Thursday, November 8, 2007

Intensive Verses Extensive Reading

Getting ESL/EFL students to read sometimes can be a challenge, particularly if their only experience has been years of intensive reading that has been way over their head. In other words, students are sometimes asked to read articles or books that are way too difficult for them, and students then have to use their dictionaries to figure out the meaning of every other word. So, while we thing students are improving their reading and vocabulary, they just end up hating reading entirely and never read for just pleasure.

Extensive reading, on the other hand, is having students read a lot for pleasure, but the reading passages are well within their linguistic reach. For my students, if they can understand 95 percent of what they read, then continue with the book. Otherwise, choose something easier. In this way, I want students to be exposed to high-frequency vocabulary they could recycle in everyday language, particularly in a productive, speaking way. So, what are some ways to encourage students to read more and love it? Please share your ideas.



  1. In my experiences, intensive reading maybe is a neceissary process for entensive reading. But I don't mean that students have to reading the articles too difficult to understanding. Instead, if students reading approprite lever and attrcative articles, which would not so discouraged, they can keep their interests in learning english, and then together with they improving reading and vocabulary, they will enjoy themself in reading english articles. Besieds, enought reading experienes help to familiar with englisg usage.

  2. Thanks for your wonderful work. I've learned a lot by visiting your sites.
    About intensive or extensive reading. As a student I prefer extensive reading, if the book is a interesting one I don't search the words, nevertheless I get the meaning.
    It will be very nice if it exist for English the same as for Russian literature (maybe it exist and I don't know) : -;Anna_Karinina;Chast_I;Glava_I
    Maria Ferreira

  3. Recall my reading experiences, I tend to read things relating to social events such as drug abuse problems, or new generation phenomenon. Those issues interested me and stimulate my interests to read though some are too difficult to "chew." The difficulty appears when I read novels. Some novels are just right to me. How to keep on reading constantly is key factor for my English learning. Sometimes I am just too lazy to pick up anything to read, and now I realize that I don't have to feel too bad about that. I've learn the lesson that no need to push myself so hard, being flexible to read could be good for a long-term learning.

  4. with prominent expectations.
    But I think, I'd get one of those.
    ABC news. New years party.

  5. I guess that the more you know your students , the more you know what they like to read... the kind of literature they like best. Teachers could then base their lessons on what their students are more familiar with ( working within their linguistic reach). After encouraging their students to read more books (or whatever they'd feel like reading), different genres could be introduced and then become part of the teaching program.

  6. English Language has the maximum number of words than any other language. Every day many words are added in the dictionary. These at one platform words can be found where learning is fun filled with different fun filled strategies. For experiencing it visit


Thanks for posting a comment. I appreciate your interesting in sharing your ideas.



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