IWTYAL 73: 8 reasons to read in a foreign language

itunesButtonIn this episode, I give you 8 reasons you should be reading in your target language.

In this episode:

  1. Reading slows down the language
  2. It’s great for introverts who aren’t comfortable speaking
  3. You can learn less common vocabulary
  4. You can significantly increase your vocabulary range by extensive reading
  5. It’s cheap! (Cheaper than teachers, or travelling!)
  6. Sense of achievement
  7. Immersion in a foreign world
  8. It’s fun, which builds an emotional attachment to the language

Resources Featured In Today’s Episode:

I’ve written short story books in a number of languages to help you start reading!

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Start speaking today

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This article was written by Olly Richards.

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Olly's Top Resources For Learning:
  • Giga Scott

    Anybody know of some good beginner books for Mandarin Chinese?

  • Fernando Castro

    Hi, Olly. Greetings from Brazil!

    These are really good reasons to read in another language, especially for an introvert like myself.
    I usually use another language for reading and recently I’ve finished reading a bilingual version of “The 39 Steps” by John Buchan and it was a really enjoyable experience that put me in the middle of the “Old Country” and Scotland. I know English at an upper-intermediate level and just had some minor problems with vocabulary, which didn’t make reading less pleasant.
    This kind of book is good, for one don’t need to check the dictionary every once in a while. After finishing the book I started creating flashcards of the main vocabulary.

    Now I ask myself “why didn’t I start reading books in English before?”.

    Cheers!

    • That’s great, Fernando, and I love that book too! Congrats on your English – it’s really great!

  • Odette C.

    What happened to the French short stories book?

    • Hi Odette. We’re working on updating a few problems with the book and it will be available again very soon!

      • Odette C.

        Will people who already bought the French copy get the updated book with the problems fixed?

  • ToGusDS

    Hi Olly.
    I haven’t thought about reason 7:

    Immersion in a foreign world

    But I think it can only work with native writers, maybe it’s not so useful with translation, for example (I gonna use the same book) Harry Potter in Spanish is not going to be as good as 100 años de soledad by García Marquez.

    And you have to be really careful when choosing the book you’re going to read in your target language, I wouldn’t recommend to read Lord of the rings to a intermediate english learner.

    What do you think? Is it a good idea to read a “difficult book”?? Or how would you choose the right book for you?

    • It’s a good question. I think the most important thing is to read something you enjoy. However, in terms of level, the easier the better. If it’s too hard, you simply can’t get much from it. Many people recommend reading books where you understand 90% of what’s written. I would agree with that. The problem is, it’s difficult to find such books (which, incidentally, is why I produced these story books!).

      • ToGusDS

        Yes, totally agree the easy the better.
        I read the “Spanish Short Stories For Beginners” and I like it a lot! I already bought the Italian and German version 😀
        And i’m waiting for the Japanese version (kanji inclusive LOL) easy books written in this language have been really difficult to find :S

  • Pixie Rowe

    Hi Olly, where can I find the audio book of Spanish Short Stories? I thought you mentioned it in one of the podcasts, but I can’t see it on Amazon.