All language learning begins with reading. This is a foolproof method used for years by language teachers.
Therefore, in class, as at home, it is of great importance to create a small reading list to strengthen your language skills. It is also common for our teachers to recommend certain books during our English training. Find out the best books to read to help you improve your English language.
The contribution of novels in learning English
Native English: Modern novels show you real examples of how English is used today. This contrasts with writing for non-English speaking learners; you can also learn how to express emotions and ideas or how to tell a story in English. Finally, thanks to literature, there are concrete examples of conversations between native speakers.
Vocabulary: Even if you speak English well, you can still learn more. A good novel will be easy to understand, but it will also introduce you to many new words. Reading books allows you to learn vocabulary in the context of a story. It means you can see how words and phrases are connected in daily conversation. Reading modern British or American novels will teach you all kinds of weird and wacky English words!
Precision: the great authors are goldsmiths of the English language. They are looking for the perfect style and shape. To ameliorate your grammar and your written English, there is no better teacher than a good book! Reading books frequently makes you begin to understand English better through passive learning.
Interaction: By reading a novel in English, you interact with the language. Many books have multiple levels of meaning and can be understood in different ways. When you have to make up your mind about a story, it immerses you in the language. People who read a book in French and then in English argue that it is absolutely not the same experience.
1. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic of American literature. This novel is often studied by British and American secondary school students.
The book is set in the United States and follows the story of a crime in a small rural town and its repercussions. At the heart of its main plot is the trial of Tom Robinson, an African American accused of raping a white girl.
Having a child as a narrator, the language is never too complex, making this an excellent novel for English beginners.
2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon
The novel recounts in the first person, with humor and sensitivity, the tribulations of Christopher, a 15-year-old child living in Swindon, suffering from a pervasive developmental disorder and suddenly confronted with events that disrupt his closed world. Although Christopher's condition is not stated in the book, the presentation of the book refers to Asperger's Syndrome, High-Functioning Autism, or Scholar's Syndrome.
The story is narrated by Christopher, which means the language is simple and easy to understand. In addition, it is a pretty short novel, which also makes this book easy to read, especially for beginners.
Related: Child language development stages; from birth to six years old
3. How to be a woman - Caitlin Moran
This is not your thematic feminist manifesto. Caitlin Moran is a compelling writer who doesn't mince words. This book is perfect for learning American slang, its pronunciation, and finding some valuable advice in terms of learning English in general. Also great for destroying the patriarchy (as any good feminist would do) and laughing while you're at it.
4. Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
This book needs no introduction; it's a true classic, a thrilling story full of pirates, sailors, and adventure. It's great work and support for expanding vocabulary and understanding grammar, especially for readers who like to travel and learn while having fun.
5. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain
A true masterpiece than that of Mark Twain also adapted to the small screen, but always better in the book version.
This book allows you to fall back into childhood with the different adventures of young Tom Sawyer and his lifelong friends, Joe Harper and Huckleberry Finn. The ideal book to start in the initiation to English.
6. 40 Rules of Love - Elif Safak
A novel that will undoubtedly help you progress in your English learning while also bringing a big change in your vision of love.
This book is definitely worth the detour because it is a true literary masterpiece in its genre. Beginners won't get confused, as the story is pretty easy to follow. Those with a soft spot for philosophical questions around life and love will also find this book particularly endearing.
7. Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austen
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen is also a classic. Although presenting a fairly elaborate vocabulary, this book is an excellent method for pushing your limits.
8. Orientalism - Edward Said
The book is for intellectuals who seek to overcome all stereotypes.
Ideal for improving an already advanced level of English, this book is a great resource for understanding the functioning of the world as well as the behavior of humankind in society. This book is also the ideal support for all travelers who plan to go to the Middle East one day.
9. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows
Almost appreciated by all readers, young and old, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows can help you get started in reading in English. It is still 600 pages but is ideal for a first reading. Of course, it must be accompanied by a repertoire notebook to list all the misunderstood vocabulary. And this, by category "verbs", "adjectives", etc. This vocabulary book is essential because reading the definition in the dictionary is not enough. You will quickly forget. If you put yourself into it every day, you can read it in 2 weeks and be sure to assimilate English vocabulary.
10. Twilight -by Stephenie Meyer
This may not be the book you were expecting in 10th position. However, it is recommended to any English learner, as it tells an entertaining adventure in a fairly simple and easy-to-understand English.
11. Alexander the Great -Fiona Beddal
Knowing Alexander the Great's history is necessary to enrich your general knowledge and introduce you to the English language. Through the story of the life of one of the greatest chefs of all time, you also travel the world from Egypt to India.
12. A Thousand Splendid Suns -by Khaled Khosseini
This book tells a story unlike any other. Immerse yourself in the daily life and difficulties of Miriam and Laila as they struggle to build a future for themselves in Kabul.
English is simple enough and can easily serve as exercises dedicated to beginners and most learners. It is, however, ambitious, and the text is beautifully written. Moreover, the book portrays characters that you will never forget.