Hi, Bob the Canadian here. Welcome to part one of what will become a series of English lessons that I’m going to call the “Why” series. This particular episode is called “Why Read?” Because in this episode, I want to talk about why reading is an important thing to do when you are learning the English language. I know most of you realize that reading is important, but I thought I should just think about reading from a language teacher’s perspective and maybe just talk about things about reading that are cool, things that I think are important about reading and give you some tips on how you can read better as you continue to learn the English language.
One of the most obvious things that makes reading cool is the fact that you can control the speed. You can read as quickly, or as slowly as you want to. If you are reading something that is difficult, you can slow down. If you are reading something that is easy to understand, you can speed up. This is different than something like an English conversation. You really don’t have very much control over how fast the other person speaks. You can ask them to slow down, but they don’t always listen. But certainly one of the cool things about reading is you are in complete control over the speed at which you read.
The second thing that’s really cool about reading, and this is also a technique you should use when you are reading, is the fact that you can read things more than once. If you read a sentence in English and you don’t understand it, you can reread it to try and gain an understanding. If you did this in an English conversation, the person might get annoyed with you after a while if you constantly ask them to repeat themselves. But when you’re reading, you can very easily go back and reread a sentence or reread a paragraph. You can even stretch this out. If you read a book last year in English, try reading the book again this year again in English, because it will simply reinforce everything that you learned the last time you read it.
Let me give you number three and four all at the same time. The third and fourth things that make reading cool are you can do it almost anywhere. You can read on the subway. You can read on the train. You can read on a park bench. You can read in the morning or at night. You can read on the couch. If you are stuck waiting for your child to be done in dance class, you can read a book. So you can do it almost anywhere and you don’t need a partner. The only thing you need to be able to read is you need a book or your smartphone or an e-reader. So number three and four, you can do it anywhere you want, and you don’t need a partner to read.
The fifth thing that’s really cool about reading when you are learning the English language is that you have time. I know I already said you can read quickly, you can read slowly, but you also have time when you are reading to figure things out. If someone in a conversation says something really quickly, you don’t always have time to figure out what they said, but if you see a word in a sentence and it looks like another word you already know, or maybe if you’re lucky, it looks like a word from your own native language, you have time when you are reading to stop and to figure out what it means.
Speaking of your native language, one of the other cool things about reading is that you can sometimes find books that are in your native language and also in English. If there are any books that you have already read in your native language, I highly recommend that you find the English version of that book and read it again. This is not something you can duplicate with an English conversation. You’re not going to find someone willing to have a conversation in your own language and then have the same conversation in English. This is very unique to reading, and it’s a very powerful method for using reading to learn the English language.
Another cool thing about reading is that you can stop to look up words. Now, you can do this with an actual dictionary, but what I prefer to do when I’m reading in French, because I am someone who is constantly learning the French language, I like to read on an e-reader because if there’s a word I don’t know, I can stop reading and I can just touch the word and the definition of the word pops up on my screen. This is really hard to do if you’re listening to a song or having an English conversation. But when you are reading, it’s very, very easy to stop and look up a word that you don’t know.
Reading also connects really well to all of the other things you are probably doing as you study the English language. When you read a book, you can also listen to the audio book. When you read a book, you can write parts of the book out to practice your writing. When you’re reading a book, you can read the book out loud to practice your speaking. And you’re definitely learning new grammar, or at least seeing new grammar, and you are learning new vocabulary. So of all of the different things you should be doing to study a language, for me, I think reading is one of the best ones because it connects to all of the other things so well.
I also like the fact that reading can be really cheap. You don’t have to buy all your books in order to read in English. You could go to the library. You can read things that you find on the internet. There are so many ways that you can read in English where you do not need to spend any money. I think this might be my favorite one. I’m a pretty cheap person. I don’t like spending money. So I think this is gonna be the one that I say is the coolest. One of the coolest things about reading is you can do it for almost no money or no money at all.
Another cool thing about reading in English is that you can choose to read about things that you already know about. If you already have a lot of knowledge in a certain area in life, I would start to read things in English about that. Jen, for instance, really likes flowers. If Jen was learning a new language, I would suggest to her that she reads things in that language about flowers, books, magazines, newspaper articles, anything that she could find, because she would then be connecting her current knowledge with what she is reading in English. This isn’t always easy to do in a conversation. Sometimes people talk about things and you don’t know what they’re talking about because even in your own language or in your own life, you don’t have a lot of knowledge in that area.
So another cool thing about reading, you can read about things that you already know about. One of the things that I do think is really cool about reading is that you will learn new vocabulary, but you will learn it in context. What that means is that you aren’t just learning the word for cat. You are seeing a sentence with the word cat in it. You are not just learning new vocabulary using flashcards. You are seeing that vocabulary in an actual English sentence. So another really cool thing about reading and why it is important is because you will not only learn new vocabulary, but you will see that vocabulary used in a perfect English sentence.
Okay, don’t do this last one if the book you are reading is from the library or if it is a book you do not own. But another cool thing about reading is that you can write in the book. So you can’t do this when you’re listening to a song, you can’t do this when you’re having an English conversation, but when you are reading a book, you can underline words. You can make notes in the margin. You can do a whole lot of things that help you remember the words that you are learning.
Well, hey, thank you for watching this little English lesson where I kinda talked about why reading is cool, why some things that you can do in reading will be helpful, and why I think reading is important when you are learning the English language. I’m Bob the Canadian. Thanks again so much for watching. If you’re new here, don’t forget to click that red subscribe button over there and give me a thumbs up if this video helped you learn just a little bit more English. And if you have the time, why don’t you stick around and watch another video.?