Today we’re going to talk about reading in a foreign language.
What should I read?
First of all, you should choose books at the appropriate level. Dear beginners, please, don’t read “War and Peace” at the beginning of your learning path. Yes, Leo Tolstoy is a classic of the Russian literature but even native speakers can find it a bit difficult to read. Let’s focus on adapted books. Otherwise, you risk losing your motivation very fast, and feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. You can choose the books you’ve read before in your native language. So you can focus on the language but not the plot. Or…
• Comics in Russian
• Blogs, comments on the Internet, etc.
• Harry Potter 🙂
I usually don’t recommend starting with books for kids: the vocabulary is too difficult, a lot of old words or diminutive suffixes.
C1-C2 levels. You can choose whatever you want”) But wait, no. Forget about Russian-English dictionaries, only Russian-Russian 🙂
How to read?
Intensive reading, or detailed reading. Your task is to absorb as much language information from this reading as possible. You translate every word, word combination, or collocation you don’t understand. Such activities require a lot of time and effort so be sure that you take short and interesting texts for reading.
• Short stories
• Wikipedia etc
Extensive reading, or reading for pleasure. You just read as much as you want without paying too much attention to the new words, looking up words only when they’re vital for understanding. As usual, you get the meaning of the unknown words from the context. You should choose the level-appropriate and interesting books.
P.S. Don’t be lazy to write words by hand. This activity trains your memory and psychomotor functions. In the days of the Internet and information technology, we do not use our memory very often; do not let your brain and your memory get lazy.
Making passive vocabulary active
Make it a rule to write summaries of what you’ve read about. Describe the main characters, what you like about them or what you don’t like, write them a letter … There are a lot of options. Writing is also a productive skill that trains your speaking skills as well as your grammar and spelling.