Reading on the Internet

Frequent reading practice is one of the best ways to develop vocabulary and improve reading comprehension. Extensive Reading (reading large amounts of text without worrying too much about details or looking up all vocabulary) and Intensive Reading (closely examining meaning and structures to be sure you figure out all the details) are both productive in their own way. Browse online news sites for interesting articles. Filtering articles through Ultralingua.Net will give you the interactive vocabulary help you may need. While some sites require subscription, many do not or they may allow access to some of their articles.

Ultralingua.Net - Very useful dictionary lookup for web pages. Select your languages (e.g. English-French, English definitions), then submit the address of the web page you wish to read in the Ultralingua URL textbox. Your page will appear in a new window, and clicking on any word will open a pop-up window with vocabulary support.

A few possible sources for daily browsing in business English:

Wall Street Journal Classroom edition
New York Times Business section
(Free subscription)
BusinessWeek Online
(Well written and interesting perspectives)
The Economist
Times Online
Guardian Unlimited
Guardian Weekly
The Telegraph
BBC World Service
(Free online mag listing)

National Public Radio (NPR)
(High quality audio reports searchable by topic)

What to do?

While reading in a foreign language is an excellent way to develop vocabulary, doing something with the words and ideas you read is even more effective and will help you get more mileage from the time you spend reading. Here are some activities you might try.

Suggestions for using

The Ultralingua web site has some useful tools to assist in reading in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Portuguese. The "Look up" page lets you look up individual words or browse the target language or bilingual dictionary. The most useful feature of the site lets you put in the URL (web site address) of your choosing, select your language preference, and see a specially prepared version of your page where you can get a pop-up window with dictionary help for any word you click on. In the sample below, the reader has clicked the word "curb" to see the entry for "curb" in an English-French bilingual dictionary.

© 2005, Bob Ponterio, SUNY Cortland, Cortland, NY