better be quick!

Check out that link right there

for the full details.

Before we get started, a little reminder

to turn on the subtitles if you need to - just down there.

I write subtitles for every lesson

on the mmmEnglish channel

so you can turn them on at any time!

And some of my amazing students here

help me to translate

these lessons into their own native language

so that more people can share and learn from them

as well!

So if you're up for the challenge to add

subtitles in your native language,

there's a link in the description that will

help you to do that.

Your name's going to get shown

in the description too

as a thank you!

My first tip

is to read more!

Alright that one might seem completely obvious

but I had to say it!

You're not going to improve your reading without

reading, right?

That's the same for so many things in life, right?

The more you do it,

the easier it gets.

Now this might take you a little effort at first, right?

To get to that point, you might need to say to yourself:

Alright every day,

at six o'clock in the evening, I'm going to spend

fifteen minutes reading.

So you do it every night.

You know what they say? It takes

twenty-one days to make something a habit, right?

So if you do it consistently

for twenty-one days

you'll have a good chance of bringing

daily reading practice into your life.

And it can help

you know, to create a little ritual

around the activity, so

do it on the train on the way to work or

go and lie in the sunshine.

That's what I do!

I've got a couple of Spanish readers

and I always go down to the beach and practise there

and it is so relaxing,

it's one of my favourite times of day.

Now there's a good chance that you're thinking:

But what should I read?


choose what you read carefully.

The easy part of this decision is just choosing

topic or a genre that you like, right?

If you love reading

soppy, romantic novels

- do it!

Quit thinking that something has to be educational

for you to learn, right? It's just not true.

If you love reading comics,

that's fine too!

Well, try and choose a comic that's got

a little more text in it, right? A little more reading.

Or choose one of those really awesome illustrated

books for teenagers, I've made some recommendations

in the comments below

But the story lines in those books,

in those types of books, are often

fun and entertaining and there's images that help you

to kind of engage in the story as well.

It's going to make your reading practice much less

of a chore, right?

Nobody wants to drag themselves through a book

or a novel - a massive novel.

Especially one that they don't like.

Or that's boring, right?

There's just so much material out there

for you to read that there is absolutely no reason

to be reading something that you're not into, right?

Pick something that interests you,

whether it's the sports section of the newspaper or a

mystery novel or

a nonfiction book about plants,

it doesn't matter at all.

But what does matter is that you enjoy

what you're reading so that it encourages

you to do it more, right?

One really common problem that I see

among my students is that they're

too ambitious with their reading material, right?

A pre-intermediate student reading Jane Austen novels,

I mean, I think that's really a form of torture.

Right? 'Pride and Prejudice' has extremely

advanced vocabulary and

sarcasm and

complex sentence structures.

It could be really hard work to try and get to the

end of a book like that.

So you need to be

looking at texts that are the right level for you,

that help you to get through them.

And if you're a Jane Austen fan,

well, I've got some recommendations in the description

because her novels are so popular that they've been

adapted for teenage readers

and intermediate level students as well,

so this could be perfect for you.

I'm going to add the link in the description.

And to be completely honest, the vocabulary

in books written for teenagers and younger people is

usually extremely useful for everyday English use, right?

So don't let your ego get in the way between you and

a fantastic read, right?

Now I also want to mention to be

true to yourself here.

If you just can't stand reading pages and pages

of text in a novel,

that's cool!

Read a daily blog post instead or a magazine article.

It really doesn't matter what you read,

as long as you're enjoying it.

Now if you like to read but you don't want to lug around

a notebook or a dictionary with you,

then an e-reader is a really good option, right?

I just have Kindle downloaded on my phone

so all of my books come with me everywhere that I go.

And this makes your practice really easy, right?

You've got books with you all the time.

And the cool thing is that e-readers help you to translate

words or things really simply, just by

touching the word on the screen.

So that could be a good option and make it a little

easier to get into a reading practice.

As I've mentioned,

I've got a list of book recommendations

in the description below

and if you still don't know what to read,

then here's another one of my favourite tips.

Read a book that you've already read

in your own language.

Right? Reading a book that you've already read once

or even a few times in your own language

can eliminate a lot of the hard work,

painful work,

when you're reading a book in English, right?

Firstly, you already know that you'll like the book, right?

And secondly, you don't have to worry about

misunderstanding something or words that you're

unsure of, it doesn't mean that you have to stop reading

and look them up so that you understand

the story, right?

You'll be able to fill in the gaps

in your understanding

from your previous knowledge.

So since you already know the story,

you won't get stuck on the details, right?

You'll be able to focus on learning

new words and expressions

without having to look up all of the in-between words

which is really great for morale.

And generally just makes the experience

a bit more enjoyable

which is what we're all about!

And you don't have to get stuck on the details.

It's great to test yourself and to look up words

and to read out loud sometimes.

If you try to understand every single word in the book,

you might never finish it, right?

It's going to be a lot of work to get there.

You know, you want to make sure that you understand

the main story line,

and if you aren't sure of a word or two,

but you understand the general idea of the sentence,

then you can try and guess the meaning of the word

and move on, you don't have to know

absolutely everything!

And that's true, even when I read books in English,

there will be words that I don't recognise or

words that I don't use that often,

words that are used by Americans that we don't

really use that much here,

but I don't have to stop and look up the meaning

of every word.

I just, you know,

read through the story, try to piece it together.

Unless it's something that is really, really, crucial

or important to the story,

I don't need to know the exact meaning.

Now for you as an English learner,

if there are too many unknown words on the page,

and you really don't have a good idea of

what's happening in the story,

then it's possible that this text is too advanced for you.

So try reading something with less unknown words first.

Right? If a word seems really important

or really interesting,

but you've still got a bit of an idea of what's

going on in the story,

then just circle it

and move on, you can come back to it

and look it up later.

Don't let it stop you.

Okay so the first tips that we went through

will help you to get started, I want you to just

commit to reading and

to dive into a book and to really just focus on enjoying

the journey. As we said before,

reading in general is already going to be

improving your English skills, right?

But if you want to take a more proactive

approach to reading,

then the next few tips are going to help you to push

your English skills a little further.

Read out loud.

One of the most effective ways to learn

anything is to combine different styles of learning

right? This is how we supercharge learning.

So for example, if you are reading something

while listening to it,

so choosing your favourite book and then

finding it on Audible.

Audible's got over two hundred thousand books there so

the chances of you finding your favourites is pretty high.

But then you could take it one step further. Read it

while you're listening to it

and say the words at the same time.

Doing all of this is supercharging your learning.

There are so many good things that are happening

here at once. Your mind's taking in information

in multiple ways,

your muscles in your mouth are remembering how to

pronounce or how to make the sounds correctly

because you're listening to them at the same time.

Now this might not be the best option if you are

reading in a quiet library or on a bus on the way to work,

that kind of thing. But you'll find a way to make it work!

I'm sure of it.

My last tip is to test yourself.

I've given you quite a few tips already today

but I want to give you a tip that's going to help you

take your reading from pleasure into study.

And there's a time and a place for this, right?

Sometimes we just want to relax and unwind,

but other times you might be ready to like

roll up your sleeves and really dive in and understand

how the language is being used.

So when you're in the mood,

test yourself.

Even if you're not reading next to a teacher

it doesn't mean that you can't pause

to ask yourselves questions about the text

and check that you've understood it correctly, right?


one way to do this is to open a book at a random page,

read a paragraph,

close the book,

write down some of the key points that you remember

from that paragraph

and then go back and study it in detail.

Did you miss anything important?

This is a really good way to practise

your comprehension skills,

even if you're on your own,

it is possible for you to do this.

There might be a word

that you've not have heard of before.

You don't know the meaning of it.

But instead of looking it up straight away,

look at the words around it and try and guess

what the meaning is before you check.

Maybe you know the word,

but you haven't seen it used in that context before, right?

So look it up.

Try writing a sentence with this new definition.

These types of questions that you ask yourself

are going to help you check your understanding

and then also go a little deeper into the text.

And really make sure that you've understood it correctly.

Well I hope that the tips that I shared in this lesson

have given you some inspiration

to keep working on your reading skills because

there are so many benefits to regularly

exposing yourself to English through text.

And through different types of text as well.

And above all else, I really want you to have fun

with your English reading skills, right?

I've added a whole bunch of recommendations

in the description below, plus the link to Audible

so if you want to supercharge your reading practice

by listening,

as well as reading,

then check it out - your first book's free.

Other than that,

have a wonderful day ahead!