Monday, January 24, 2011

Extensive Reading Helps Students Read Better and Faster

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It is not surprising that students learn to read better and faster by reading. But there are two types of reading for students.

EFL professors may prefer an extensive reading approach.

What is extensive reading?
Reading is usually divided into two types: 1) intensive and 2) extensive.

Intensive reading involves the practice of particular reading skills and the close examination of text. Tasks often include scanning and skimming for particular details in texts.

By contrast, extensive reading involves reading numerous texts and thus a greater exposure to the language. Students read for pleasure and for a general comprehension of texts.

Benefits for Students
Students participate in the selection of texts of their interest. Less pressure provides an enjoyable reading environment.

Improvements in writing and a stronger vocabulary are also results from extensive reading programs.

Moreover, students are empowered to take control of their own language learning.

A key component of an extensive reading program is measuring progress. Students are often required to maintain a reading journal in order to record their reflections on texts.

The following questions can be used as a guide:

  • What book(s) did you read this week?
  • What did you find particularly interesting?
  • How many pages did you read?
  • How much time did you spend reading?
  • What are your reading goals this week?

You may be interested in a study evaluating an extensive reading program.

*** If you are in São Paulo and need English lessons, or Elite English Services including translations (Spanish/French/Portuguese to English), please contact Professor Winn by sending an email to for a prompt evaluation. Buy your English-language texts today!

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