Have you ever found yourself struggling with spoken English in a professional setting? It can be frustrating when you have the knowledge and skills, but struggle to communicate effectively. Fluent English speaking is crucial for career progression, as it allows you to express ideas confidently and connect with others. So, what can you do to improve your English speaking skills? One often overlooked but effective method is reading novels.

Reading novels not only helps you improve your vocabulary and grammar but also enhances your overall language fluency. It's a fun and engaging way to immerse yourself in the English language while enjoying captivating stories. However, finding suitable books for language improvement can be challenging. Many popular novels may not necessarily focus on everyday conversation or practical language usage.

In this article, we will recommend some of the best novels that will help boost your English speaking skills. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced learner, these books offer valuable insights into the English language while keeping you entertained. Let's dive into some exciting options that can transform your journey of improving spoken English!

Does Reading Books Improve Spoken English?

Reading books is not only an enjoyable pastime but also a powerful tool for improving your English language skills. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced learner, incorporating reading into your language learning routine can greatly enhance your vocabulary, grammar sense, and cultural understanding. So, if you've ever wondered, "Can we improve English by reading books?" the answer is a resounding yes!

1) Vocabulary Enhancement:

One of the key benefits of reading books is the exposure to a wide range of words and phrases that may not be commonly used in everyday conversation. By immersing yourself in different genres and styles of writing, you can expand your vocabulary and develop a richer lexicon. This will enable you to express yourself more precisely and eloquently in spoken English.

2) Grammar Sense:

Reading books allows you to observe sentence structures, grammar rules, and usage patterns in context. As you encounter well-constructed sentences and grammatically correct expressions, your own understanding of grammar will improve naturally. You'll start to develop an intuition for what sounds right or wrong in English, enhancing your spoken communication skills.

3) Cultural Understanding:

Literature provides valuable insights into different cultures, traditions, and perspectives. By reading novels from various authors and countries, you'll gain a deeper understanding of cultural nuances that can enhance your ability to communicate effectively with native English speakers.

What Essentials Should I Consider While Choosing Novels?

When it comes to choosing novels to improve your English speaking skills, there are a few essential factors to consider. Let's take a closer look at each one:

  1. Interest level: Choose a novel that captures your interest and keeps you engaged throughout the reading process. If you're not enjoying the story or finding it dull, it will be harder to stay motivated and continue reading.

  2. Difficulty level: It's important to strike a balance between a novel that is challenging enough to help you improve your language skills but not so difficult that you become frustrated and give up. Start with simpler, easier reads and gradually increase the difficulty as you progress.

  3. Genre preference: Consider your genre preferences when choosing a novel. Whether you enjoy romance, mystery, science fiction, or historical fiction, reading books in genres that interest you will make the learning process more enjoyable and engaging.

  4. Cultural context: Opt for novels that provide insights into different cultures and societies. This will not only enhance your understanding of conversational English but also broaden your cultural knowledge.

Can You Suggest Some Beginner-Friendly Novels?

Here are ten beginner-friendly novels that are perfect for non-native speakers:

1. The Giver by Lois Lowry:

  • Plot: In a seemingly perfect society, Jonas discovers the dark secrets behind his community.

  • Language simplicity: Easy to understand with simple sentence structure.

  • Learning outcomes: Enhance vocabulary related to society, emotions, and morality.

2. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White:

  • Plot: A heartwarming tale of friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a spider named Charlotte.

  • Language simplicity: Simple language suitable for beginners.

  • Learning outcomes: Learn about friendship, loyalty, and empathy.

3. Holes by Louis Sachar:

  • Plot: Stanley Yelnats is sent to a juvenile correctional camp where he uncovers the truth behind a family curse.

  • Language simplicity: Engaging yet easy-to-understand language.

  • Learning outcomes: Improve vocabulary related to justice, resilience, and friendship.

4. Matilda by Roald Dahl:

  • Plot: Matilda is a gifted girl with telekinetic powers who overcomes challenges at home and school.

  • Language simplicity: Simple language with humorous elements.

  • Learning outcomes: Expand vocabulary related to education, family dynamics, and personal growth.

5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon:

  • Plot: Follow Christopher Boone, a teenager with autism, as he investigates the mysterious death of his neighbour's dog.

  • Language simplicity: The language is straightforward, reflecting Christopher's unique perspective on the world.

