WHY reading is important
As you are reading, you are learning a lot of useful words and expressions.
You are also seeing how language structures are used.
As you are reading you are finding interesting new things to talk about in conversation.
What are the best books?
Read something interesting for you! When you are interested in something you focus on the content and not on the language.
The language flows into your brain without realizing it.
Read the right books
Reading should be fun so you should read things that you enjoy. Also, make sure the books you choose are not too difficult for you: choose books that are at an Italian level just above the one you’re most comfortable with.
You want to challenge yourself just enough to learn new things, but not enough to get frustrated with your reading.
Try graded books written especially for Italian language learners.
When you’re choosing books (and other texts) to read, think about:
- What you are interested in
- Your reading level
That doesn’t mean reading just books you can choose a magazine, a website, a newspaper, etc.
Comic books and children’s stories
Reading comic books is an effective and fun way to improve your reading comprehension and vocabulary.
The pictures help you to follow the story when you can’t understand all of the dialogue.
Children’s books are also a great way to perfect your Italian because you will find fun stories, simple vocabulary and images to help you to better understand.
However, traditional children’s books may contain advanced grammar such as the “Passato remote” tense, difficult to learn because it has a lot of irregular verbs and usually people don’t use it frequently when speaking.
Recommended for beginners level
La Pimpa (di Altan)
HOW – Read to Learn
Before reading it is important to know the general topic of the text so your understanding will increase.
- Is there a title or a picture?
- Are there any paragraph titles?
All these things will give you a general understanding of the text.
Simply guess the meaning of an unknown word and skip all the parts that you don’t understand.
Later you can read again and do it more carefully but use your dictionary for difficult words only after you’ve made an effort to find or think of the meaning by yourself.
Try to understand words from the context and you’ll learn them more effectively.
Unless you are reading to improve your pronunciation, don’t read aloud as you won’t concentrate enough on the meaning of the words and the context.
If you are reading a book, a good idea is to read the index of this book to have a general knowledge of the topic.
If the unknown word is not a keyword, that is the meaning is not so important, the dictionary is useful.
If the comprehension of this word is crucial to understanding the meaning of the text, then its meaning and function in the sentence can be of great help to using a dictionary.
Scanners, skimmers, and intense and thorough readers all use various reading strategies.
- Scanning: You look for a certain piece of information. You scan the material quickly from top to bottom to get only the details you require to respond to questions.
- Skimming: You attempt to quickly grab the most important information. You skim the material from top to bottom, making notes of key points.
- Intensive reading: You look for specific information details. What does a new word in line 5 mean, for example?
- Extensive reading: You look for the broad strokes of a piece. Thinking about what would be the most appropriate title for this passage.
Unless you practice regularly, you won’t really improve.
When reading books, a sense of achievement is very important because that keeps you coming back for more books.
The more you read, the more you learn.
Reaching the end of a book is the most important thing, more important than understanding every word.
You must accept that you won’t understand everything you read. This is completely normal and to be expected.
You might want to keep learning Italian online with these free resources: