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  • Hi there, Steve Kaufmann here, and today I wanna talk about reading, how to use

  • reading to increase your vocabulary.

  • Um, you know, I, I always stress the importance of varying our

  • activities in language learning.

  • I talked a bit about Atomic Habits and developing good, sort of, learning

  • habits that keep you going, uh, without necessarily always worrying

  • about the end of the road, you know, fluency, whatever that might.

  • So we have to have good habits.

  • We have to vary the kind of activity we do and different activities help

  • us in different ways, obviously.

  • So if you're in a conversation group, you're practicing using

  • the words that you already know.

  • Probably you're practicing using a small subset of the words that

  • you understand, because our active vocabulary is always gonna be

  • smaller than our passive vocabulary.

  • But at least if you have good listening comprehension, you understand

  • what other people are saying.

  • When we are listening here, again, we can only understand the words that we know.

  • So listening is a way of reinforcing your passive vocabulary, improving

  • your comprehension, all of which is very good, good things to do.

  • In fact, I spend more time listening than any other activity, 'cause

  • it's the easiest thing to do.

  • I can do it anytime, anywhere, but reading is where we can acquire new vocabulary.

  • And I'm gonna talk a bit about extensive reading versus intensive reading and

  • how it helps us acquire new words.

  • So in a way, the ultimate experience in extensive reading

  • is to read a book, a paper book.

  • You have no distractions.

  • You can't go anywhere.

  • You're there with the book, words you don't know.

  • You just let them go by you and you're experiencing reading the language,

  • your're experiencing, converting, you know, various characters on

  • a piece of paper into meaning.

  • Very valuable.

  • I've always, you know, when I reach the stage where I can read a

  • novel in a language I'm learning, I have reached a major milestone.

  • And I very often hear people say, well, you know, uh, I can read well, but

  • uh, you know, I can't, uh, understand when I hear people speaking or I

  • have trouble using the language.

  • And then I say to those people, do...

  • have you read a novel in the language you're learning?

  • And very often the answer is no.

  • I mean, you have to get to the point where you can read novels and read widely.

  • Not just newspaper articles, but you know, a book, uh, doesn't

  • have to be a novel, by the way.

  • It can be a non-fiction for that matter.

  • So that's extensive reading on paper.

  • However, again, we have to get to that stage because if there's too

  • many words that you don't know, then reading in a, you know, away from the

  • computer is not a pleasant experience.

  • So that's where reading online with an online dictionary, and in particular

  • the way we do things at LingQ, can help you acquire the vocabulary,

  • pass the vocabulary so that you can eventually achieve the ultimate

  • experience in reading, which is to grab a book and just read that book.

  • So I consider reading online, uh, looking words up, saving words.

  • That sort of call it LingQ reading experience is like mining the

  • language, mining for gold, mining for minerals, mining for vocabulary,

  • bringing that vocabulary in.

  • Initially it's in there somewhere.

  • You can't retrieve it.

  • You see that word again in a different context or many different contexts.

  • Slowly, it becomes part of your passive vocabulary, and eventually over time,

  • some of that vocabulary will become active vocabulary that you can use.

  • So extensive reading, which is by the way, something that Stephen

  • Krashen constantly promotes.

  • There's all kinds of experience which shows, even if an, if

  • we're not consciously looking up words, if we are reading widely,

  • extensively, we're getting more and more familiarity with the language.

  • Eventually some of that vocabulary is naturally going to become known to us as

  • passive vocabulary be simply because we've seen it in so many different contexts

  • that we get a, a, a sense of the meaning.

  • I prefer to look things up because I can have a, an erroneous idea

  • of what the word means and stay with that for a long, long time.

  • If I look it up, I may forget it, but eventually I'll probably get to

  • a, a correct understanding of the scope of meaning of that word sooner

  • if I have at least some opportunity to see, you know, uh, a translation

  • of that word into English or into another language that I know very well.

  • But even in terms of reading content, for example, my, uh, Persian tutor

  • sent me an e-book and I can import that e-book, you know, essentially

  • with one click, uh, into LingQ.

  • So I've got the whole e-book socked into LingQ.

  • Now, unfortunately, I don't have enough audio for that e-book.

