PAPER 1: READING
Reading is great!
The more you read in English before the exam, the better you will do in this paper. Reading is probably the best way to improve your grammar and vocabulary.
You will learn most if you enjoy what you are reading. So don't choose something that is too difficult for you. Remember that it doesn't have to be serious -unless, of course, you prefer serious things. There are lots of differents students who have enjoyed each of these types of reading:
- newspaper articles.
- sports magazines.
- film reviews.
- romantic stories.
- children's stories.
- travel information -about your own country or a place you have been to.
- translations of books you have already read in your own language.
- graded readers (well-known books which are adapted to your level of English).
VERY IMPORTANT: Don't look up every word in a dictionary when you read as this will spoil your pleasure in reading. Just look up anything that is essential for understanding. Then when you have finished you can go back and look up some more words and make a note of any useful expressions from the text.
Everyone agrees that the more we read the more our vocabulary will improve over time. Reading also helps students develop an awareness of how the language is used whether it is the tenses, fixed expressions or collocations. I've certainly found that the more I read in English the more the language embeds itself into my subconscious. The same applies to your mother tongue.
It is a good piece of advice to start reading adapted books: I would recommend Macmillan Readers. There are some levels from Starter to Stage 6 (Upper Intermediate). There are also good series of boods from Oxford University Press.
These books can be bought as e-books, there are plenty of audiobooks as well.
The books are short and can be completed ina reasonably short time. This, I think, is important as it gives the learner a sense of achievement when they have finished a book. It also encourages them to move on to the next level.