Dear Ai - Good advice for ESL Students. Do you have a question about learning English? Why not ask "Dear Ai"? <$BlogRSDURL$>

Wednesday, April 7, 2004

I would like to improve my reading skills, but... 

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"Dear Ai, I would like to improve my reading skills, but I don't know what level I am. I tried some books, but it's too difficult and I gave up on reading. Is tehre any book you can recommend?" -Ji-Eun Kim from Korea

"Hi Ji-Eun. Many ESL students have told me they "hate" reading because they tried some English books and found them too difficult. But one bad experince doesn't mean that reading is horrible. You simply haven't found the right book. Finding an interesting, well written book takes time and patience, but it can help improve your English skills.

When you pick up a book, look at the back cover. There's usually a summary of the book or comments by a popular newspaper. These will give you a general idea of what the book is about. Next, skim one page and count the number of words you don't know. If you're not sure about a word, include it anyway. If there are more than 3 words you don't know on one page, the book is too difficult. If you don't know 5 words on each page, then you'll probably look up 5000 words in the dictionary for a 100-page book! That's a lot of work! Using this simple test, you can choose the right book and finish it without frustration."


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