How to Improve Reading Skills in English

woman sitting cross legged on wooden floor surrounded by books

English Reading Tips

Reading and listening are one of the best ways to improve your English. Check out our listening blog for more tips!

Reading can increase your vocabulary. It can show you how to use the vocabulary you know in different situations, and which words are often used together. Reading can also help you understand English grammar. You do need to understand grammar rules, but when you read you can see how English people use grammar. 

Here I will give you 3 tips to help you enjoy reading and use reading to improve your English.

1. Read what interests you

It is important to read about topics you find interesting. If you are not interested in the topic you will be bored, and you will not concentrate on the English.

If you don’t like reading in your language, you don’t need to read lots in English. Just choose a shorter reading, you can still learn from it. There are also many different types of reading you can do:

There are also a lot of websites that are made for English learners to practice with. Here are some I recommend:

  • Excellent English school
  • Many levels to choose from


This website shows you readings and then gives you exercises that you can do after each one to make sure you understand what you are reading. 

  • Books for English language learners
  • Graded for all levels

This site is free to use, you do have to make an account though. There are a lot of books for all levels. Some of them are classic English novels. 

  • News articles with exercises

  • Good for intermediate to advanced

This website is good for higher levels. You can read the news articles and do the exercises. The answers are at the end for you to check. (You might need to create an account, but it’s free.)

2. Read everything 2 or 3 times

The first time you read something, write down the main idea in 1 or 2 sentences. If you don’t understand one of the words, underline it to check later, but don’t stop reading for the main idea.

The second time you read it, look up all the words you didn’t know in a dictionary or on a translator. Write the English meaning or the translation of the word in your language next to the word in the reading. Now check that the sentences you wrote about the main idea are correct.

If you want to read it again, you can focus on grammar or vocabulary. You can underline the different tenses (like present perfect and past simple) to practice your grammar. For vocabulary practice you can underline all the prepositions (like ‘in’, ‘on’, at’…) and check which word they are connected to.

Good dictionaries to use:

MacMillan English Dictionary

3. Don’t worry if you don’t understand a specific word

When you are reading it is important to focus on the main idea. You can use the title and pictures to help you understand. You should read the first time just to get an idea, ignore grammar and vocabulary that you don’t know. Check it later. We call this skim reading and native people do it all the time.

If you stop every time you don’t know a word you can get more annoyed and confused. Just look at the meaning of the sentence generally. This can help you feel more confident.

How can we help you?

In our classes we can teach you different techniques to help you understand different types of reading. We will also help you find which types of reading you use regularly, and what techniques will be the best for you.

Do you have any specific questions? Ask us in the comments below!

And when you’re ready, book a consultation with us so we can talk about what you need to practice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.