Don’t get discouraged when faced with long texts!

Getting into reading extensively in another language can be hard. Making that leap from level-controlled learner-centered material to materials made for native speakers can especially be hard because the grammar and vocabulary is so much more varied. It’s easy to get a bit down when faced with such a text. I definitely remember feeling that way, myself. I would be handed long articles to read in my third-level Korean class, and I remember thinking “Oh god, this will take me forever to read!” The feeling would be compounded when words I didn’t know kept cropping up, so I had to keep stopping and check the dictionary…

But! If you keep at it, it definitely gets better! One of the things that I found helped me was reading just for the sake of reading. Start small, maybe sort paragraphs of writing or news articles. Just read them straight through without grabbing the dictionary, no matter how many words you don’t know (bonus points if you read it out loud!). I find that a lot of people put too much pressure on themselves to understand passages the very first time they read, which is why I recommend making your first read-through a zero-pressure read. Just get used to looking at the words and hearing them in your head. Then, try reading it through again, this time trying to grab some of the meaning. You can break out the dictionary if you want, but like I said in my reading tips post, resist the urge to look up every single word, instead focusing on the ones that seem most important.

If you challenge yourself to read like this a few times a week, you’ll feel more comfortable reading longer and longer texts. Even if you can’t totally understand them, you won’t get that immediate feeling of dread just from seeing the length of the passage.

Keep at it! Happy studying~