Module 1, Topic 1
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Course introduction: Why read books in English

Jeff Baird 02/08/2020
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Key take-aways from this lesson

  • Books give you frequent exposure to the language and how it comes together.
  • Unlike short articles and blogs, books tend to have more complicated structures that you need to understand. Remember: articles and blogs are written for maximum readability. If you only read those, you will miss out.
  • Reading a book triggers you to think in English over a longer period of time. Over the course of a month or more, you’ll be thinking in English even when you’re not reading–and that’s good practice!

Video transcript

Hi, you guys know me, I’m Jeff and I want to welcome you to our first-ever course on language learning tools. This course, as you must know if you’ve gotten this far, is about reading e-books using the Kindle app on your phone or your tablet. The course is going to be a series of videos, a little text, some links, and an on-screen demonstration with me and my iPad.

The course is broken up in to modules. A module is just like a part. Really simple. You can see the different modules on the right-hand side of the screen. Use those links to take you from step to step throughout the course, and you can monitor your progress as well. Don’t feel like you need to watch all the videos at once. This course will always be here for you when you need it. Come back and refer to the materials any time you want. I put the prepared text of the course below each video. It’s not going to be as exact as a transcript, but it’s close. I’ll try to stick as close to the script as possible, but in case you don’t want to watch the videos again, the text is below each video.

Here’s how the course is going to work. We have a total of seven lessons, arranged in three modules. A module is just a group of lessons. In the rest of this lesson, I’ll talk about why it’s important to read books, specifically, and not just articles. In future lessons, we’ll talk about getting in the right mindset, getting ready to read a book in English, and picking a good book to read. It’s not as easy as you might think. Then in Module 2, I’ll show you exactly what to do inside the Kindle app on your phone or tablet. And the final module has some helpful links, instruction guides, things like that.

Before we dive into the material, I wanted to talk a little about why it’s important to read books. Books in particular. The simple answer is, you need the exposure. You need to see the words, you need to see how the language comes together in a wide variety of ways. Reading articles is good; reading blogs is good, too. But articles and blogs tend to have a very similar style. People write articles and blogs for readability. That means the writers are trying to make it easy on you. That’s very good if you’re trying to get some information quickly and easily. But when we’re learning languages, we need to go deeper. We need exposure to things that are more complex than just the latest article on the internet. By doing this, you’ll learn new words, get repeated exposure to grammatical forms, and learn those linking words and connectors in English.

Repetition, repetition, repetition. You’re going to see how language works. You’re going to learn things even if you don’t realize you’re learning them. This is different than concentrating deeply on just a paragraph or two. By reading a lot, your brain is going to start recognizing how all of the elements of the language work together.

The other good reason to read a book is that reading a book triggers you to think in English over a longer period of time. When we read articles, we get the point, and then we’re done; we move on. We don’t necessarily have to keep thinking about that topic in the future. But with books, which you’ll read over the course of a month or more, you’ll find yourself thinking about the same story, the same topic, even when you’re not reading—and hopefully all that thinking will be done in English.

That’s all for Lesson 1! Click the link to move on to Lesson 2.