What shall I read ?

by / Monday, 08 September 2014

How to Improve English Reading

Students at LiveLanguage are often told to read a quality newspaper regularly.  But what else could you read to help you understand British culture as well as improve your vocabulary, spelling, fluency etc etc ?

How about a magazine ?

I’m a bit old-fashioned – most of these are available online but my eyes like a rest from a screen, and I can take a magazine everywhere with me, without worrying about the battery running out – on the sofa with a mug of tea; in the garden; in the bath…I can fold over the corner of a page or stick in a Post-it note to mark something particularly interesting or something I want to ask my teacher about, or show to a friend. Even if I can’t understand every article, I can learn a lot from the advertisements and captions under the pictures.

Here’s a selection of my favourites – do comment on this blog and tell us your favourites.

The Week – a weekly summary of UK and international news in short articles.

Scottish Field – a monthly magazine with articles about quite posh Scottish countryside activities, such as shooting and fishing and the people who do them;
Country Life for really upper-class people and houses.

What Car or Top Gear for new and old cars and motoring.

Stuff for gadgets and technology.

Mojo or Uncut for rock music; Mixmag for dance and clubbing; Classic FM for classical music.

The List for what’s on(music, theatre, cinema, everything) in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Wanderlust for world travel; Country Walking for easy walks everywhere in the UK, but particularly in English countryside.

Any of the BBC magazines, such as BBC Food, BBC Wildlife, BBC History

Red – for professional women aged 25-40; Woman and Home – for women aged 40-65; Good Housekeeping – for women with families. Vogue is mainly for high designer fashion, but it also has interesting articles about travel, politicians etc.

Ideal Home – everyday interior design and DIY; Scottish Homes and Interiors(every 2 months) – high quality Scottish architecture, art and interior design.

You will find quite a lot of these magazines in a large supermarket, such as Tesco, but the best place to find any of the above is a branch of WH Smith, even the small ones in the stations and airports if you’re in a rush and need something to read on a long journey. Most of them are published monthly, but are named for the following month – so, for example, I’m reading the September issue of Woman and Home now; the October issue comes out on 3 September. If you can’t find one, try again at the beginning of the next month