Technology is one of our favourite topics at the moment. This is because the use of technology can enrich the experiences of both learning and teaching English. Along with a team of experts, we’ve discussed this is detail in our Blended Teaching series of blogs – and we’ve also compiled a useful list of the best technology available to English language learners.
Inspired by this, we set about putting together a list of the best technology and futuristic novels for English learners. Reading novels is one of the most fun and effective ways of improving your English language skills. It can expand your vocabulary and expose you to different sentence structures, as well as give you the chance enjoy some wonderful stories.
E-readers and tablets make learning English even easier because if you don’t know a word, you can simply click on it to read its definition. On a Kindle you can even add new words you’ve learnt to its Vocabulary Builder feature. Others recommend listening to and reading text at the same time as an excellent way of enhancing the learning process. Kindle’s Whispersync for Voice is designed for just this purpose and includes audio with selected books, meaning you can listen and follow the text as you read.
Here is our selection of seven great technology books to help improve your English:
1. Spider-Man comic book
Marvel’s superheroes are no strangers to technology, and the comic book experts have recently released a set of comics concentrating on science, technology, engineering, art and maths. The combination of drawings and limited texts make these comic books the perfect place for English learners to start. To read more about how comic book artists use English to turn language into timeless illustrations, click on this blog about Pop Mhan.
2. Poptropica English Space Island Adventure
Pearson English Kids Readers are stories that have been specially rewritten for English language learners aged 5-12. The great thing about using a book designed for children is that they can enjoy and learn at the appropriate level. Children’s books also often have exciting plots and fun dialogue – and that is definitely the case with this story, from the Poptropica English universe, about Peter, Pepper and Captain Cloud meeting aliens on their tour around Space Island.
3. I, Robot
Many of you will be familiar with the major movie starring Will Smith, but I, Robot actually started off as a collection of nine short stories by Issac Asimov. Written in the 1940s and 1950s, they tell a tale of humans, robots and morality. Each of the short stories can be read separately, and they contain simple, descriptive language, making them perfect for English learners.
4. Brave New World
Regarded as one of the greatest science-fiction/technology novels written in the English language, Brave New World anticipates advancements in technology that combine to affect society. Author Aldous Huxley’s unique writing style combines narrative and descriptive language, resulting in a witty and engaging read. You’ll want to keep learning and reading to find out what happens next.
This clever novel, written by Douglas Coupland, tells its story through the use of letters and diary entries. Originally a short story, it was expanded to a full-length novel that follows the adventures of six code-crunching computer whizzes, seen through the eyes of one of the characters, Daniel. The diary entries are written in a straightforward and entertaining style, making it a fast-paced read.
6. 2001: A Space Odyssey
This novel explores the wonders of the universe, but the underlying theme contemplates the repercussions of powerful machines for humanity in the past, present and future. The content of the story is rich, and it often feels like you are listening to a great aunt or uncle telling stories. Better still is the fact that the technology written about in the book is not described in confusing language – in fact, anyone can understand it, making it perfect for those wishing to expand their English vocabulary.
7. Snow Crash
When a powerful computer virus called Snow Crash gets loose and somehow starts infecting humans, computer hacker Hiro teams up with a sassy skateboard messenger to save both the real world and cyberspace. The characters are quirky, as is the writing style. But it is well thought out and means you can really get to know the characters. You’ll need to concentrate closely on the plot – but the slower pace will give you time to look up any English words you’re not sure of.
Which novels have helped with your English language learning? Let us know in the comments section below…