Benefits of English reading


Some of you who are just starting to learn English may have heard of a learning method called "reading carefully". What kind of learning method does English reading mean and what kind of effect does it have?

In this article, we will explain in detail what English perusal is, as well as the benefits and specific learning methods. We also introduce recommended reference books for reading English carefully, so if you are unsure about choosing a text, please take a look.

What is English reading carefully? How is it different from extensive reading?

Perusal of English means "scrutinizing" English sentences. It is not just a scan, but a task of paying attention to the words, grammar, and structure used in the English sentence, and reading while understanding each one.

"Extensive reading" is a learning method similar to careful reading, but it should be noted that these have different learning purposes. Extensive reading does not pay close attention to words, grammar, or structure, but aims to read a large amount of English sentences and become accustomed to English.

Therefore, compared to extensive reading, careful reading is characterized by the fact that it takes a long time to finish reading a sentence or book. In some cases, you may go back and read back to what you didn't understand.

In junior high school and high school classes, you may have a memory of breaking down English sentences while applying sentence patterns such as SVO. You can think that the learning method at that time is relatively close to careful reading.

What are the benefits and effects of perusing English?

Here, we will explain the specific benefits and effects of careful reading.

Improves vocabulary and grammar

Careful reading is ideal for training your vocabulary and grammar. It is not uncommon for words and phrases to come to my mind through the work of voluntarily searching for vocabulary that I do not understand, such as looking it up in a dictionary or searching for it.

Also, depending on the theme of the book you use for learning, the same vocabulary will appear many times, so you will often remember it naturally even if you don't feel like memorizing it.

With regard to grammar, by paying close attention to each English sentence, you will deepen your understanding of the subject, verb, object, and complement. English grammar fits into one of the five patterns called the "fifth sentence pattern", but once you know the grammar, it is not difficult to identify the sentence pattern.

Vocabulary and grammar are important skills that can be said to be the foundation of English, and it is possible to lay a solid foundation for English through careful reading.

You will be able to understand the structure of English sentences

People who have vocabulary but cannot read English are largely due to their inability to understand the structure of English. Many people cannot read English because they do not understand the structure, and as a result, they dislike learning English.

Especially in English sentences where one sentence is long and there are many modifiers, many people may not be able to see what is the subject and what is the object.

In careful reading, we focus on the structure of English and work on breaking down sentences. It is necessary to analyze not only sentence patterns such as SVO, but also where long modifiers hang and what the demonstratives refer to. As a result, you will acquire the ability to understand the structure of English. Eventually, you will soon be able to see the structure by looking at the English text without having to think deeply.

You will be able to understand the meaning in every detail

Since you read the text slowly in careful reading, you will notice small details that you would normally miss.

For example, let's say you're reading English and the phrase "at school" appears. Normally, I just look at the sequence of "at + school" and read it as "at school", but in careful reading, I have to think for myself "why at is used" and "why in and on are not good". increase.

In addition to prepositions, there are many vocabularies and grammars in English that say, "I can read somehow, but I don't know how to use them in detail." You can learn how to use the vocabulary and grammar that you have been using until now through careful reading.

Speed up reading English

The perusal itself is done slowly without worrying about the time, but by continuing the perusal work, the speed of reading English sentences will eventually increase.

Many people are worried about the slow reading speed of English sentences, but one reason is that they do not understand the basics of words, grammar, and structure.

Careful reading trains the basics of reading English, such as words, grammar, and structure, so you can read English faster without having to practice reading fast.

Also, although it takes concentration to read a lot of English sentences quickly, by repeating the work of careful reading, you will become accustomed to reading English sentences, and you will not be frustrated even if it is a long sentence.

What are the effective methods and procedures for reading English carefully?

Here, I will explain the specific method and procedure on how to make it effective by reading English carefully.

1. First, choose a book. Something a little more difficult than your level

Whether or not you can get the effect by reading carefully depends greatly on the selection of the first book (teaching material). If you choose a book whose level is too low, you will not be able to acquire new knowledge no matter how much you read it, and your English will not improve. On the other hand, if you choose a book that is too high in level, it will take too long to finish one book, which is inefficient.

When choosing a book, it's best to read a few pages and feel that it may be a little difficult. Choose a book that somehow understands the content, but has vocabulary that you haven't seen or grammar that you can't analyze smoothly.

