The Secret of Reading

The secret of reading to learn a foreign language.

is similar to to

The secret of Listening to learn a foreign language.

The Secret

The secret is:

focus on what you understand

Don’t focus on what you don’t understand.

Focus on what you do Understand

When you read a text, look at the first sentence.

Can you identify the verb?

Look for the verb then try to identify the tense.

The Tenses

Do you know all the tenses?

In English every verb has a tense.

You should know all the tenses. If you don’t know all the tenses you should set out to try and learn them.

Every sentence has verb and every verb has a tense.

Basically a verb is an action word and the tense tells us the time of the action.

Learn about the tenses at this link: The Tense Page

Tenses to Describe the Past: an Overview


After you have identified the verb, try to work out the tense.

The man who had given Johannes advice was sitting under a tree.

The tense is past continuous “was sitting”. The phrases “had given” is part of the subject:

the man who had given Johannes advice

Understanding Everything

You don’t have to understand everything. Focus on things you understand:

the man

the tree

That is enough. Then move on to the next sentence. Read like this, noticing what you understand and ignoring what you do not understand.

After a while you will notice that you understand many things. Seeing words and phrases again and again will reinforce them in your mind. It will improve your fluency.

Links to more Lessons

The Secret of Listening

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