Extensive Reading Vs. Benefits of Extensive Reading By Edna Orozco López and Miguel de la Ferrelle OrtizWhat is extensive reading?According to Richard Day extensive reading means that students read many andeasy books for information and enjoyment. (1976). ELT Journal, 50(2), 150-159. Since this study only investigated the impact of extensive reading on a single subject, the findings in the study are limited to the perspective of this single learner. Extensive reading offers a lot of benefits (provided you enjoy reading). Pitts, M., White, H., & Krashen, S. (1989). What are the benefits of extensive reading? Extensive means covering a substantial area and so, extensive reading refers to that type of reading in which students read and refer to large quantities of material, chosen by themselves. When learners do read level-appropriate materials for extensive reading, the benefits include: Am I preaching to the choir? Success in formal study may make reading more feasible. Extensive reading and the development of language skills. The vocabulary knowledge measures did not measure total vocabulary size or vocabulary growth. Hirsh, D., & Nation, P. (1992). Journal of Research in Reading, 12(2), 164-178. Huang and van Naerssen (1987) found that reading outside class was the most significant predictor of oral communicative ability. Applied Linguistics, 8(3), 287-307. Reading Research Quarterly, 24(2), 174ñ187. Phone: 403-410-1587, Email: SGAreception@bowvalleycollege.ca Experimental studies have shown that not only is there improvement in reading, but that there are improvements in a range of language uses and areas of language knowledge. Bow Valley College - North Campus London: Longman. Then, I will examine the numerous benefits of extensive reading as well as some obstacles which explain why extensive reading programs are difficult to implement. Let us look at two books written without formal vocabulary control for young native speakers and compare them with a graded reader written to fit into a prescribed vocabulary level. When this unfortunate experience occurs, there is too much unfamiliar vocabulary for learners to possibly use context to acquire new vocabulary, little comprehension, and the potential for discouragement from future reading. Gradman and Hanania (1991) found that out of class reading was the most important direct contributor to TOEFL test performance. Word frequency level and the average number of running words needed to meet each word again. As well as facilitating acquisition of vocabulary, it is believed to increase motivation through positive affective benefits.” The benefits of extensive reading do not come in the short term. This means that a learner with a vocabulary of the most frequent 1500 words would need to read 13,000 running words in order to meet a repetition of words at this level to reinforce a previous meeting. (1994). In the following section we will see if texts for native speakers can meet these requirements. System, 18(1), 31-42. The figures in column two are from Francis and Kuçera (1982). Directions, 7, 15-24. As learnersí vocabulary grows larger, the new vocabulary is of lower frequency, and therefore the amounts of extensive reading would need to be greater. (1989). Nevertheless, the substantial long-term benefits justify the high degree of commitment needed. Benefits of extensive reading: 1. In addition, several of the words outside the lists were repeated several times (huff, puff, chinny, chin). Green and Oxford (1995) in a study of the effect of learning strategies on language proficiency found that reading for pleasure was most strongly related to proficiency. At this level, this is the equivalent of one graded reader every one to two weeks. The lengths in column four are from the Longman Structural Readers Handbook (1976). These include gains in reading and writing competence, oral and aural skills, vocabulary growth, and increases in motivation, self-esteem and empathy. Responses based on research would be appreciated. The Benefits of Extensive Reading Question: What is extensive reading? Longman Structural Readers Handbook. Learning strategies for oral communication. Gradman and Hanania found the strongest connection going from individual out of class reading to TOEFL results. Talking specifically of intensive reading - let's give some definitions for the starters. One evening, she finds herself locked in the library with none other than Mr. Darcy himself. Out of class language learning strategies. Elley (1991, pp. Robb, T. N., & Susser, B. While intensive reading requires a high level of focus and deliberate effort, extensive reading is meant to be a fun and pleasurable experience, requiring a low expenditure of mental effort. (1989). (1990). Learning words from context. Elley, W. B. However, the figures on repetition indicate that teachers need to be serious about extensive reading programs particularly in ensuring that learners do large amounts of reading. The percentage coverage (and cumulative coverage) of three texts by the high frequency words of English, names, and all the remaining words. On Wednesday, I'll share with you the method/approach I used with my learners when selecting books. Pickard, N. (1996). Vocabulary acquisition from listening to stories. The books used were not graded readers but were ones that young native speakers of English would read. A well-balanced language program has appropriate amounts of message directed activity and language focused activity. TESOL Quarterly, 29(2), 261-297. There is a rough way of providing a guideline for deciding how much extensive reading learners at a particular level should be doing. the objective are improve their overall comprehension skills and give them an active vocabulary. ER allows for multiple encounters with words and phrases in context thus making possible the progressive accretion of meanings to them. If, for example, the memory of a meeting with a word lasts for one week, then the learner will need to read at least 10,000 words per week (40 pages of 250 words per page) to ensure that there is another meeting with the word before the memory of it is lost. Tudor, I., & Hafiz, F. (1989). Applied Linguistics, 17(2), 210-233. Learning from graded readers. Improving vocabulary Reading … Reading books benefits both your physical and mental health, and those benefits can last a lifetime. Experimental studies of second language learnersí vocabulary learning from reading have not come near to approaching the careful design of first language studies best exemplified by the work of Nagy, Herman and Anderson (1985). This kind of reading helps students to develop a sense of liberty. Success in reading may increase motivation for further study and reading. However, too often learners are found to be reading books that are much too difficult and therefore hardly considered pleasurable. System, 6(2), 72ñ78. Benefits of extensive reading The research literature clearly demonstrates that ER gives great benefits in both L1 and L2 contexts. Reading Research Quarterly, 20, 233-253. For less than advanced students, the language barrier usually reduces reading to slow, painful decoding with a dictionary -- which is, of course, not really reading at all. Elley, W. B., & Mangubhai, F. (1981a). There are many benefits of Extensive Reading in language learning. Comparing the effects of reading and writing on writing performance. It is believed that extensive reading is an important factor in education. It helped them to engage with reading more and it changed how they read. The book flood studies involved learners spending the greater part of their class time reading books that interested them. Note that the names of the characters and places make up a large proportion of the words not in the first 2,000 words. They found that oral exposure, speaking and listening outside class and communicative oral use affected out of class reading. Privacy Policy, Posted by English Language Learning on February 4, 2013, Instructor Training & Professional Development, Learners will have a positive attitude toward reading. 378-379) attributes the success to five factors. A study of texts aimed at teenage native speakers of English showed that such texts are not as accessible for non-native speakers as graded readers (Hirsh & Nation, 1992). 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