How to Learn A New Language Through Reading

Jentri Fule

July 08 , 2021

How to Learn A New Language Through Reading

Have you ever wanted to learn a new language but didn’t know where to start? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. After all, you’re learning an entirely new system! So how should you go about it?

There are many different ways to learn, whether it be via popular language apps or online language tutors. While there are different ways to learn a new language nowadays, reading is still one of the best routes you can choose. After all, reading gives you a better grasp on certain subject matters and that extends to learning a new language. If you’re curious how reading can help you learn a new language, then this article is for you!


Start with the basics

When starting a new language, the biggest mistake everyone makes is rushing through things. That’s completely understandable—after all, everybody wants to be able to talk in a new language. But just like how you learned English in kindergarten, you’re going to have to go through the basics first.

An excellent way to learn the basics is to go through standard language and grammar books of your chosen language. If you’re learning Spanish or French, for instance, we carry Easy Spanish Reader 4E and Easy French Reader 4E. Both books are excellent ways to build up your grammar and vocabulary for each language. Books like the ones above are structured for learners, making the lesson progression logical. Some even have small quizzes you can take to test your retention.

If you’re learning another language, look for similar books that focus on teaching you the structure and grammar rules of the language first. Then, build up your vocabulary. The great thing about this is that having a book makes it easier for you to track your progress and return to lessons that you might have forgotten. With reading, you also have greater retention provided that you take copious notes.


Learn from a child’s perspective

One of the best ways to learn about basic sentence construction and vocabulary is to explore children’s literature. Before you raise an eyebrow at foreign language children’s books, consider that in terms of comprehension and language skills, you are of the same level as a young child. This is not a bad thing! If anything, it gives you more leeway to learn.

If you want to learn more than just the grammar rules, children’s books are also a good source of information. Most children’s books reflect the values and culture of the country of origin provided that they were written by native speakers. Take note of some phrases that you haven’t seen in the grammar books as these may be idioms or native expressions.


Comparative and Immersive Reading

If you’re feeling more confident about your language skills and would like to take on more of a challenge, you could try out comparative reading. Comparative reading involves reading the same book in two different languages: the language you’re trying to learn and the language you are most comfortable with (usually, for Filipinos that is either English or Filipino). Comparative reading allows you to develop your comprehension faster and to see how you would translate expressions familiar to you to the foreign language you want to learn.

If you want something more challenging, you could try out immersive reading. For immersive reading, find a reading material you like that you have already read in your preferred language and find out whether it has a translation in the language you’re trying to learn. From there, you can start reading the material with a dictionary by your side.

An important thing to remember when trying out immersive reading is to pick material that corresponds to your reader level. For beginners, you can start reading blog posts and short articles. For intermediate learners, read short stories or small novellas. Finally, for advanced learners, you can try reading full-length novels or even academic texts originally written in that language. Don’t worry if your reading speed isn’t as fast! What you should focus on is understanding the grammar and comprehending the text. 


Learn through reading

Learning a new language may seem complicated and difficult, but it’s something that you can accomplish with discipline and the right tools. While you may want to focus on speaking immediately and sounding like a native speaker, keep in mind that that only happens with lots of practice. Instead of forcing yourself to learn quickly, focus on building a solid understanding of how the language works. Reading provides this foundation and helps you build your comprehension.

If you want to check out other books that could help you learn, go through our catalogue here.