english reading practice

In this video and article, I am going to give you an English reading method that will help you make fast progress to fluency.

You are going to learn:

  • the difference between intensive and extensive reading
  • how to find the books in English that are going to help YOU
  • a reading method that ensures you enjoy reading and helps you learn new words and phrases

Watch the video below and then, read the article. Let’s go!

TIP 1: INTENSIVE vs EXTENSIVE READING (and why this is important)

There are two types of reading: intensive and extensive.

Intensive reading is where you read to learn new words and phrases and to analyze grammar. You pause when you don’t know a word or when you want to study grammar.

Extensive reading is when you read for fun. You don’t stop to look something up. Instead, you continue reading like you would in your own language.

Which method is best? Well, this depends on a number of factors. Soon, you are going to learn how to do both at the same time 😲 – but first, let’s discuss which books in English are best for you.


A common question I get is this: which is the best book for learning English?

There is no one book that is best for all learners. A book that suits you might not work for other learners. Find books that:

  1. interest you. Don’t waste your time reading something that you find boring. There is no reason to read something that doesn’t interest you.
  2. you can understand. There is nothing more frustrating than reading something that is too difficult. Comprehensible input is something you should strive for.
  3. are specific to how you use English. For example, if you are going to take the IELTS exam, read IELTS sample papers. Or if you need to learn business English, find books that are related to business.

I highly recommend graded readers. These are books that have been adapted for learners like you. You can choose a book by level. Don’t think that these books are too basic. Basic English is good! Here is a video I made on this:

Most sites will give a preview of the book. Start reading for free and then, decide if you want to continue with it. Find audiobooks too – this will help you improve your listening.

I recommend the Kindle as it is PERFECT for the method that we’re going to talk about right now…


Remember the difference between intensive and extensive reading?

Well, here is a method that includes both of these. This method will help you learn new words and phrases and will improve your grammar too 😀 – here it is:

  1. Read extensively but highlight vocabulary/grammar that you don’t understand or that you want to learn
  2. Keep reading for one chapter or for a certain number of pages – again don’t stop to look anything up yet
  3. Once you have read a chapter, go back and look up words you don’t understand or grammar that you want to learn

Use ebooks and export your highlights

That’s it. This allows you to read for fun but to also learn something new at the same time. You’re not stopping every time you don’t understand something. Instead, you are reading for pleasure but highlighting language as you go. Once you reach a good stopping point, go back and look up words that you have highlighted.

Here’s a bonus tip: don’t just highlight single words – highlight full sentences instead. This is important for our next tip!

Here’s how to remember the vocabulary and grammar that you have just learned

Now it’s time for my favorite method that will take this one step further. It’s a method I recommend if you want to improve your speaking and your writing too.

This is what to do:

  1. Take the sentences that you have highlighted and export them (here’s how to do this on a Kindle). This works for ebooks and paper books
  2. Import these sentences into a spaced-repetition application (this is the one I recommend) to create digital flashcards
  3. Repeat the sentences so that you remember the vocabulary and grammar that you have learned

This is another simple method that will do amazing things for your English level. Once you have done this for a whole book, read it again. You will be amazed at how much you have learned. And this time you won’t need to stop at all. You’ll be able to fully focus on extensive reading.

Here is a video on this method:

Most websites that sell ebooks (like Amazon) give free book previews. Start reading for free and then, decide if you want to continue with it. Find audiobooks too – this will help you improve your listening.

Learn More About Reading in English and Books

One last tip: get as much reading practice as you can. Read, read, read!

Here are more posts and videos on this topic:

Learn English through Stories

The best books in English

Why you should read graded readers

Books, PDFs, and Audiobooks

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