Read Literature to Learn a Language

Audiobooks, textbooks, and more abound to help you learn a language. These are wellworth considering if you’re taking your project seriously. However, few things can make learning a language as easy, or be as fun as reading the literature you really want to read.

Literature carries not only the grammar and vocabulary of a language, but all of its meaning and nuance, as well.  Literature is a lens to the world; it is sometimes argued that an era’s fiction is a more accurate, firsthand view than a history textbook could ever offer. Literature offers, in print, all of the tools for real communication in a language.

El Lazarillo de TormesSo, how do you go about using literature to learn?

Start with something simple. If you’re a beginner, don’t be afraid to reach for a children’s book. Or, try a graphic novel, or comic book. Work your way up to more lengthy, complex works of literature. It’s a process; keep your dictionary with you and look up any terms you don’t understand. You can also have the translation in your native language, too, and compare the two side-by-side.

Audiobooks are also of great help. Part of learning a language thoroughly is hearing it and speaking it. Audiobooks bring all the text has to offer to life. Listen to the audiobook with the text in front of you. You both see and hear. Anytime you don’t understand something, pause and look it up. A great thing about dictionaries now is that you can get them online, and you can even click and hear the word you want to know. The first few times, listen while reading, then try just listening to see if you understand.

You can also enjoy the process with a partner. Read aloud to someone, or let them read to you while you follow along. Look up words and pronounce them together.

Get everything you need to read and learn a language at World of Reading.

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