Why, and how, should I read in English? 
  • Reading in English, like listening, will help you to improve your vocabulary knowledge, comprehension skill and grammar awareness.
  • You can read English which is written in different styles, both formal and informal, and notice how writing style and tone changes for different purposes (essays, stories, articles and so on).
  • On most university courses, you will need to do a lot of reading. Make a start now with texts that you choose. Then you'll be more prepared for the longer undergraduate and postgraduate reading!
  • Read regularly - a little every day, if you can. Choose texts that are interesting and useful to you. If you need to learn about academic writing and vocabulary, read academic journal articles and find reference books in the library or online as e-books. Read about world issues to develop your ideas and opinions.
  • Reading the daily news is good, regular, short language practice. It will also help you to learn more about the world around you.
  • Reading is also something people do for pleasure. Find a story or magazine that you enjoy and try some quiet reading. It can be extremely relaxing!
  • Maybe include some reading exercises for English learners, which ask you to answer some questions.
  • If you think reading is boring, I challenge you! Look more carefully for a book or magazine article you can really enjoy. If you read about a football match on a sports website in English, this is good reading practice!
  • Don't be afraid of reading. Use reading techniques, such as looking for important words that you can understand, and don't stop just because there are words you don't understand. Look in a dictionary but only for a few words on each page... you will be very surprised at how much you can understand already!
What if I don't know much vocabulary?
  • The University Library has Graded Readers - books for English learners, at all levels, which will help you to learn important words (at First Floor: look for shelf number 428.64).  Some books are available electronically, for you to read wherever you are. There are two suggested lists of books for you to look at. Find them here and here.   
  • For Academic English, there is the Academic Word List, but remember, aim to learn just a few new words (around 6 to 8) at one time; no more. 
Read books, magazines and newspapers
  • You can also read newspapers online. 
  • The University has a large library of free physical books and electronic resources.. and very friendly and helpful staff! 
  • Even if you can't get to the library, you can read an electronic text. Start here.
  • Read the texts from your course book.

Read online 

  • BBC News lets you read the news, learn lots of extremely useful vocabulary and choose topics from the menu, including Entertainment, Business and Science.
  • Want to improve your academic vocabulary? Choose an article that interests you from
  • Read interesting articles about today's world and society at

E-Readers: You can buy electronic graded readers online cheaply.

  • The free Oxford Bookworm How Good is your English? app also available as a Apple version helps you to find the right level for you and then download books to your iPhone or iPad.
  • Many Penguin Readers for Kindle eReaders are available on Amazon.
  • Other publishers, such as Cambridge, also offer electronic readers.
The University Library has more than just academic books and journals, it also has:
  • Story books and novels.
  • A 'School library' with children's and young adults' fiction... and beanbags to sit on!
  • A 'recent and recommended fiction' section... for free time reading.
  • English language learning books to help you with grammar and vocabulary (First Floor: shelf number 428).
  • Comfortable chairs! (and you can bring your own food and drink!)
Enjoy your reading!
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