In a previous blog we looked at ways to improve your listening from home. Here we're taking a look at reading, using our carrot and stick technique:
Carrots - Things you enjoy doing, but done in English
Sticks - Things you have to do, but done in English
Reading Hacks: Carrots
1) English Magazine Subscriptions
Choose a hobby, or anything you are interested in, and check if there are any English language magazines which you could buy a subscription for. If you can't think of anything there's always this weekly version of The Guardian newspaper.
Some magazines also include audio editions of their articles so you can improve your pronunciation and listening at the same time, for example with The Economist.
2) Joining Book Clubs
If you already enjoy reading, finding an English language book club is an ideal way to encourage you to read more in English, and you can also meet new friends and improve your English speaking at the same time.
You can search MeetUp.com to see if there are any local book clubs, but you can also join online book clubs wherever you are: GoodReads.com has 1000s of online book club groups ready for you to join, and there are also Youtube based groups such as this one aimed at women.
Even better - start an English book club yourself!
Reading Hacks: Sticks
3) Change your language settings
We now spend on average 23 days a year on our phones - imagine if all this time we were also improving our English reading skills!
You can change the language settings to English on all your electronic devices to make sure you are getting English practice in your home. Mobile phones, televisions, laptops, tablets, SatNavs, games consoles etc.
4) Watch films with English subtitles
Most students do this to improve their listening, but reading and vocabulary skills also improve with each film you watch according to research.
So log in to Netflix, turn on the TV, or download a film (legally, of course), and let your English reading skills improve.