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So you have plenty to readbut how can you learn to read it? With these seven techniques, you can better understand what you read in English—no matter your level. Especially when you get to more challenging texts, this system will be a big help. Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. This means you read articles or books which are a little bit difficult for you. Some words and sentences will be challenging or unfamiliar, but you can still understand what the text is saying.
Why would you read above your comfortable reading level? This way, you can push your English reading level higher and higher. Before you know it, a text that used to be a little too difficult will now feel easy! So the goal is to find something a little challenging, but not too hard. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Here they are below. We promise that by the end of this post, you will! Reading is not an instinctive skill for human beings. We have to teach our minds how to translate the symbolic characters we see into the language we understand. And the media or other technologies we use in learning and practicing the craft of reading play an important part in shaping the neural circuits inside our brains. Experiments demonstrate that readers of ideograms, such as the Chinese, develop a mental circuitry for reading that is very different from the circuitry found in those of us whose written language employs an alphabet.
We can expect as well that the circuits woven by our use of the Net will be different from those woven by our reading of books and other printed works.
Stopping to define every word takes time and distracts you from understanding the text. Now you know! The great thing about sentences is that they give new words context. This means the unknown word is surrounded by other words which clarify its meaning. By looking at the words that come before and after an unknown word, you can often figure out the basic meaning.
By looking at the rest of the sentence, you can tell that neural circuits are something we have inside our brains. If you made a list of vocabulary words before starting to read, you might already know that a circuit is a closed route that electricity takes. So you might guess that a neural circuit is the path that als in our brains take when we think, act or learn something. Many words in the English language use parts of words from Latin, Greek or other languages. Prefixes are word parts that come at the beginning of a word. Here are two examples of prefixes:.
A root is the main part of the word, and what gives the word its main meaning. For example:.
Bi and bio come from two different Latin words. In our two sample paragraphs, there are a few words you might recognize from their Latin origins:. Now that you understand single words, you can apply your new knowledge to full sentences. Some sentences can be difficult to follow because they are long or have a complicated structure. Make them easier to understand by breaking them up into smaller pieces. You can separate sentences by commas, or by thoughts and ideas. Try to break it apart and take it one piece at a time.
It can be helpful to restate each part in your own words. It might look something like this:. Since you understand the different parts of the sentence, you can put it together in your own words now:. Studies show that people who read characters instead of an alphabet like Chinese people, for example have very different brain paths for reading than those of people who do use an alphabet. You can do that by looking for words and ideas that are related, and making sure you understand how they go together.
One way to do that is by looking for repeated words and phrases. The first paragraph points out that how we read changes how our brains make sense of the information using neural circuits. The second paragraph shows a more specific example of this. It states that people who read using an alphabet and people who read using ideograms have very different brain circuits. Your text might not have repeating words. You understand the words. You understand the sentences. Now stop! Read the text again and try to summarize it. Describe the main points and ideas using your own words.
After going through the text little by little using these seven tips, you should be able to understand it a lot better than when you read it for the first time. Reading is not something we do naturally, so our brains need to learn how to change the letters on a into actual meaning. How and where we read can change the way our brains make this change. Studies have shown that our brains work in very different ways when we read an alphabetical text than when we read a text of ideograms like Chinese characters.
This probably means that our brains also work differently when we read text online than when we read text from a physical book.
In other words, you might be changing the way your brain works right now, just by reading these words on a screen instead of a printed. Pretty crazy! You just went from barely understanding a text to understanding it very well. Great job!
Now you know you can read any text. We only used two paragraphs from a much longer article. You could read the entire article this way, working through it a paragraph or two at a time. If part of a text is too difficult for you, try asking a friend, a native speaker, a professor or even searching the Internet for an explanation or a summary.
If you like learning English through movies and online media, you should also check out FluentU. FluentU lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercialsas you can see here:. If you want to watch it, the FluentU app has probably got it. The FluentU app and website makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition, and useful examples. FluentU lets you learn engaging content with world famous celebrities. Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes.
FluentU helps you learn fast with useful questions and multiple examples. Learn more. The best part? You have a truly personalized experience. Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or from the Google Play store.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos. Experience English immersion online!
And One More Thing FluentU lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercialsas you can see here: If you want to watch it, the FluentU app has probably got it. FluentU lets you tap to look up any word. e-mail address to get your free PDF! Win a year-long FluentU Plus subscription! We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.Please read and understand i know what i am looking for
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