  • Learning outcomes: Enhance vocabulary related to autism, family relationships, and problem-solving.

6. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho:

  • Plot: A shepherd named Santiago embarks on a journey to discover his personal legend.

  • Language simplicity: Simple language with philosophical undertones.

  • Learning outcomes: Explore vocabulary related to dreams, destiny, and self-discovery.

7. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:

  • Plot: A young prince explores different planets and learns valuable life lessons along the way.

  • Language simplicity: Easy-to-understand language suitable for beginners.

  • Learning outcomes: Improve vocabulary related to friendship, imagination, and human nature.

8. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton:

  • Plot: Ponyboy Curtis navigates conflicts between rival teenage gangs in 1960s Oklahoma.

  • Language simplicity: Engaging yet accessible language for beginner readers.

  • Learning outcomes: Expand vocabulary related to identity, social class, and loyalty.

9. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett:

  • Plot: An orphan girl discovers a hidden garden that transforms her life and those around her.

  • Language simplicity: Simple language accompanied by vivid descriptions of nature.

  • Learning outcomes: Enhance vocabulary related to nature, growth, and healing.

10. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll:

  • Plot: Alice falls into a whimsical world filled with peculiar characters and nonsensical situations.

  • Language simplicity: Simple language with imaginative storytelling.

  • Learning outcomes: Learn vocabulary related to fantasy, curiosity, and imagination.

Reading these beginner-friendly novels will not only improve your English speaking skills but also ignite your imagination and introduce you to captivating stories. Here are similar lists that might interest you: Top 35 Books To Help You With English Learning - Clapingo

So, you've mastered the basics and are ready to take your English skills to the next level with some advanced-level novels. Here are 10 recommendations that will challenge you, expand your vocabulary, and help you improve your English speaking skills:

1. 1984 by George Orwell:

  • Plot: Set in a dystopian future where Big Brother watches everything, this novel explores themes of government surveillance and individual freedom.

  • Language Complexity: Intermediate to Advanced

  • Learning Prospects: Enhances political vocabulary and critical thinking skills.

2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee:

  • Plot: Set in the 1930s, this novel follows Scout Finch as she navigates racial injustice in her small Southern town.

  • Language Complexity: Intermediate

  • Learning Prospects: Expands cultural understanding and exposes readers to diverse perspectives.

3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen:

  • Plot: A classic tale of love, marriage, and societal expectations as Elizabeth Bennet navigates through complicated relationships.

  • Language Complexity: Intermediate

  • Learning Prospects: Develops an understanding of British society and sharpens dialogue comprehension skills.

4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald:

  • Plot: Set in the Roaring Twenties, this novel explores themes of wealth, love, and the American Dream through Jay Gatsby's pursuit of Daisy Buchanan.

  • Language Complexity: Intermediate to Advanced

  • Learning Prospects: Improves descriptive language skills and provides insights into American history.

5. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville:

  • Plot: Join Ishmael on his seafaring adventure as he searches for the elusive white whale, Moby-Dick.

  • Language Complexity: Advanced

  • Learning Prospects: Enhances reading comprehension and vocabulary related to maritime themes.

6. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky:

  • Plot: Follow Raskolnikov, a troubled student, as he contemplates and commits a crime, grappling with guilt and redemption.

  • Language Complexity: Advanced

  • Learning Prospects: Expands complex sentence structures and psychological vocabulary.

7. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez:

  • Plot: Dive into the magical world of the Buendía family as they navigate love, war, and the cycle of life in Macondo.

  • Language Complexity: Advanced

  • Learning Prospects: Enhances understanding of magical realism and Latin American culture.

8. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger:

  • Plot: Experience three days in the life of Holden Caulfield as he navigates teenage angst, identity, and societal expectations.

  • Language Complexity: Intermediate to Advanced

  • Learning Prospects: Develops conversational language skills and exposes readers to colloquial expressions.

9. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley:

  • Plot: Set in a dystopian future where society is controlled through technology and conditioning, this novel explores themes of individuality and conformity.

  • Language Complexity: Intermediate to Advanced

  • Learning Prospects: Expands scientific vocabulary and encourages critical thinking about societal issues.

10. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte:

  • Plot: Follow Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff's tumultuous love story set against the backdrop of the Yorkshire moors.

