What's the best way to improve reading? There are two types of reading: extensive and intensive. When we read alone at home, we are talking about longer books or articles. In class we generally work with intensive reading: shorter texts with comprehension questions.
Reading simplified books is probably the fastest way to get good at a language because as you read you practise vocabulary and grammar without thinking about it too much.
Should I use the dictionary with my reader?No.Apart from the fact that it makes your book eternal and rather boring, there are good reasons not to use a dictionary as you read your simplified book! Your target when you read is to get good at guessing meaning from context. If you always use a dictionary when you read, you will never do this! It is important that you choose a book that is not too difficult (no more than 10 difficult words a page and better if it is just 3 or 4).When you look up a word, the only thing you learn and revise is your Spanish and the odds are the next time you look at the word in English you will not remember it. On the other hand if you keep using context to guess a word, you will eventually learn it in English and get better and better at guessing meaning.
Should I translate my reader?No.Another doubtful strategy is translating everything you read. You would do better to read three more books than to translate in this way.
Share resourcesA great way to access plenty of books is with your classmates, using the resource library or visiting free online resource websites full of simplified readers. On your course you will probably read at least three books appropriate to level and discuss them with your classmates. There is no reason why you can't do this on your own!Just choose a book and read it with another classmate. It makes it a little more entertaining and gives you a good reason to finish the book.
But what if I hate readingSome learners have serious difficulties reading, even in their first language. This may be because they are dyslexic or have never acquired the habit of reading in their first language. If this is your case it is a pity but reading may not be the best strategy for you to learn. You may need to focus on listening or watching videos.