Academic Tips: How to improve your reading

How to improve your reading

Reading is one of the easier skills to improve, and really helps your vocabulary. Here are some things you can do to improve your English reading skills.

How to improve your reading
Books. Books. Books. Read books.

**Important note: do not use a translator, use a dictionary**

Your phone

Change your phone to English. Once you can understand basic sentences English, you should be able to do this. Not only will this give you more opportunities to use  your English, it will improve your immersion. This is key to your overall improvement in the language.

Computer games

Games contain a lot of reading. Playing games in English make you learn while you have fun. This always helps. While some games are better than others for this, most games will have reading to do, including sports games, RPGs and FPSs. Like your phone, you should make sure that the language settings are in English.

Magazines and newspapers

Magazines and newspapers cover a range of topics and subjects. Find something you enjoy, and read all about it! A personal favourite is a monthly magazine called Reader’s Digest. You can find it in Eason’s among other places. It contains a variety of different topics, and would be especially useful for anyone preparing for exams to immerse themselves in new and interesting subjects.

If you think the news is too sad, try Good news network for some happy stories.


Comics contain more complicated language on average than novels. Not only that, they’re filled with pictures that help you piece together the story if you can’t figure out what a certain word means. This is an extremely effective way to read more, and enjoy it, especially at lower levels.

Comics are made for people of all ages, with various themes and styles. Manga, graphic novels, even material made for children is all useful.


Books. Books. Books. Read books. Your local library has a large range of books that you can borrow for three weeks for free.

Join here and visit your nearest library. They have graded readers, too, which are suitable for your level of English. Don’t read anything too complicated, or you’ll hate it and stop.

If you can’t go to the library, find free books online with Project Gutenberg, which has over 70000 free e-books because the copyright  has expired.

If you want to own your books, there are many bookstores in Dublin (Chapters and Hoggis Figgis are my favourites), or you can get free shipping from Kenny’s in  Galway.

Our own library is reasonably well stocked, too, with donations from many teachers filling the shelves.

Read something you enjoy, don’t read for the sake of it.

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