It is also important to select a book of the genre you are interested in as a way to prevent the pain of learning English.

2. Read carefully once without worrying about time. If you don't understand, use a marker

After choosing a book, it's time to start a specific perusal task. When you first read an English sentence, don't worry about the time and search for "where you can't understand" in detail. Focus on words that you don't understand, phrases that you don't understand, and sentences that you don't understand the structure of.

And, please draw a marker for all these incomprehensible parts. You can use markers of the same color for all of them, but depending on the person, it will be easier to see later by color-coding items such as words, phrases, and grammar.

At this point, all you have to do is mark it, and you don't have to look up the meaning of the word or analyze the grammatical structure.

3. Find out the meaning and structure of the parts you didn't understand

After reading through the text and drawing a marker on the part you do not understand, you will start to understand the marker part. If you don't understand a word or phrase, use a dictionary or reference book to find out its meaning. After looking up words and phrases, read a sentence and if you can understand the meaning, you will notice your lack of vocabulary.

Also, don't forget to analyze the grammar and structure. If you don't know how the sentence is made at a glance, try separating each word by part of speech, such as SVO. By carefully decomposing each word into parts of speech, you can easily visually understand what the verb points to and where the modifier hangs.

4. Finally, read from the beginning again

When you have analyzed all the marked points, read the book again from the beginning. If you read it again and you can understand everything perfectly, it's okay. However, in reality, there are some parts that have been forgotten to be marked, and some parts that are not well understood.

If you still don't understand after reading the second time, read step 2 [Read it carefully without worrying about the time. If you don't understand, you need to start over with the marker. The second mark should be color coded to differentiate it from the first mark. The procedure is the same, after the mark is completed, the analysis work is started again, and when the analysis is completed, it is read again from the beginning.

5. Repeat the procedure if there is something you do not understand even the second time

After the second analysis, I read the book again, and as a result, there may still be some parts that I still don't understand. In that case, do not leave the unknown part alone, but repeat the same procedure over and over until you understand it.

Unlike learning to read all at once, such as extensive reading, careful reading can be stressful because you read the same book over and over again. You may want to give up on the way, but through this repetitive work, you will acquire solid vocabulary and grammar.

Therefore, it is important to carry out a rigorous check with the goal of perfect understanding, rather than obscuring the mark or cutting corners in the analytical work.

What are the precautions to take when reading English carefully?

In order to maximize the effect of reading English carefully, here are some points to be aware of when implementing it.

Don't try to read fast

Especially when the amount of sentences is large, you may try to read quickly because you have to finish the book in a hurry. However, careful reading is not a learning method for reading quickly, but a learning method for finding your weaknesses and improving your vocabulary and grammar.

If you read quickly, you may not be able to find your weak points or points that you do not understand, and you may end up reading the book with your English proficiency not much different from the beginning.

Therefore, it is important not to be too conscious of time when reading carefully. Allow time to stop and think hard until you have a perfect understanding. However, if you don't understand it over time, be aware that the difficulty of the book itself may not match.

Don't choose a book that is too difficult or too easy

I mentioned the importance of choosing a book first, but it's important not to choose a book that is too difficult or too easy. For example, even if your English ability is at the university entrance exam level, if you choose a book at the junior high school level, there are few vocabulary and grammar that you can newly input.

On the other hand, even if your English ability is at the junior high school level, if you choose an advanced book, you will end up in a situation where you can hardly understand the contents of the book. Not only does it take an enormous amount of time just to mark it, but it will be impossible to analyze the English text itself.

When choosing a book, it is important to choose a "slightly difficult teaching material" that is a little time-consuming to read, although you can understand the general content, but there are some unclear points such as words and grammar.

Do not check the Japanese translation of what you do not understand

It's easy to get rid of it, but don't check the Japanese translation when you find something you don't understand. If you check the Japanese translation immediately, it is difficult for you to remember it because you did not come up with the answer yourself.

Careful reading is not the purpose of reading a book, but the purpose of crushing parts that you do not understand. You can acquire solid English proficiency by knowing the points that you do not understand and examining the meaning and structure by yourself.

Also, if you look at the Japanese translation, you cannot train your ability to guess the context. Imagine the context from the surrounding words and sentences is also an important skill in English, so please read it on your own first.