  • That would be even better because then I could be reinforcing my

  • mining activity with, you know, listening while doing other chores.

  • I don't have that.

  • However, This book that I got, this e-book, it's still

  • sort of difficult for me.

  • So, uh, I can go at it again within my extensive reading of this book, I can

  • go at it intensively or extensively.

  • If I go at it sort of extensively, then I'm on sort of page mode and I just read

  • through looking up words and so forth.

  • But I'll show you here how I can go through this material

  • intensively in sentence mode and doing the sentence review.

  • Now, this is more intensive activity.

  • It's working with, uh, nuts and bolts.

  • It's reconstituting the sentence, it's coming, you know, focusing in on the

  • vocabulary a bit more, putting the sentence back together again, which

  • forces me to think of the structure of the language, the word order in the language.

  • And however, this is gonna slow down my mining activity.

  • I'm coming across fewer and fewer...

  • fewer, not fewer and fewer, but fewer new words because I'm working intensively, so

  • I always like to combine some intensive work with some extensive work where I'm

  • just reading, not worrying about the words, not trying to focus in on them,

  • not trying to focus in on the structure.

  • I'm just reading, and yet at other times I'm working

  • intensively, as I will demonstrate.

  • We have a lot of material in our library.

  • For example, we see here, I think that probably has audio in it as well.

  • But let's say we wanna bring something in so we can go.

  • For example, if you Google, uh, ... for example, uh, you'll get the gutenberg.org

  • in many cases, and you have a variety of, um, formats that you can download.

  • I've already done that.

  • I tried different formats.

  • And then if you go to LingQ, and I'm uh, in French here, so you know, you

  • can either go up here where the plus sign is and you'll see import e-book.

  • You can import lesson as well.

  • You can also install the LingQ browser extension, so you can

  • import things with one click.

  • But in this case, what we wanna do is we want to import an e-book.

  • We can also do it here where it says import.

  • So we go to import e-book, and then we click on it.

  • And here we can simply drag, uh, an epub version of this book.

  • It supports a variety of, um, formats, pdf, uh, text or whatever mobi.

  • So you just drag it in there, drop it in there, and um, we're ready to go.

  • and I happen to be in sentence mode right now, but, uh, and I'll go, you

  • know, uh, I can go in the page view now.

  • There's a lot of, um, English there at the beginning, and typically

  • when I import something, I do it online for a variety of reasons.

  • Using the web version, it's easier to do, but I'm gonna work on it on my iPad.

  • But one of the advantages of doing it online on the web version is the, and.

  • That, uh, I can use keystrokes to get rid of stuff that I don't

  • want, like non-target language.

  • I just go X, X, X, X, X, and it moves through it very, very quickly.

  • I've already done that, and so I'm now going to show you how I would

  • study a book like this on my iPad.

  • So, but for those of you wanting to first of all, find e-books to bring in,

  • it doesn't have to be from gutenburg.

  • Uh, you can find, um, via an e-book and, and bring it in.

  • Some of them are protected, but you have to find one that's not protected

  • and you can import the e-book very, very quickly as I have shown here.

  • So we're gonna show you, first of all, this is the, uh, Persian e-book that,

  • uh, I was sent by my tutor from Iran.

  • It's a history of the Second World War in Persian.

  • I'm working my way through it, but that's not what I'm gonna show you.

  • Not many people are doing Persian, so I have to get to the language here

  • and change this to French so that I can check up on what I just imported.

  • So if I go into French now, uh, I can see ...and whereas some of these show, you

  • know, minutes of audio, there's obviously no audio available here, but I can open it

  • and I get through all this original stuff in English, which doesn't interest me.

  • Eh, I got a one day streak going.

  • All right, so now I'm now into the text.

  • We'll just move a little further along where there are some blue words.

  • There's not, those are not necessarily words that I don't know, but

  • because I don't do French online, but we can go into sentence view.

  • So ...okay, so ...okay, work.

  • Okay, work.

  • And we might decide you want that word as well.

  • ... so what happens in sentence mode now is that whatever words I have

  • saved here, and I, it could be a blue word that I now make yellow, it

  • could be a word that I want to add.

  • I can now study that.

  • So, and I get these matching pairs, which include words