How Do I Force Myself Into Reading English Fiction?

Hi guys, hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog, and also my podcast - in case you're listening to the podcast instead of watching the video. In today's video episode, I'm going to respond to a question asked by one of my blog readers, and the question basically is the following: “How do I force myself to read English fiction if I'm not into reading?” And let me just tell you before I get into the actual topic that I've been suggesting that you get into young adult fiction in case you find it difficult to read something in English, right? So young adult fiction is very easy to read and those writers use very easy, simple and conversational English. It's not like academic English that you would probably encounter if you picked up some classic, right? Which I've never done before, myself - well, I have picked up some classics and then I read a few paragraphs and I just couldn't wrap my head around what's being said there, OK? And that's why I'm into young adult fiction and before that there was a period of my life when I was reading fantasy fiction, it lasted for about three years or something and I read dozens upon dozens of books and the language used in those type of books is pretty much the same - it's very easy to understand, very easy to read, very friendly and very conversational, OK? (more…)

Why Reading an English Newspaper is 100 Times Better than Studying a Grammar Workbook

Let’s imagine you have to pick only one English learning and improving material to take with you to a remote island. What would it be? An English grammar book? A fiction book in English? An English workbook? Never mind them all! What you need is a bunch of newspapers and your English will come along nicely! ;-) The reason why I value newspapers so highly – especially tabloids - is because their purpose is to provide normal, everyday people with easy-to-digest news and English used in them is very close to the spoken language heard on the street, at work, on TV and radio. You can read tabloids very easily and in the process you’ll acquire the same means of expression used in interpersonal communication. While some academics might hold to a view that spoken English has low standards because of abundance of phrasal verbs and informal expressions, my experience tells me tabloid language will make your communication with other English speakers so much easier. After all, what kind of conversations are you involved on a regular basis – normal, everyday chatting or highly intellectual, academically inspired discussions? I think that without a shadow of a doubt the former kind of communication is by far more necessary for the average foreign English speaker, so let’s look at the benefits of reading English newspapers and tabloids in a bigger detail. Also, you’ll find out how just by scanning tabloid headlines you can stay up-to-date with current affairs and offer your opinion on different topics when having a chat with your friends at a launch table! (more…)

4 Reasons Why Any Foreign English Speaker Should Read English Fiction

My blog and also the whole English Harmony project are all about spoken English fluency and how to overcome related confidence issues. Reading English fiction most of the time, as I’ve pointed out numerous times throughout my blog posts, won’t help you improve your spoken English fluency and you still need to spend a considerable amount of time speaking English with other people in order to do that. Nonetheless, reading English fiction will definitely help you as a foreign English speaker. After all - who else can judge the usefulness of this pastime other than me - Robby, who reads whenever there’s free time available? At launch breaks at work, in bed before sleep, while waiting on appointments … sitting at an open window on a sunny Sunday morning and drinking coffee – all those and many more occasions are perfect for forgetting yourself while being immersed in events depicted by some English writer. (more…)

How To Achieve Fluent English Reading Knowing Only 70 – 80 % of Vocabulary!