Have you ever asked anyone who is learning a new language about what makes them happy and excited during the process of language learning? Most of them will tell you that it is the moment where they successfully read and understand a text without the help of external translation.

Globally, the ability to read and write are strong key elements in determining language literacy and proficiency. Hence, many language learners adopt reading as a daily habit and studying technique to build their vocabulary in the fastest manner.

The act of reading is not solely just scanning and skimming through alphabets, sentences and paragraphs. When you are learning a language like Malay, you need to have good reading comprehension to understand the contexts and usage of the right grammar.

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How reading can help you to learn the Malay language more effectively

The benefits of reading are endless in language learning. Bear in mind that reading is not an exclusive and purely academic activity. Here are some reasons why you should make reading part of your daily life when you are learning Malay.

1. Enhances your vocabulary

Knowing more words will increase your enjoyment and reading speed when you are learning Malay. It will also motivate you to read more as it has become a fun and fulfilling activity. You are also more likely to delve deeper into various topics and your newly learnt vocabulary will help you to carry out meaningful and diverse conversations with your colleagues and friends.

2. Improves your writing skills

When you are used to reading, you will be more sensitive to the correct usage of sentence structures, grammar, vocabulary and also how to make your writing more engaging. Active readers make good writers. Reading other people’s works help you upgrade your basic writing skills which you could later develop your writing style. You can also be inspired to come out with new ideas and insights to write, especially in the case of creative writing.

Malay writing improvement
Reading can enhance your writing skills.
Source: Photo by Monstera from Pexels

3. Boosts your brain functions and memory

During the reading process, your brain is connecting the words with various images, concepts to help you relate to the words better.  At the same time, repetitive reading will increase your vocabulary recognition and help you to detect narrative patterns. For instance, once you can associate certain words with a concept during the first time of reading, you can instantly remember the meaning of the same word the next time it appears when you are reading.

4. Builds a better concentration

Reading helps you to devote your time to focus solely on the words, sentences, paragraphs and pages. It enables you to naturally develop a strong focus and smooth reading flow during the process. This in turn will cultivate a sense of discipline and increase your attention span when you are reading during your lessons or after your lessons.

How to choose the right Malay reading materials

After reviewing the benefits of reading, it is now time to think of what to read. If you are not sure where to begin, you may refer to the 3 steps below for reference before selecting what to read.

1. Determine your language learning level

It is important to know and match your current level to the book that you plan to read. This applies to all kinds of language learners regardless you are at the beginner, intermediate and advanced level. Choosing the wrong level of reading materials will either leave you feeling bored (if it is too easy for you) or feeling discouraged (if it is too difficult for you).

For instance, if you have just started learning Malay for 3 months, you can start with simple stories such as fairy tales, Malay folk stories with characters that you are familiar with. You do not have to worry about understanding the plot but instead, you can focus on the paragraphs, characters and sentence structures of the story. One way to know your language level is by doing basic vocabulary, grammar and overall language comprehension assessments with your Malay teacher.

2. Explore your passion or interest

What do you normally like to read during your free time? Do you have a favourite author or favourite theme? You can easily start by selecting fiction or non-fiction. After realising what you love to read, you can then look out for the Malay translation of your favourite story.

For instance, if you are a fan of Harry Potter, you can look out for the Malay version of the story. Your interest is important so that you will be motivated to finish the reading material and dive deep into the content that you are reading. It will also enable you to remember new words better.

3. Prioritize availability and convenience

You can go for e-books or audiobooks, digital files that you can download instantly at a cheap price. If you prefer physical books, you can visit your nearest library or your nearest bookstores. Another tip is to make sure you have a good bilingual dictionary near you at all times.

This will make your reading process more engaging as you can immediately look up words that you are unfamiliar with. When you are proactive in learning new words, this will improve your vocabulary retention and encourage you to read more as you know more words.

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You can read many Malay e-books conveniently these days.
Source: Photo by Perfecto Capucine from Pexels
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Cikgu faiz
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Where to find good online Malay novels

If you are more confident to read more advanced materials after finishing your beginner lessons in Malay, you can try reading online Malay novels. It is extremely easy to look for online Malay novels these days. Here are some sources that you can browse through to start reading.

1. Goodreads

There are several ways that you can search for you can create a Goodreads account and search for Malay novels. All you need to do is type some keywords such as fiction, Malay novel and many suggestions will appear. Another equally effective way is to join a public group and get direct recommendations from other readers.

One group you can consider joining is Goodreads Malaysia where the members are known to be friendly and well versed with various local books and genres.

2. Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia official website (Malaysian National Library)

This Library website for a wide range of books, fiction or non-fiction collection. You can create a simple account where you can start borrowing e-books from various categories. After creating an account, you can also download their mobile app on your phone and read e-books and online novels whenever and wherever you want.

Improving your overall Malay comprehension with Superprof

At Superprof, you can begin to learn Malay from any level and even discuss freely with your Malay tutor on which language component that you need more guidance in. If you feel that you need more exercises and practice to speak Malay better, your Malay teacher will then adjust your lessons to incorporate the right method to help you in this area. Furthermore, your Malay tutor will also ensure that you will learn Malay consistently and progressively from a beginner to an advanced level.

Malay reading lessons
Your Malay teacher will guide you to read Malay comprehensively for each level.
Source: Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

To enable you to study Malay effectively after classes, sufficient exercises and notes will be given from time to time. You will be able to review your lessons before the next class. During your lessons at Superprof, you can also enhance your listening in Malay because you get the opportunity to converse freely with your Malay teacher as your Malay teacher will give you direct instructions in Malay. When your listening improves, you will slowly develop the confidence to speak and read in public.

If you are a student who is preparing for your SPM Malay paper, few sections require you to do a lot of reading and they each have different approaches. For instance, when you are answering the Malay literature component (KOMSAS), you will be asked to summarize the various themes, plot, moral values of the novel that you have learnt in school.

Good reading comprehension will enable you to analyse the story effectively and provide accurate answers during the examination. On the other hand, you will also be taught how to read long passages systematically to answer other objective and subjective questions.

Begin your journey to enhance your reading skills

Through Superprof, you get to have personalized Malay lessons that cater to your preference according to your time, maximum budget, location, language level and preferred learning mode. You can be assessed effectively on whether you truly understand the words that you have learnt for each lesson and level.

You will also be guided to read various reading materials and receive practical tips to help you understand topics and concepts better. In between lessons, you can also play words related games to guess sentences and words to make reading fun. It is certainly worth investing to improve your Malay reading comprehension as reading helps to build and strengthen your analytical skills, especially in terms of connecting new ideas and concepts.

Start learning Malay effectively today!

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An avid reader and writer, Joycelyn loves the art of communication and is passionate about all kinds of media.