How to get the most out of graded readers

i got some of Hueber`s graded readers for my German and read one of them with pleasure, but i feel like something is missing. do i really read it again and again to make sure that i really know all of the words in the book? if so, where is the fun in that? Steve always says to learn effectively, the activity we are doing must be fun. I wonder if you guys have any suggestions. thanks in advance.

I agree with you. I think that the best part of readers is that what you’re supposed to do is, well, just read and enjoy the story. Graded readers offer the added benefit of reducing the effort by limiting the vocabulary and providing glossaries and other aids.
I simply read a bit everyday and maybe go through the vocabulary a couple of times but I don’t re-read too many times, often I only read once and I don’t insist on memorizing the vocabulary.
My last reader was this:
So far, I have only read it once. I may go back if I feel the need but now I’m mostly reading material meant for natives.

It’s not necessary to read anything more than once. If there are a ton of unknown words then there might be some advantage there by re-reading, but if there are that many words then it was probably too difficult anyways. You’ll want to be able to get a feel for the meaning of the word and not treat the definition like a flashcard. Keep grinding and you’ll make lots of real progress.


You don’t have to re-read. As you read other things you will encounter those words again. And if you don’t find enjoyment out of re-reading then definitely don’t do that. For German there are plenty of sources of new reading material.

Having said that…For myself I do re-read a lot of things. Here’s a chance to get in some practice with some new words, and I always have a feeling like I’m going to miss out on another chance. Not true, of course, but some regular words can be rare enough at the level I’m into now, that it might be a long-ish time before I read it again (note, I only spend about a half hour or so a day or less) so I feel it beneficial to read short articles several times. However, I do NOT stick with it until I learn every last word. After a few readings, if I haven’t got some of the words, then I move on. I think at some point an article/chapter/etc. has provided all it can for you and that word or words you’ll have to grasp in a different context, or comeback after some time and re-read again. Some words it will take forever for them to stick and it’s best to move on and learn new vocabulary that will stick a lot easier.

Also…you WILL forget words, even after you “know” or think you know them. So it’s not necessary to labor over trying to get those hard to learn words in your brain. Some other reading material may help you hang on to that word from a different context.

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