I’m in my second month of learning Italian. I still have a long way to go but I must admit as well as using textbooks and doing drills, I’m also working my way through a number of fiction books which are above my level. Whilst I’m largely using LingQ for this as I can review vocabulary quickly, I’m also using actual books as well. I think this is keeping me enjoyment of learning the language at a high level 🙂 In the picture you can see target-reading books – books aimed at a beginner/beginner+ – and also general fiction books. Whilst I’m enjoying reading ‘Cuore’ at the minute, I am reading and re-reading each chapter many times to make sure I understand what’s going on but also so that I can strengthen my vocabulary without doing flashcards all the time.

I’ve also included in the picture some books translated into Italian. I’m not saying I’m a great fan of James Patterson, but I have read a couple of his books in the past.  I had the idea I would get the audiobooks for these and then I can just enjoy reading along and becoming familiar with the sounds/intonation of the language. Sadly, when I visited such audios don’t exist. 😦 So I’m going to spend some time today perhaps finding audiobooks of books I’m familiar with. I’m reading Roald Dahl with one of my classes at the minute, so it might be fun for me to read the Italian version at the same time. 🙂
So, my reading plan then is to focus on target-reading books, original Italian books, books and audiobooks of texts I’m familiar with in English and also short articles from Rai Arte or Rai Letturatura. I don’t think I did so much reading when learning Japanese but this is partly due to not finding the texts I wanted or having to learn five hundred Kanji before I could even attempt them! I’m fascinated to see where I will be in in two months time or at the end of the LingQ challenge 🙂

Update on the Reading Challenge – more than just reading

Whilst I haven’t posted on my weekly progress during the reading, looking back over the last month I’ve certainly seen an improvement. This is not so much about how much reading I’m doing – I was already making that a regular part of my day – but the kind of reading I am doing. In short I’ve strived to read things I have to or are at my level and balanced this with reading things I enjoy and are at the next level. I think this has really helped to maintain my enthusiasm for each of the languages I am studying but also useful in proving a support structure to build on my knowledge.

During this last month I’ve tried to keep a balance with reading manga and also newspaper reports. I’m a big fan of LingQ and this month it has been invaluable in my understanding the articles I’ve been following. It’s been great to keep up to date with events in Japan and also to develop my vocabulary list too. Manga has been fun and I’m currently reading them with a Japanese friend who is helping me grasp the informality and Kanji.
I’ve set myself a goal here to work through Assimil using Luca’s method of reading, listening and translating back and forth. I’m still focused here on lots of listening – I really need to secure my pronunciation – and reading. It’s going well and certainly I’m trying to consolidate the experience with my own practice sentences.