Ahh! Don’t you love the crisp smell of a freshly printed book as you flip through pages and pages of pure escapism? That physical book you can touch, feel and smell will never be quite replaceable and perhaps you’ll never be ready to make the jump to eBooks. In terms of language learning though, eBooks have a number of advantages over printed books and can make your life much easier. In this post, we will talk about using eBook readers as a language-learning tool.
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of eBook readers is that you can easily search for definitions or translations of words you don’t understand. When you read books in a foreign language, you will have to look for a lot of words in the dictionary. Searching for words in an actual printed dictionary can be quite tedious and time consuming. On most eBook readers though, you can simply place your finger on the word you don’t understand and the definition will pop up. That’s certainly easier and much more convenient than searching through a humongous paper dictionary.
There is also a built-in translator on most eBook readers. When you don’t understand something, simply select the word or sentence and use the translator to discover what it means. It may not always be 100% accurate in the context of the book, but it’s an essential tool nonetheless. You can also purchase a bilingual dictionary add-on for your eBook reader. If you have a Kindle for example, the Collins Concise will give you the possible translations with example sentences to help you understand. You can set it as your default Kindle dictionary. As you’re reading, simply select the word you don’t understand and it will show you everything you need to know about that particular word. Most dictionary add-ons can also be used offline because they are downloaded to your device. This is very important if you want to read while traveling or whenever you don’t have internet access. It is certainly much more portable than carrying both your book and a massive dictionary.
There are also tons of apps that will allow you to read eBooks directly on your phone or tablet. However, we really like using eBook readers for language learning because they don’t have as many distractions. The lack of constant notifications allows you to better focus your time on learning. It can be tempting sometimes to drift your attention to the new celebrity-top-ten-whatever-list. If you want to use your phone to read books, just make sure to temporarily turn off your notifications if you don’t want to be distracted by the latest kitty video your BFF sends you on Facebook.
Another very powerful tool some eBook readers have is the ability to create flashcards for important words you want to remember. This feature allows you to note words as you read and review them later. The act of making the flashcards themselves will help you remember the words, but it’s best to create a learning habit if you want to get the most out of them. For example, you could review a few words before going to bed at night, or as you take your morning coffee (or while you sit on the toilet).
Nowadays, most books are also available as an audio version. Listening to an audiobook and following along with the written copy of the book will allow you to practice both reading and listening at the same time. It’s best to create an exercise out of it. You could read a few pages with the help of a dictionary, then read the same pages immediately along with the audiobook, then listen to those same pages as you drive to work. You’ll be amazed at how much you understand by doing this. The combination of hearing and reading makes the exercise a lot more effective than either one individually because you are training multiple skills at the same time. The only downside of following along with the audiobook is that it makes it a bit difficult to stop and look at the definitions. That’s why it’s best to choose material that allows you to learn words from context, or use the audio the second or third time around.
Yet another advantage of many eBooks is that they easily sync the text with the audio version of the book. For example, Kindle books will automatically sync with Audible audiobooks. This means that if you read a few chapters using Kindle, the audio track in Audible will automatically sync to exactly where you left off.
We are lucky enough to live in a world where technology allows us to have the world’s information at our fingertips. Using eBook readers for language learning is a great way to use that information. Keep in mind though that there’s nothing wrong with traditional paper books; some people do learn best with a physical pen and paper. Simply choose the method that works best for you. You may have to stick to that great big yellow marker known as the highlighter, some sticky notes, paper flashcards and a big bilingual dictionary, but as long as you love what you’re doing, it’s certainly a good alternative. Plus, it’ll make you look extremely determined.
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it with your friends by using one the social links below. For more language learning, check out our website at Ouino.com. Thanks a lot! Until next time!
Subscribe on YouTube
Follow us on Facebook