Reading is a great way to learn words!

Vocab books

Something you won't be able to live without when learning a language is your own, personal vocab book. Create a new section for each new topic that you cover. This way every time you come across a new word, you can write it in your word book along with what it means in English. Just by going over your word book once a day will keep the words fresh in your memory.


Word book (Word doc, 180Kb)
Example of a Spanish word book (Word doc, 99Kb)

Reading for fun

To really practice your reading skills, do it for fun. Find something to read that interests you - when reading for fun there are no time limits and no questions to answer - it's just something enjoyable to do! Your teacher probably has some short stories and teen magazines in the foreign language which come with an English translation. You'll be surprised at how many ways there are to read books and articles in a foreign language without leaving the UK! 

Try typing the name of your favourite book alongside the language you're learning into Google and see what comes up, but bear in mind that not all books have been translated.

Here's a list of all the Harry Potter books in other languages; type them in on amazon and you'll be able to order yourself a copy. 

If you're a fan of Meg Cabot, why not see if you can get a copy of Journal d'une Princesse? Or if The Hunger Games are more your thing, have a look for Die Tribute von Panem.

Tips for reading

Handy hint:

“Only read a few sentences at a time. Focus on understanding what they mean rather than reading the whole thing in one go."

  • Language learning magazines have a list of translations next to the text, which saves you time having to look up new words.
  • Ask your teacher what reading materials they have which you could borrow.
  • Don’t forget to put all the new words that you come across into your vocab book - and remember to add the English meaning too.
  • Try reading your favourite magazine in another language
  • Share any article or book that you found interesting and fun to read with your friends; if you find it interesting, they might too.
  • Change your settings on social media to the foreign language you're learning at school - you’ll come across all sorts of new words that you'll already know the meaning of.
  • Read out loud to practice your pronunciation at the same time.
  • Each day learn 4 new words from your word book - a great way to learn these words is the ‘look, cover, say, write, check’ method. This is a simple, fun way to learn new words that will easily stick in your mind to use later down the line.
  • Only read a few sentences at a time. Focus on understanding what they mean rather than reading the whole thing in one go.