Tag Archives: books

Contest Winners – Most Useful Techniques

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Thanks again to everyone who entered! Here are the first two winners. I’ve posted their submissions “as is,” which means that I didn’t edit their English. The main focus for this contest was good ideas, not perfect grammar!

The first category is “Most Useful Technique,” based on my opinion as a teacher and as a language learner myself. Two people submitted similar ideas, so there was a tie (two people scored the same/both won). Here’s the first one:

@10lizy's books

Hi!! 

I would like to introduce the tools of studying in English with attaching photo.
The notebook is necessary to memo for new words or new sentences.

The English-English dictionary and The Oxford Thesaurus are also necessary tools.
I use them since I was a student of English school in Malaysia.
The teachers recommended to use them!

Books are written by English.
I try to read them out!!
Picking up some nuances or learning way to native’s thinking from them.

The magazines, CNN English Express,to Include in CDs. I use for improving my listening.

That’s it!!

This combined technique was submitted by the user @10lizy on Twitter. It focuses on books, but she uses them in many ways. Graded readers are great for picking up vocabulary. Easy-to-understand regular books are great for learning words that go together and sentence patterns. She also mentions that it’s a good way to learn how native speakers think, and the nuances of words. She also uses English learning books with CDs for listening practice. She writes sentences and words in a notebook (some researchers say that this works well if you do it in a certain way.) Finally, she has a thesaurus and a dictionary to help her get a deeper understanding of words.



Here’s the second one:

Hi, I’m AlexaderBD on the twitter and this is the first time I  write to someone that have English as first language. xP

About the  contest I can say that my English was not that bad, but was not
that great  too, and my solution to improve it was to read books. I have choose
the reading of books because books are one of my big love. When I have a  doubt about some word in the book I use a dictionary
This is a picture  of the book I’m reading at the  moment.

alexaderbd's books

I  think this is what is suppose to do in the contest, if it isn’t please let me know.
But the main reason to make me participate is the help me  improve my English.
Hope you can understand everything I try to say.  :p

This technique comes from @alexaderBD on Twitter. He has a more direct approach of reading novels in English. He is comfortable reading English, loves reading, and speaks another language that’s related to English, so this is a great choice for him. Huge novels like The Stand (or Harry Potter) aren’t a good idea until you’re comfortable with them. If you are, then you can use them to improve your vocabulary, your reading speed, the different ways you can use words, your understanding of difficult things like articles, and so on.

If you just read books about English, it’s not very useful. But if you read books in English, I think it can be a very useful technique. Great job, both of you! If you wrote me about which prize you wanted, I’m sending your prizes soon. (Some people didn’t answer about their prizes…)

I’ll post more winners tomorrow!

A New Way to Read

If you do not live in an English-speaking country but you really want to read a lot more English, there is a new way to do it. Amazon.com has an “e-reader” called Kindle that lets you read books electronically. It’s very nice because the screen is very clear, like paper. It’s easier to read than a computer screen.

However, the old version had some problems. One of the problems was that it only worked in the USA. Now Amazon says there will be a new kind of Kindle, the International version, which you can use in a lot of different countries. This is pretty cool because you can buy and download English books to it very quickly.

The Kindle uses cell phone networks, not wifi. You don’t need to be in an internet cafe to download books–you can be almost anywhere. For example, if you are waiting on a train platform and you decide you want to read a book on the train, you can quickly use the Kindle to buy and download the book. In 5 minutes, you can start reading it. Of course, most of the books aren’t free. (Some books are free–just look up “free Kindle books” on Google to learn how.) When you use the Kindle, Amazon will charge your credit card for the books you buy. Because it’s so easy to buy books, you should be careful!

Also, some people have problems because the Kindle’s USB connection doesn’t work well with some computers.

You can use the Kindle to use the internet, but only on really basic, text-based sites like Wikipedia.

I don’t have a Kindle because I can buy English books cheaply since I live in the US. But if you want to improve your English and English books are expensive where you live, the Kindle might be a good idea for you. Remember, reading a lot is one of the best ways to improve your grammar, use of articles, use of prepositions, use of idioms, overall fluency, understanding of English-speaking cultures, and add to your vocabulary. If you are already advanced, then you can buy lots of regular English novels. If you’re still learning, you can find many books such as Staying Together, a Level 4 Cambridge English Reader, for Kindle. You can also subscribe to Simple English News on your Kindle, which is a newspaper that you will get every month.

If you see a book that you want that isn’t available yet, you should click below the book’s photo, where it says “I’d like to read this book on Kindle.” That will tell Amazon and the book’s publisher that people want a Kindle version to be made. They are adding Kindle versions all the time.

This map (move to the right to find Asia) shows where you can use the Kindle International Edition. In other countries, it won’t work wirelessly. It includes many countries, but not all of them. It should work well in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, France, Italy, Spain, and many other places.



Have you tried a Kindle for reading English? What did you think? Would it be useful for you?

(Note: If you buy a Kindle or something else from Amazon after clicking on these links or the Readable Bookstore link, Amazon gives me a small amount of money. It doesn’t change the price for you, however.)

More Books

I added more books to the Readable Bookstore, including some that are good for beginners (Frog & Toad) and high-beginner readers (The Littles). If you like The Littles, there are many more books in that series. Both series are old, but many people still love them. You may be able to find them at a used bookstore in the children’s section.

If you want to visit the Readable Bookstore later, the link is on the right side of the main Readable Blog page. It says “Books for Learning English: Readable Bookstore.” I try to add to it when I think of a good book for English learners (or teachers). If you buy a book through the bookstore, I get a small amount of money from Amazon. But you don’t need to do that. You can just use that page as a useful list of books.