5 Recommended Reference Books for Reading English!

Finally, I would like to introduce five recommended reference books for each level when reading English carefully.

A standard book for reading English carefully, which is lectured by "God of English for Examination"!

" Introduction to English Interpretation Class " is a reference book by Mr. Kazuo Ito, a preparatory school instructor who was also called "God of English for entrance exams". Basic editions and new editions have also been published, but the introductory edition introduced here is suitable for those who are trying to read carefully for the first time or those who are not very confident in their English ability.

The structure of the book is simple and neat, and all you have to do is read the example sentences and translate them into Japanese. If you read the explanation on the next page of the example sentence, you will understand the content of the English sentence, so it is a good idea to use it as a final check to confirm that you really understand it.

The content is characterized by covering points that English learners can easily make mistakes, such as how to distinguish between transitive verbs and intransitive verbs, and how to distinguish between adjectives and adverbs. The English Interpretation Class Series is a good book that has been well received by English learners for a long time, so it is recommended to try the basic edition and the new edition after the introductory edition.

Recommended level Beginner ~ Intermediate
author Kazuo Ito
publishing house Kenkyusha
Price (tax included) 1,287 yen

You can understand the structure of English sentences in a question format!

" English reading textbooks that can be understood from the basics " is a teaching material that allows you to acquire English reading comprehension skills that are used in a wide range of situations such as TOEIC, TOEFL, and English for entrance exams. Questions such as "Translate this sentence into Japanese" and "What is the part of speech of this word?" Are described below the English sentence, and you can understand the structure of the sentence naturally just by answering the question. Therefore, even those who do not understand the points of careful reading will not be confused about the learning method.

In addition, the page labeled “Points of the Frame of Reference” summarizes important points for careful reading. Just by memorizing this page, you should be able to learn the idea for understanding the sentence structure.

Recommended level Beginner ~ Intermediate
author Minai Yoshiro
publishing house Kenkyusha
Price (tax included) 1,650 yen

Graduation from "somehow readable level" with abundant commentary!

" English Reading Lecture to Brush Your Thinking " is a book that allows you to carefully read topics related to daily life such as "discipline of children" and "causes of sleepiness in the daytime". There are many English sentences with familiar themes, so you can study without getting tired.

One of the features of this book is that the amount of explanation for one theme is abundant. By carefully reading the detailed explanations, you can improve your English proficiency from "I thought I was reading somehow" to "I can understand the sentence structure firmly".

Most of the exercises cannot be solved with enough English ability to read English sentences. If you are not good at English but feel that you cannot interpret the details, you will be able to acquire solid English proficiency in this book.

Recommended level intermediate
author Minai Yoshiro
publishing house Kenkyusha
Price (tax included) 1,760 yen

Comprehensive important syntax and understand native interpretation!

" Basic English Problem Seminar " is a book that can be called a standard English reading for learners of English. It is divided into syntax, context, and application, and you can touch various sentences because there are a lot of example sentences. The syntax section covers important syntax necessary for interpreting English, and the amount of knowledge will increase dramatically just by holding down this section.

The point of the context edition is to explain in detail theoretically the English used by native speakers without being aware of it. Many people are not good at finding out what demonstratives such as that and it point to, but the context section also includes training to deepen their understanding of demonstratives.

Also, because it is smaller than a regular reference book, it is perfect for those who want to study while carrying it around.

Recommended level intermediate
author Nakahara Michiki, Usami Mitsuaki
publishing house Obunsha
Price (tax included) 1,375 yen

Good quality problems at the university entrance exam level! A finishing book for advanced English speakers

" Platica English Long Text " is recommended for advanced users who can understand the above four books. From the questions that appear in university entrance exams, 25 more high-quality questions are carefully selected. There are many problems for exam preparation, but it is also suitable for those who want to improve their English proficiency by touching difficult vocabulary, grammar, and complicated syntax.

The commentary page is easy to understand and not only contains explanations about words and grammar, but also introduces ideas for each problem. In addition, important words are summarized in the answer booklet, and vocabulary is greatly improved just by memorizing them. By solving 25 slightly shorter long sentences, you will be able to improve your ability to read English.

Recommended level superior
author Yuji Suzuki
publishing house Kawai Publishing
Price (tax included) 996 yen