  • Language Complexity: Intermediate

  • Learning Prospects: Enhances understanding of Gothic literature and British romanticism.

Worried about reading such 'difficult' classics? Don't worry, there are many online sites that can guide you through them. Here are some:

  1. SparkNotes' 1984 Study Guide

  2. SparkNotes' The Great Gatsby Study Guide

For a review of one of these recommended novels, check out this YouTube video:

  1. Pride and Prejudice Book Review - Merphy Napier

How Can I Effectively Apply What I Learn from Novels to My Spoken English?

Now that you have started reading novels to improve your English speaking skills, you might wonder how to effectively apply what you learn from them to your everyday conversations. Here are some practical tips to help you do just that:

1. Actively using new vocabulary in daily conversations:

  • Make a list of new words or phrases you come across while reading.

  • Practice using these words in sentences and try incorporating them into your conversations.

  • Challenge yourself to use at least one new word or phrase every day.

2. Mimicking dialogues or monologues from books:

  • Choose a dialogue or monologue from a novel that resonates with you.

  • Read it out loud several times, paying attention to the pronunciation, intonation, and rhythm of the speech.

  • Practice speaking it aloud, trying to imitate the character's voice and emotions.

3. Integrating learnt grammar and phrases into your speaking style:

  • Take note of any interesting sentence structures or grammar patterns while reading.

  • Try using these structures in your own sentences during conversations.

  • Gradually incorporate these phrases and grammar into your natural speaking style.

4. Engaging with Clapingo's personalised sessions for expert guidance:

Clapingo offers personalized sessions specifically designed to help you practice and improve your English speaking skills. These sessions provide expert guidance and feedback tailored to your individual needs.

Remember, the key is consistency and practice. Don't be afraid to make mistakes; it's all part of the learning process. By actively applying what you learn from novels in your daily conversations, you will gradually see improvement in your spoken English skills.

A Quick Recap

Now that we've explored the topic of improving your English speaking skills through reading novels, let's do a quick recap of the key points we've discussed.

We addressed the question "Which novel is best for improving English?" While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, it's important to choose books that match your language proficiency level and personal interests. Selecting novels that are slightly above your current level can challenge you without being too overwhelming.

Next, we explored potential beginner and advanced-level novels that are suitable for English language learners. For beginners, classic children's books like Charlotte's Web by E.B. White or Matilda by Roald Dahl can be a great starting point. As you progress, you could move on to more challenging works such as To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

We then delved into some application techniques to make the most out of your reading practice, like mimicry and note-making.

Keep practising and exploring more books on their language progression journey with Clapingo. Reading novels is just one aspect of language improvement; there are other resources available on Clapingo such as interactive speaking exercises and grammar lessons that can further enhance your English skills.

Remember, improving your English speaking skills takes time and consistent effort. By choosing suitable books, applying effective techniques, and continuing to explore new material, you will undoubtedly see progress along your language learning journey.


1. Which novels are best for improving English?

When it comes to improving your English speaking skills through reading novels, it's important to choose books that are not only enjoyable but also offer a variety of vocabulary, dialogues, and writing styles. Some classic novels that can help in this regard include:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

  • 1984 by George Orwell

  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

2. What should I read if I want to improve my English?

If you want to enhance your English speaking skills, it's recommended to read a mix of classic literature, contemporary fiction, and non-fiction books. This will expose you to different writing styles and vocabulary.

Additionally, consider reading books from different genres such as mystery, science fiction, and historical fiction. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Classic Literature: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

  • Contemporary Fiction: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

  • Non-Fiction: Becoming by Michelle Obama

3. Can we improve English by reading books?

Absolutely! Reading books is an excellent way to improve your English speaking skills. It exposes you to new words, and sentence structures, and helps you understand how native speakers use the language naturally. Regular reading not only expands your vocabulary but also enhances your comprehension abilities.

4. How can I improve my English speaking through reading?

To make the most out of your reading experience for improving spoken English:

  • Choose books at an appropriate difficulty level.

  • Keep a dictionary handy to look up unfamiliar words.

  • Take notes of new words or phrases and practice using them in conversations.

  • Join a book club or find a language partner to discuss the books you read.

  • Listen to audiobooks while following along with the text to improve pronunciation and listening skills.

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