Would you recommend some English books for beginners of English learning? 

Q: Would you recommend some English books for beginners of English learning? 

A: It’s not really possible to recommend a book that will be good for everyone, as there are many variables, and many needs.

If a person needs to practice pronunciation, for example, then it’s helpful to read a picture book to a child. I like “If you give a mouse a cookie” by Laura Numeroff. These books have few words, so a person can spend more time focusing on their pronunciation of each word.

If a person wants to increase their vocabulary, early readers are useful. These books come in many different levels, so a person can choose the level which is right for them, and they can also choose a topic that is interesting for them. There are hundreds of titles to choose from, and many types. Some companies break these up by elementary school grade level, other companies break them up by age level.

If a student is more advanced, they may be tempted to try to read what we would call a “children’s classic”. I would actually advise against this, as most of our classic novels are full of old fashioned English, which is often confusing even for children who are native English speakers. Also, these classics tend to have very long chapters. I prefer that people use books with shorter chapters for study. If we try to cram too much in to our brains at once, it can’t be processed!

I’d recommend looking for a book with short chapters of around 20 pages or so. “Scholastic” is a book publisher that offers many good books that are mostly designed for elementary school students. They also offer more modern “classics” like “Harry Potter” (I only recommend this book for advanced students, as it features a lot of made up words and very long chapters), “Island of the Blue Dolphins”, or “Charlotte’s Web”.


Q: 英語学習の初心者におすすめの本は?

A: たくさんの不確定要素やニーズがあるから、万人に役に立つ本を推薦するのは不可能だわ。

発音を練習する必要があるなら、子供向けの絵本を読むのが役立つわね。Laura Numeroff の If You Give a Mouse a Cookieは好きよ。こういった本は言葉がほとんどなくて、各単語の発音に集中する時間がたくさんできるわ。

語彙を増やしたい人は、early readers が役に立つわ。こういった本はたくさんのレベル分けがされていて、その人に適したレベルを選べるし、その人が興味のあるものを選べるの。何百ものタイトルから選べて、たくさんのトピックがあるの。小学校の学年で分けている会社もあれば、年齢で分けている会社もあるわね。

もっと上のレベルであれば、children’s classicと呼ばれるものを読んでみたくなるかもしれない。実は私はこれには反対なの。古典的な小説は時代遅れな英語がたくさんで、ネイティブの子供でも混乱することも多いの。そしてこういう古典は章が長いのよ。勉強のためには章が短いものを読むほうがいいと思うわ。一度にあまりにもたくさんのことを頭に詰め込むと咀嚼されないもの!

1章20ページくらいの本を探すことをおすすめするわ。Scholasticはたいてい小学生向けの良書をたくさん出している出版社よ。ハリーポッター(この本は造語が多くて章も長いから上級者には勧められる。)、 “Island of the Blue Dolphins”、” Charlotte’s Web” のような現代よりの古典も出しているわよ。