Extensive Reading

What is it?

EXTENSIVE READING is a term for independent reading of large quantity of material for information or pleasure. The main aim of practicing Extensive Reading is “to get students reading in the second language and liking it” says Day and Bamford.

Extensive Reading ensures that

  •       students read large amounts of printed material
  •       Students read a variety of materials in terms of topic and genre;
  •       The materials students read is within their level of comprehension
  •       The students choose what they wanted to read
  •       Reading is its own reward
  •       Students read for pleasure, information and general understanding
  •       Students read their selection at faster rate;
  •       Reading is individual that is students read on their own
  •       Teachers read along with their students, thus serving as role of good readers
  •       Teacher guide and keep track of students progress

Many teachers believe that intensive reading is enough. But studies clearly prove that the amount of extensive reading was the only variable that could be used to make a reliable prediction of adult ESL learner’s proficiency in English. Extensive Reading requires massive collection of books, which is very difficult and impractical. Involving community activity to collect materials may solve this problem. Collection old News papers and magazines, comics and catalogues may help the teacher to build a material reserve Day and Bamford are not for postreading activities such as questions summary writings etc. Postreading activities will be very useful for mediocre and slow readers. Experts argue that the language acquisitions must be proved through postreading activities. Once the reader uses acquired structures and vocab they build a bonding with the language.

The Great Wall of Ice

Unfortunately most of the teachers believe that intensive reading alone will produce good, fluent readers. Intensive reading gives room for students to analyze, and to comprehend. It aims at constructing detailed meaning form the text, to develop reading skills, and beef up vocab. Certainly intensive reading alone will not make skilled readers.
Most of the teachers are not ready to break their comfort zone. They don’t dare to differ, to plan a student centered activity based classroom. Intensive Reading environment gives them control over the class. Where as Extensive Reading is entirely opposite. Extensive Reading requires teachers to guide students and be a fellow learner in the reading environment.

Have a try. Open new vistas of learning English.


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