EC English Blog

Live and learn English


Tips to gain English vocabulary and enjoy it!  

Sharing is caring!

Reading in a second language is a valuable skill significantly enhancing your language proficiency. However, this process can be daunting for many. A common mistake when attempting to read in a second language is the inclination to understand every single word. If you want to learn English well, you will find it more effective to focus on the overall meaning of sentences rather than getting bogged down by individual words.  

Don’t rush to the dictionary yet  

So don’t rush to a dictionary when you encounter unfamiliar words; instead, analyse the context. Stopping at every unfamiliar word disrupts the reading flow and diminishes enjoyment.  

Remember, the pace of progress in reading a second language varies from person to person, depending on factors like the time devoted to reading, previous language experience, and linguistic similarity to your native language. Consistency, a positive mindset, and perseverance are crucial to improving your second-language reading skills. By embracing these strategies, you can significantly enhance your language proficiency, opening up a world of new literature and cultural understanding.  

Some tips  

To enhance your reading skills in a second language, consider the following tips:  

1. Start Simple: Begin with materials suited to a beginner or intermediate level. Children’s books, graded readers, or simplified versions of classic novels are excellent starting points. They help you understand the basics and build confidence.  

2. Contextual Learning: When encountering new words, try deducing their meanings from the context before resorting to a dictionary. This practice speeds up reading and enhances your intuitive understanding of the language.  

3. Consistent Practice: Regular reading is crucial. Allocate specific times each day or week for this activity. Consistency will cement your learning and accelerate your progress.  

4. Diverse Materials: Engage with various genres and subjects to maintain interest and exposure to different vocabulary and sentence structures. This variety will deepen your understanding of the language.  

5. Note-Taking: Note down new words or complex sentences while reading. Revisit these notes, create flashcards, or practice writing with the new vocabulary. Active engagement with the material aids in retention.  

A reading list  

Here are some books we suggest to help improve your English.  

Selecting books to improve your English language skills depends mainly on your current level of proficiency.   

Famous Children’s Classics: Books like “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White or “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry offer simple language yet profound stories.  

Modern Novels: Books like “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho or “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee are well-written and engaging, with more advanced vocabulary and structures.  

Non-Fiction: Simple non-fiction books on topics you’re interested in can be educational and an excellent way to learn more complex vocabulary.  

Classics: Novels by authors like Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and George Orwell offer rich language and complex narratives. “Pride and Prejudice” or “1984” are excellent choices.  

Contemporary Literature: Books by authors like Margaret Atwood or Kazuo Ishiguro are suitable for advanced learners wanting to understand contemporary usage and styles.  

Biographies and Autobiographies: Reading about real-life stories can be inspiring and an excellent way to learn more formal and narrative English.  

You can also enjoy audiobooks while reading, which can help you understand pronunciation and intonation. It is also helpful for reading aloud as it improves pronunciation and fluency.  

Consider creating or joining a Book Club to discuss a book in English and significantly improve your language skills.  

Consistency and choosing engaging books are vital to improving your English through reading. Happy reading! 

Find your Inspiration Motivation  Vision Voice

Let's start your journey to learning English.
About EC

Every year we help students from over 140 countries to achieve their language goals and realise their dreams at our amazing English schools across the world.

Start Your Language Learning Journey Today!

Get information on our destinations, schools and English courses.
Recent posts