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  • The famous linguist Stephen Krashen published a book called Free voluntary reading.

  • And he claims that reading for pleasure in a foreign language may be

  • one of the single most effective things that you can do in that language to learn the language better.

  • But it's not gonna be effective if you don't do it in the right way.

  • So in this video I'm gonna give you four steps that will allow you to take books that you actually want to read.

  • Read them in your foreign language and make this an effective way to build vocabulary and learn your language.

  • This channel is all about helping you learn how to learn languages in a way that's fast, fun and easy.

  • And I think that reading in a foreign language is definitely gonna make learning languages easier and way more fun.

  • So the first thing you need to do, if you're gonna use books as an effective tool for learning languages,

  • is you need to find the right book for you.

  • That means you're gonna have to find books that are enjoyable to read.

  • Here I have 'The Game of Thrones' in Spanish which I read because I like 'The Game of Thrones'.

  • Maybe you like non-fiction books so I bought 'The four hour work week' in Spanish.

  • We also need to find books that allow us to use comprehensible input,

  • which means that you should be able to understand about seventy five to eighty percent of what you're reading but not everything.

  • Cause if you already understand everything you're reading, it's not gonna help you learn that much.

  • If you're a brand, brand new beginner to your language,

  • you might want to pick up some children's books because the vocabulary is super easy.

  • It's not difficult at all to understand that this says one fish two fish red fish blue fish.

  • There is a gradient of children's books.

  • This is The Little Prince, which is originally in French, but you can get this in any language,

  • and I highly recommend it because even though it's for children and it uses very basic vocabulary,

  • it's actually really deep and adults can enjoy it a lot as well.

  • I also suggest graphic novels because they give you pictures,

  • and you'll never be lost as long as you can follow the pictures

  • and it's a great way for being able to follow along and learn in a foreign language.

  • A few weeks ago I talked about using plays or any kind of theater

  • because they use very short phrases and you always know exactly who's speaking

  • and you can watch that video I posted a few weeks ago.

  • I'm not gonna go into detail here, but plays are a great way.

  • And more than anything else, the best kind of book that you can read are books that you're already familiar with.

  • Here I have Harry Potter in French, Greek, and Spanish because these are all languages that I'm learning,

  • and I loved the Harry Potter books growing up, so I already know what's going on.

  • And I can really understand from context, or just from memory what's happening,

  • even if I don't understand every single word, and that's a big help for comprehension,

  • and for building vocabulary.

  • And another important thing to remember is that shorter books are usually better.

  • You'll be more motivated when you see yourself progressing really quickly through the book.

  • And then you can go back and read it again, or you can move on to the next one,

  • and this is a big motivating factor.

  • And the last step in finding the book that's right for you is where you're gonna get it.

  • I find Ebay to be the best place for getting used books because they're really cheap.

  • I usually use Wikipedia to find the name of that book in the foreign language.

  • Then I go to Ebay and find the book.

  • And they can get shipped right to your door.

  • And you can't always go to the book store and find the book that you're looking for in the foreign language unless you live in that country,

  • but on Ebay you can get pretty much any book in any language.

  • The second step in using books to learn a foreign language is

  • you're just going to start reading purely for enjoyment, just because you like reading.

  • And because it's a story that's interesting to you.

  • Then you're going to get yourself a colored highlighter.

  • And every time you run into a word during the story that you don't understand,

  • you're gonna highlight that word.

  • It's very important that you do not stop to look up the meaning of that word.

  • All you're going to do is highlight it.

  • That way you can come back later to look up the definition,

  • but you're not gonna stop and take the time to do it while you're reading.

  • You don't want to break the flow of your reading.

  • And this is a really important exercise

  • that's gonna help you be comfortable with not understanding 100% of what you read.

  • I mean you have to get comfortable with that because you're not always gonna understand everything.

  • And try to just highlight one or two words per page maximum,

  • and preferably one word every two to three pages.

  • You don't want to underline or highlight every single word you don't understand.

  • That's gonna take too long, and you're gonna get overwhelmed.

  • Once you finish reading through the book one time just for enjoyment,

  • we're gonna make a dictionary that is specific to you and to the book that you're reading.

  • You're gonna get an index card, and then you're gonna make a glossary

  • that you tape right to the front of the book

  • so that it's always there for you to reference every time you read the book from now on.

  • So to do this, you're just gonna flip through the book,

  • you're gonna find every word that you've highlighted.

  • Then you're gonna go to wordreference.com or whatever website or app

  • that is you prefer to use for translating words.

  • You're gonna look up the highlighted words

  • and then you're just gonna write them on the index card along with their definition.

  • Then you just tape it right to the front of the book,

  • and you'll always have this here as a reference every time you read through the book from now on.

  • And the final step for learning a new language with books is you're just gonna repeat steps two and three.

  • But, this time you have a quick reference to go to

  • Every time you run into a word you're not familiar with.

  • And every time you get to a new word,

  • you're gonna remember that this is a word you're trying to memorize.

  • Now, don't go immediately to the dictionary that you taped to the cover of the book.

  • What you're gonna do is use this as a sort of mini quiz that you can use to test yourself

  • and see if you can remember that word.

  • These few seconds where you're actually exerting yourself, trying to remember the meaning,

  • it's proven that this short period of time is actually very beneficial in helping you remember that word in the future.

  • So you're gonna take a minute and try to remember the word and if you absolutely can't,

  • then you flip to the beginning of the book, and that's when you look at your dictionary.

  • And of course, as you read through the second time, you're gonna get yourself a different color highlighter,

  • and when you're done with the book, you're gonna make yourself a second dictionary that you'll also tape to the cover.

  • Read through this book three or four times,

  • and you should be able to understand every single word in the entire book.

  • And if you think about it, this book took me several months to read,

  • and there's a lot of words in here.

  • And I'm able to understand all of them now because I use this method.

  • So thanks a ton for watching my video.

  • If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or any suggestions for the other language learners on this channel,

  • please feel free to leave me a comment below.

  • Otherwise, be sure to like and subscribe, and thanks for watching my video.

  • We'll see you guys next monday.

The famous linguist Stephen Krashen published a book called Free voluntary reading.

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4 steps to learning a language with books

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    April Lu posted on 2018/04/05
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