Some English students struggle with finding useful articles and literature. Reading only for learning might be boring, and it is not clear how to find valuable and exciting sources to improve your English.
I believe that reading is the most efficient activity for learning a new language. By reading your favourite books or magazines, you can acquire new vocabulary, learn grammar constructions, repeat spelling and widen your horizons. But finding good literature is not an easy task. The news might be depressing or contain a lot of abuses or advertisements, and books might be about something you have never wanted to read. So in that post, I decided to assemble all the useful sources I found in my English learning way, so you can try them too and decide which one is suitable for you.
Everyone has their priorities and taste, so my recommendations might not fit you well. It is wise to choose something interesting for you. For example, if you have never been interested in economics in your native language, for what reason the “Economist” subscription in English might be attractive for you?
We can separate reading into three categories:
- Messengers and blogs
- Newspapers and magazines
Each category has its own strong and weak points.
Messengers and blogs might be useful for training daily conversations, which we have mostly in our life. Still, their disadvantage is that messages and posts might be written by non-natives or by some illiterate person with mistakes and unnatural constructions.
Newspapers and magazines are an excellent source of English. Many people say that only in articles the most modern and sophisticated language might be acquired; therefore, reading articles is the best way to learn a language. But there is a disadvantage too; sometimes publishers might be biased toward specific themes or exaggerate disaster details in an attempt to amaze more readers.
Books are the most immersive staff, you can forget where you are and what you are doing by reading an exciting book, but many books were written decades ago and sometimes contained ancient language.
As we can see, no one source avoid disadvantages; therefore, I believe that it is essential to mix them in your learning process.
Messengers and blogs:
- Reddit. It is a social network where you can ask and answer questions by the same users like you. I wouldn’t say I like Reddit much because of unpredictable moderation and downvote button. For example, you might be banned permanently by posting a link on a non-Reddit source without any appeal procedure. Nevertheless, Reddit assembles an excellent community, and you will be surprised by the quality of questions and answers. Reddit is your way to practice everyday reading skills in short messages. Just find subreddits you are interested in and subscribe, each subreddit has its RSS feed, so it is possible to read Reddit in the same RSS-reader app where you have all your newspapers and magazines.
Newspapers and magazines:
I recommend using some RSS-reader app to collect many RSS feeds. It is much simpler to go through a combined feed than jumping from one site to another. I am using Inoreader now. It helps me to sort my articles by folders and manage them automatically by setting up rules. It reduces the significant amount of garbage and boring articles in my feed.
- Deutsche Welle English Feeds. I believe that DW is the best source for English learners. You can subscribe to News, Business, Science, Sports, and many other RSS feeds from this publisher. All articles ready for non-natives but have a good and elaborated writing style. I am trying not to miss these articles.
- Time. The famous magazine with articles about everything. It has a little bit more sophisticated language than DW and, maybe, not so carefully chosen content.
- Wikipedia featured articles. Wikipedia has its RSS feed for featured articles. By subscribing to it, you will receive one item each day. All articles in the featured feed are manually chosen and checked so that you will read the best pieces from Wikipedia.
- This Day in History from The Free Dictionary. It’s another RSS feed in addition to Wikipedia. This Day in History concentrates on historical events with a vast base of elaborated articles.
- Science Smithsonian. This feed might be useful for IELTS test preparation. It never hurt to know scientific concepts and vocabulary because scientific articles are usual guests in the IELTS Reading test.
- Softwarecrew. This site has an RSS feed about technology and software. It is not overcomplicated to be interesting only for geeks, so I recommend it.
- TechCrunch Gadgets. Suppose you like new toys and gadgets like me, and it is worth to be informed. I use this feed when I want to relax and read something not related to my professional interest or studying English.
- Daily Writing Tips. Specializing in English learners, this RSS feed might be useful not only for reading but for writing practice too.
- The Conversation Articles (US). The magazine about everyday ethical problems. The quality of articles not consistent, and sometimes it is not a pleasure to read this magazine, but mostly it has adequate staff. They are trying to ask controversial questions like IELTS Speaking Part 3 questions, and because of that, I recommend this feed for IETLS preparation.
- How Stuff Works. If you like articles like “5 best ways to learn English,” this feed for you. Even though they are trying to be in trend, sometimes they publish useful articles.
- Scotch. This feed might be interesting for software developers. They don’t write overcomplicated stuff; therefore, I can recommend them for wide IT auditory.
- CNXSoft. This feed contains news about everything new in computer technologies.
- The Economist. Maybe too much politicized but still good stuff for reading in English.
- 9lessons Programming Blog. A blog for programmers from programmers.
- 99U. Everything about management. It mostly contains rubbish, but sometimes you can find an interesting interview with real managers.
- How to Manage a Camel. Blog about Project Management. Mostly rubbish.
- MakeUseOf. Another feed about technology. I don’t read it much.
- Harvard Business Review. Maybe one of the most popular publishers about business and management. In my opinion, the old HBR was much better than a new one, but it is still worth to try. It’s difficult but still possible to find their RSS feed, so that it might take time.
I recommend using special apps on your phone for reading books or buy Amazon Kindle, Pocketbook Reader or any other e-book reader. In that case, you will have a book with an implemented dictionary, so it will not take much time to translate unknown words and phrases. I am using Librera PRO on my Android phone with a Translator for Lingualeo, which is connected to Librera so I can translate everything by typing on the word.
- Book Suggestions Subreddit. I think this subreddit is the best way to choose a book if you don’t have a trustworthy and educated friend to ask his opinion. You can publish your favourite books there, and someone with similar taste will recommend you something new.
- 100 Best Books of the 21st Century. I decided to put this link here even though I have not read many of the books listed there. The reason is this list contains only modern literature, so at least you won’t learn an ancient language.
There were my recommendations. If you want to correct me or add some source in this list, please, feel free to comment on this post.