Importance of Reading in English

Lisa C. Newcomer Information

Reading is one of the four language skills . In today’s English Learning Tips, let’s take a look at the important role it plays in helping you improve your understanding of the English language and building your vocabulary.

How does reading contribute to my overall English skill?
  • Reading is an input (receptive) skill. When you read something in English, you are passively receiving information, recognizing the words and terms.
  • Repetition is the key to mastery. This is especially true when it comes to language learning, where memorization plays a big part. Reading more in English means that your exposure to English words and terms is being increased.
  • The more frequently you encounter new words and terms, the easier it will be to memorize them, and you will be more likely to master how to use them in writing and speaking (output skills). Click here to learn more about the Four English Language Skills.
What to read?
  • Graphic novels and comics- The drawings are an engaging element and they assist with understanding too.
  • News reports or magazines- You would want to start with something short. It should be a topic that you are genuinely interested in. Set 15 minutes aside every day and read at least one piece of local news.
  • Books- Once you get used to reading regularly, move onto something longer and more challenging. Try a plot-driven modern fiction (thrillers, romance, sci-fi, etc.). Once you are engrossed in the story, you are more likely to continue without feeling bored.
Free resources to read:
  1. Mobile news apps:
  2. Calgary Public Library!
    • Go to a community library and browse books or borrow an eBook to read on your smartphone!
    • If you know what book(s) you want, log into your account to place a hold on them, then pick it up from the nearest library in your community.
    • If you are not sure what to read or are too busy to browse in person, use the Library’s Build a Book Bag service and get ready to be surprised!
  3. Activities to practice your reading skills categorized by levels:
  4. English reading materials for ESL students with quiz questions:

If you read this far, it means you are serious about improving your English. Before you go, we recommend you also check out our previously published English Learning tips articles!

Immigrant Services Calgary offers online language assessment services and referrals for clients in the Calgary area and Southern Alberta. Want to get in touch with one of our newcomer language specialists? Answer a couple of questions to help us know you better! Feel free to chat with us online if you have any questions.

Word of the Day:

Mastery: complete knowledge or skill in a subject.