Hello girls! I hope you are having an amazing day so far. If you are actively learning a foreign language, or passively through immersion, you may be unsure about what to read in your target language.
Reading is one of the four main skills of language learning, and even though some people say this one is easier than speaking or writing, it is hard depending on the text you choose to read.
That is why I wanted to share with you a list of different kinds of reading material that can be useful to you depending on your level of language fluency.
So, let’s begin!
*Disclaimer: If you are in the beginner stage and want to read something I put on the list of ‘advance level’, try to do it and see if it’s too difficult for you or not. If you are at an advanced level with your target language and you want to read something I categorized as ‘easy’, of course, you can also read it! Just do what feels right for you and take this post as a guide of difficulty level.
Memes are a cool and easy way to practice your reading skills if you are just starting with a language. I am in level A1 of German, so I follow some German memes accounts on Instagram and even though I don’t know a lot of vocabulary, I can still understand a little bit of the text thanks to the images. You can always search for the meaning of words you still don’t know!
Extra tip: Save your favourite memes on your Instagram or cellphone, so that you can read them again when you want to laugh and practice at the same time.
Read my post about how to Organize Your Notebooks to Learn Languages
>> Instagram Posts
Go now to Instagram and follow some native speakers of your target language right now if you haven’t done it yet. Being able to read REAL language is going to help you a lot to acquire it the way natives communicate on a daily basis. Read the posts of your favourite actors, musicians, entrepreneurs, YouTubers, etc! The fact that you admire them is going to make the experience a lot better.
Extra tip: After reading the post and trying to understand and infer the meaning of it, you can click on ‘translate’ so that you know if you got it right or not.
>> Tumblr Posts
This is similar to Instagram and you can do it in case you prefer using Tumblr rather than Instagram. Search for some accounts in the language you are learning and enjoy the experience of reading cool content while practising your reading skills! Somehow you will be able to learn more vocabulary and how the sentences are built.
>> Songs’ Lyrics
I wrote a full post on how to practice languages with music that you can read here. But in general terms, you can practice your reading skills by analyzing the lyrics of your favourite songs in your target language. Identify and highlight the verbs, nouns, prepositions, etc. Read the lyrics out loud and try to understand the meaning of it.
This is a little bit harder for beginner level, but still not really hard. If you like cooking or baking, you can try to search for popular recipes in the countries where your target language is spoken. Read each recipe and infer the meaning of the words you still don’t know. You can also search them on a translator so that you can understand the full text. After that, buy the ingredients of the one you liked the most, and try to cook following the recipe. As you already read it before and searched the words you did not know, it’s going to be easier for you. If you want to be extra sure so that you don’t mess it up, you can translate the sentences or words you don’t remember!
>> Comics and webtoons
Even though you can try to read short webtoons and comics at a beginner level, you will enjoy it a lot more as an intermediate student, as you will understand more of the story. This will also make you more excited to read the following chapters of each series of comics you follow.
Extra tip: If you are reading from a physical copy, you can put some sticky notes with the meaning of difficult words that you tend to forget.
Read my post about how to use your Bullet Journal to Learn Languages
If you are a fan of poems this is going to be extra enjoyable for you, but if you don’t, then at least poems are kind of quick to read (at least most of them). This is similar to songs, but probably with a more advanced vocabulary. You can search for the words you don’t understand and analyze the deep meaning of some sentences.
>> Blog posts
If you like to read about a specific topic in blogs, try to search for similar ones but in your target language. Wouldn’t it be cool to read about photography in Italian? would you like to read about being an entrepreneur in French? Whatever you enjoy reading in English or your native language, can also be read on the language you are learning.
Read my post about how to get motivated again to learn languages.
>> Short tales
When you are in an intermediate level you often want to read cool stories in your target language, but as books are a little bit hard (for some people), a good tale can be an excellent option! Search online for tales you already read in English or your native language, and read them in your target one. You can also search for tales that are part of the popular culture of the countries where your target language is spoken. This way you can also learn about the country while improving your reading skills.
>> Books for Kids
If you still want to read a full book, and you also like images, you can try reading books made for children. They are nice, short, with easy vocabulary and they always give a meaningful message to the reader. If you are in the beginner stage you can also try to read one of these!
>> Articles online
If you like the experience reading blog posts, you can take one more step by reading articles. These are more difficult to read and have a more specific vocabulary that you may not know. Search for the words you don’t understand and write them down so you don’t forget them!
Extra tip: You may want to read each article more than once. It is normal to get more words and understand more things when you read for a second or third time.
Reading an essay requires that you know some key vocabulary and formal words that people in an advanced level often know. If you are in this stage, reading an essay can be challenging but at the same time, you will be able to understand most of it. You can challenge yourself to read a C1 or C2 level essay and see how much you can understand from it.
Remember about reading blog posts in topics you like? Well, this is the next step. There are magazines for many different topics, and you can read them online or in physical copies. Probably you will be more able to read a magazine in your target language on the internet unless you can buy a physical one.
Search for magazines in the topics you like (video games, music, pop stars, fashion, etc) on your target language. Wikipedia may help you or other kinds of websites. Once you find the one(s) that fit the most with your style, you can read every issue that comes out and enjoy the content while practising your reading skills.
Now it’s the perfect time to read a good book in your target language. Of course, you can do it in the beginner or intermediate level, but in the advanced one, you will get a lot more things. You will be reading in ease and the experience will feel smoother.
Read the books you have loved in English or search for new ones you are interested in reading. Buy the physical copy and put some sticky notes on keywords or the sentences that you liked. You can also download or purchase the digital version and highlight what you want using a reading app.
Are you struggling to learn foreign languages? Check out my language study organization course!
I hope you have enjoyed this post and it is useful for you. Leave me in the comment section below what kind of text you prefer reading in your target language!
If you want more content for language learning, follow me on my Instagram account @blissogirl. Each week I upload new quotes, IGTV videos and more.
Have a beautiful day,