Reading in a foreign language
The success of language learning can be measured by various skills that you should develop. One of them is reading comprehension. Without reading skills development it's impossible to improve your language knowledge. It is by reading that you learn much of what you need to know. Reading is an excellent way to improve your general foreign language.
What makes texts difficult to understand?
There're many factors which affect reading comprehension. Let's see the most important problems you probably have, when you read a text in foregn language:
- many unknown words
- too long and complicated sentences
- the topic is boring
- you don't know the cohesion markers
- you are tired/distracted
- you know nothing about the topic
- the text has small letters, has been badly written or has no pictures
All these factors cause problems when you read a text written in a foreign language. Of course, the more problems you face, the less text you understand.
How to understand more?
1. Read & check the words which you don't understand. Of course, try to understand the meaning from the context, but if you're not sure, don't hesitate to open the dictionary.
2. Try not to read something too difficult, reading should be pleasure! ;-) Choose easier texts, with not more than 10 new words. You will improve your reading skills and vocabulary even if you read simple texts. But you have to read lots of them.
3. Choose topic, which is interesting to you and you will clearly see that such text it's easier to understand.
4. Learn the cohesion markers (words that writers use to organize their texts, in English for example: and, so, rather, otherwise, however, on the contrary etc.). If you learn the important cohesion markers, you will understand more, because writers use these words to structure their thoughts.
5. Choose the right time/the right place to read. Don't read if you're tired. And if you have problems with understanding texts, find a quiet and comfortable place.
6. Make notes, write down words which you don't understand with the tranlsations and an example.
7. Read texts aloud, you train with it the pronunciation and speaking in a foreign language. Of course, don't read all texts aloud, but if do it from time to time, it will help you understand the text.
Do you have any thoughts, questions or suggestions? Have you spotted a mistake or you don't agree with something? Leave a comment :-)