The pleasure and the importance of reading

Several days ago I made an interesting interview with our Lingqer Richard Protorich from England about ‘The pleasure and the importance of reading’.
We were talking about reading on the whole and about the importance of reading for the language learning in particular.
You can listen to this articvle and then write your own attitude to reading and how you use reading in your language learning.
Here is the link to our interview in English:


Nice one! It’s always lovely to hear British English, I mean RP.

          Hello evgueny, thank you very much for such interesting theme. Nowadays, in my place, young people are becoming aware of the importance of reading and some of them become book-nerds. I am actually one of them.

           I used to read since I was 5 years old, I read every book I found at home, books of my older brother and sisters.  At that age and for 7 years I used to read only in Arabic, this helped me improve my learning of Arabic and I became better than natives, I especially loved Arabic poetry. 

Every year, at the beginning of the new school year, I immediately read all the new books the teacher gave us, mine and my brothers’, yeah just like Richard said.

           Since I was in middle school, I read less books in Arabic and started to read mostly in French, I acquired a lot of vocabulary and became really fluent at French. when I entered at university, I read only in French. 

           Last year I started a  new tradition for me: new year book challenge: in 2015, I read more than 80 books, the challenge was to read 52 books, in term of a book per week. I read some scientific books and romance novels. This year, my challenge is :
    - to read 25 books on self development, time management, economy ...  but not a book on romance. I reached my quota the last year. 
    - to read at least 5 books in English language.
    - to read 2 books in Spanish : I started Cuentos de hadas de los hermanos Grimm, because I am a beginner in Spanish and when I build a lot of vocabulary and reach at least an A1 level, I will read La sombra del viento de Carlos ruiz Zafon. 

            I grow up reading books, and it was really important for me, I always bring a book with me wherever I go. I advice my friends to read and I talk to them about my readings. I know that some days this doesn't work but I keep optimistic , and last year, a friend of mine, told me that I change her and she is reading because of me. She found that really a pleasure. She is still reading. I know I can't change everyone, but if I had the power to change something someday, I will choose to give everyone this passion for reading. 


Thank you very much evgueny and Richard for this interesting topic !


What an inspiring story! If only we had more people in the U.S. that emphasized reading as a dire importance.

How would you say reading impacted your conversational abilities and comprehension in French?

Hello Dimethylamine!

In fact, I started learning French in primary school, when I had 9 years old, Our teacher started by teaching us the alphabet and for every consonant and vowel , each one will give her a word containing it. She read some French phrases (and after some texts) out loud and we repeat them. Next year, we read out loud a bit longer texts that we prepare at home with the help of siblings. At the same time, with each text to read, we catch some phrases and we study their grammar, orthography or conjugation. In her class, nothing allowed but French, we explain French by French. It was that way that I learn French. I studied it for 10 years. After high school, I studied in an engineering school, and all subjects were in French and we speak only in French, I learn then the technical vocabulary related to informatics, maths and physics, and I was specialised in chemical engineering.

Actually, reading allowed me to enrich my vocabulary. I read a lot and when I find a word I don’t understand I use a French-French dictionary (If I’m reading in my PC, I use the Encarta dictionary, If I’m reading a paperback I use Larousse). Reading allowed me too to learn phrases and sentences in real situations, I read them, I learn how and when to use them.
When you read a novel, it’s like a conversation between the characters. If you are caught by the writings, you will really see the scene in front of you, you will imagine it like a movie. I don’t know if that happens for someone else, but it really happens to me.

There is also a thing, I don’t only read, even if it’s my favourite hobby, I used to watch movies and series in French language too since my early age. We used to watch the series with my father: La petite maison dans la prairie, Inspecteur Derrick, Rex, chien flic, and Dallas . Six years ago, I developed some passion for thrillers and criminal series like criminal minds, blue bloods, person of interest, NCIS, white collar, the blacklist… I used to watch the French version but now I watch the English version to improve my English listening.

That’s how combining watching, listening and reading, I improved my conversational and comprehension skills in French.

There are a lot of books that can keep you attracted and motivated, and for me it was almost the books of Paolo Coelho, Julia Quinn and John Grisham, of course I read them in French. LEARNING, IS ALL ABOUT PASSION!

I hope I answered your question and that my answer will help you !

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And I have to say - your English is very good!.. How did you learn English and how books and films could help you?

Hi evgueny,
As you may know, in Algeria, French is the first foreign language and English is the second, there is not much people mastering English. In my region, we speak almost French and our mother tongue (Tamazight ), no Arabic, no English.

I started learning English at school when I attended middle school (at the age of 12). I learned it for 12 years : 4 years in middle school, 3 years in high school, and 5 years of technical English (science, technology and chemistry) in the engineering school.

English was for me a new subject, and as for all human beings, we are always attracted by new things. I liked learning English, I was totally invested in it. Teachers in both middle and high schools taught us using textbooks divided into units (greetings, family, city … Bribing and ill-gotten gains, education systems, safety, feelings, astronomy … ).

In each unit, we start by looking to a picture and discussing it ( say what it shows, answer teacher’s questions …), then we study a text, the teacher read it first then we read it out loud. we explore grammar and vocabulary around the text (link words, express cause and result, obligation and necessity, add suffix to adjectives, form opposites…) , we do some exercises about these skills, we also write an article ( opinion, argumentative speech, letter, descriptive article…) using all the stuff we learned, we study also proverbs and idiomatic expressions related to the unit …

In each unit, we have a project ( writing a chart of ethics, conducting a survey on the impact of advertising, designing booklets about astronomy, education… ) where we must use all the language outcomes (grammar, vocabulary, , functions … ) and skills and strategies outcomes (defending an opinion, introduce details, argument … ).

I love reading and writing , so I used to write a very long essays, when I encounter a word I can’t express in English I use my Harrap’s dictionary (English-French and French-English) ,this way I developed my writing skills more than listening or speaking. I also used to read all articles I find, all texts in the school books, so my comprehension is also good, but I still need to learn and progress more.

My problem for now is speaking, I don’t speak a lot , I’m a beginner. When I listen, it’s OK, I say I’m an intermediate. To remedy that, I started to listen to my favourite series and movies in English, I combine the practical and the enjoyable. I noticed a progress, I understand more than the beginning. For speaking, I aim to start an English speaking class in my city, twice a week.
What else could you advise me to do ?


Very good.
You can also try to find some English-native-speaker friends here or in the social nets.
Some sort of retelling can be useful for the development of your speaking skills, as well.

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Thank you for your recommendations Evgueny , I will surely do that.

Recently I had another opportunity to talk about reading - this time with Adrian who is from New Zealand but who has been living for many years in Sweden and works here at the university.
Here is the link to our conversation about reading: