I think reading is especially important. Research shows that if you read something you are interested in, you can improve your vocabulary, spelling, grammar, cultural knowledge, etc. So here are some suggestions. Expect many more to come later! I’ll also be posting specific ways in which you can do some of the following things.

  1. Read fun things like comic books and webcomics.
  2. Don’t use a dictionary when you read! Just try to follow the storyline.
  3. Read news articles on topics that appeal to you.
  4. Read local magazines and newspapers that are aimed at English-speakers.
  5. Read easy novels and short stories, or even children’s books if they are interesting.
  6. Read blogs.
  7. Buy a videogame system that will play English-language games, and play games with plenty of text, such as RPGs. The Nintendo DS plays US/UK games automatically–just buy an English game and put it in. You can also try a used Region 1 PS2.
  8. Practice skimming.
  9. Get an English-speaking penpal or e-mail penpal.
  10. Find web-based bulletin boards on a topic you like, such as a hobby or favorite actor.
  11. Try Twitter!
  12. Visit the Readable Bookstore.
  13. (Many more ideas will be posted later!)
  14. Check the Readable Blog posts tagged “Reading”!

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