Mohamed Basheer
Novels, Do they help to learning English ?

In order to improve their reading skill, It's common amongst English learners to read novels. But the most of popular English novels were written in 18th century and earlier maybe, the language was used in those novels is very old. Therefore, leaner waste their time in look for and memorize a vocabulary which don't use nowadays. I think it's better to read something written in daily language like the newspapers, the articles on the internet or even the novels were published recently, but those old novels should read for entertainment no for learning English. So, do you agree with me that classic novels are ineffective to learn English, or there are some benefits of them? > > > If you notice any writing mistakes on what I have written please correct them. Thanks. :)

Nov 29, 2014 7:56 PM
Comments · 4

I'm not an educator so I can't really judge, but I don't understand it, either. It bothers me when I see postings here by beginning English students, asking questions about those older "classics" of English literature, because they are in fairly difficult English and even pose a challenge to high school students in the U.S. I can't imagine trying to read them until after you can read contemporary English novels easily.

It seems to me that there are plenty of wonderful novels and short stories, with real literary merit, that are written in easier and more contemporary English. 

The obvious answer is that what helps you the most is to read material in English that you personally find interesting, and just difficult enough to be a challenge but easy enough that you can read with pleasure.

November 29, 2014

Native U.S. high school students probably would not know what a beadle or a parish workhouse was. I agree, this vocabulary is only useful if you are reading books from that era.

Noose (the loop at the end of a rope when someone is being killed by hanging) is an ordinary word. 

Lantern is an everyday word. When we go camping we bring an "LED lantern" with us. This web page

shows a good selection of "flashlights and lanterns."

By the way, in understanding Dickens' style it may help to know that in those days writers were paid by the word. The more words they used, the more they got paid.

November 29, 2014

For example : yesterday I started reading novel called:

Oliver Twist

By: Charles Dickens

Retold by: Margaret Tarner

According the publisher it's for English learner (intermediate level),

When I was reading, in one page I found words like this:


*Parish workhouse

* noose

*lantern ...etc

And I spent whole time to looking for those word in the dictionary, What I am trying to say is that learner don't need to waste time to looking for and crowd their memory by vocabulary they will never use or hear again, and instead of that focusing on today's language, because that which they will need :)

November 29, 2014
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Mohamed Basheer
Language Skills
Arabic, English, German, Spanish
Learning Language
English, German, Spanish