My Changes After Reading Books for Language Learning
ISSUE 08. 07. 2022
Last Updated 08.07.2022
In this post, I will talk about the changes that I experienced after I started reading books in English for my English learning.
Before start, I have to let you know this first. I had a preparation period before this 1st month in which I read 25 easy books. Therefore, the first month means the first month that I dedicated to reading. Since I am planning to talk about the preparation period in another post, I will skip this part and move on to the main subject.
In the first month, I spent a lot of time on reading, especially the first month. I didn’t measure the time, therefore, I am not certain but I think I spent more than 40 hours a week on reading and searching the meaning of the words. Majority of the time was spent on searching words than reading. From this time, only thing I remember is cooking, eating, reading, studying, taking a break and… maybe a little bit of playing Overwatch…..(guilty :P) In the second and third months, I spent less time than the first month but it was still a lot, in my opinion.
I can read English subtitle in movies?
Before the first month, I couldn’t really watch movies or TV shows with English subtitles because I was too fast to read. I always had to pause to read the subtitles. It was not like I could understand everything if I pause, but when I do, I could find many of them were understandable. It was just too fast to catch.
If there is any who is learning a language, you will understand how fast they change. Sometimes I even think Korean subtitles move past fast! How faster would it be for a foreign/second language?
You know… Pausing many times while watching movie… is sometimes frustrating. You can’t do it when you are watching with somebody else. When the show is fun, you don’t want to pause because you want to know what’s next. Pausing too many times for one movie? Forget about studying. Let’s change to Korean subtitle and focus on the story.
I read 4 books in the first month. My reading speed rapidly increased while reading the first two books. After 3rd book I had no problem watching a easy movie with English subtitle. I know I would have had to pause if my reading speed remained the same. The movie I watched was not a regular movie, It was an animation movie called <Doraemon L Stand by me>. I felt my reading speed was constantly increasing even after the first two books. This helped me reading not only the books but also articles in English or other documentations, easily.
Change of perception
Before I started my read-english-book-project, I had a huge dislike for reading English books. By going through 2 times of failure on this project, reading English books became a no-no thing to me. Just looking at the books stressed me out.
When I finished the first book, I felt confident. I could do it too! I can do it!!! The taste of success was the key energy for me to move onto the next. The happiness that I felt after finishing each books, kept the wheel going. After 4 times feeling a huge happiness giving me confidence? Goodnight! Reading English books is no longer an insurmountable mountain. It is what gives me the feeling of success, confidence, and happiness.
Words, Words, Words…. Oh boy, I really had so many words to search!!! I had to search more than 400 words in the first book, around 700 words in the second book! I read a few chapters and then searched words before moved on the next chapters. I had so many words that I didn’t know… I searched words all day long. Because of that, even though I spent most of my time on this, it still took 10-14 days to finish a book. At the time, I was motivated since my reading was going well, I felt empowered to succeed this project. I didn’t even feel tired from this many searching… If you ask me to do it again? Ew… I am kind of sick of searching words now. I don’t think I can do this again…
A good thing from this many searching was that I used at least one word from the search a day, in my speaking. I did not force this. I simply did it because it naturally came up in my head. Well… it would be weird if that didn’t happen… right? I searched more than 30 words a day?!!! If no words come up in my head….? I should see a brain doctor.
My reading speed increased a lot in the first month, but compared to the 2nd month? It was nothing. It seemed like the speed is accelerating. The faster the reading gets, the more comfortable I felt with reading too.
I had been “studying” the books so far, instead of “enjoying” it. I assumed this was caused because the books I chose were higher than my level. The two books I read were already at home. Therefore, I didn’t check the levels of the books beforehand. The other two books were recommended online as “Easy books for beginners”. If “easy” mean by “difficult”, yes, sure. It was easy. The amount of word searching made me feel I was practicing word searching instead of reading, honestly.
Change of Attitude
To fix the problem, I lowered the level of the books, thinking perhaps, I had been arrogant about my English reading. After picking easier books, I started enjoying the books as it was. The feeling of studying was almost gone. If I say, I used to “study” the books at a table with a full setting on the table in the first month? The second month, I read it in bed laying down or sitting in a couch more relaxed. I was glad my reading habit was finally back!(“Studying” books doesn’t feel like a reading habit) I no longer read the next book by the satisfaction of finishing books or the happiness I tasted after achieving the long yearning project, I read because I wanted to. Bye Bye, Study. Welcome fun reading!
I started reading books with Audio Books. I felt more comfortable listening than reading, yet. Audio books supported me on reading making reading easier. At first, audio books’ default speed was too fast. I had to lower the speed to 0.8-0.9, especially at the beginning when I am still figuring out what the book is about. After I picked up the story, I could listen with default speed or a bit faster.
I noticed a few words that I learned from the first month while reading. I assume my vocabulary is expanding!
Reading Speed Almost there, 88%;;
I feel that my reading speed is around the destination. It has been rapidly increasing. This month I felt it was at around 95% of the fastest speed It can be. But later(I am writing this at the 8th month) I figured there were more room to grow. So I left it at 88%. When I read Korean books I normally do intensive reading slowly. I can say my reading speed was almost at the level.
I got a bit tired of words searching, I started reading easier level books. At the same time,I chose different subjects books to have variety of vocabularies. For this reason, I am learning words that I might never see again or use. This might slow me down on seeing the result or feeling the result sooner, but eventually I believe it will make my vocabularies better in general.
I read easy children’s book without audio books and read the thicker books, mostly YA books with audio books. In the second month, I told you reading with Audio Books helped me a lot, but I had to lower the speed of audio books. From the third month, I felt that the default speed of audio books is slower than my reading.
I am seeing more words I learned from books on new books. I was proud of myself whenever I could remember the meaning of words. It was like a surprise quiz and I nailed it!
From the very beginning, I set a goal to read English books as in English instead of translating every single sentence in the book in Korean.
Since I felt too much pressure reading English books, I wasn’t sure if I could continue. I was doubting in the first and the second month. Especially in the first month. I felt it was impossible to continue or have it as my habit because the 3rd and 4th book I read was too difficult for my level. I felt so bad about my English skills. But after trying this and that from the second month, I thought it was possible to make it as my habit. And my prediction was correct.
One of reason I thought this was possible was that my reading speed sped up during 1st-3th month period. Thanks to the faster speed, reading became a fun activity instead of hard studies. I hoped I would be able to turn my reading Korean books habit into reading English books habit. By trying this and that I succeed it..
I did not discuss or share what I am going to talk about in other blog posts. You can check more information that will help you start reading for your language learning and my progress in next posts. The next one will be my changes in 4th-6th months.
I know there are grammatically incorrect sentences. Since I am still struggling with reading and vocabularies, I am pretty sure my writing would be not so good too. But please bear with me since I want to record my writing skill too. So one day I can read them again and say “Darn it, I wrote this MESS?”. Haha. But you can always correct me if you don’t mind. If you enjoyed my post, please hit the heart button below. And have a great day:D