IntroductionExtensive reading is an approach to languagelearning, including foreign language learning, by themeans of a large amount of reading. The learnersview and review of unknow words in specificcontext will allow the learner to infer the wordsmeaning, and thus to learn unkown words. Whilethe mecanism is commonly accepted as true, itsimportance in language learning is disputed.
Intensive & Extensive ReadingIntensive reading It is related to further progress in language learning under the teachers guidance. It provides a basis for explaining difficulties of structure and forextending knowledge of vocabulary and idioms. It willprovide material for developing greater control of thelanguage and speech and writing. Students will studyshort stories and extracts from novels, chosen for thestandard of difficultly of the language and for theinterest they hold for this particular group of students.Intensive reading is generally at a slower speed andrequires a higher degree of understanding to developand refine word study skills, enlarge passivevocabulary, reinforce skills related to sentencestructure, increase active vocabulary, distinguishamong thesis, fact, supportive and non-supportivedetails, provide sociocultural insights.
Extensive reading It develops at the students own pace according to individual ability. It will be selected at a lower level of difficulty than that for intensive reading. Where frequency wordcounts are available for the language being learned,extensive reading will conform to a lower frequencyword count than intensive reading. Material will beselected whose choice of structure is habitually lesscomplex and whose vocabulary range is less extensive.The purpose of extensive reading is to train thestudents to read directly and fluently in the targetlanguage for enjoyment without the aid of the teacher.Where graded texts are available, structures in textsfor extensive reading will be already familiar, and newitems of vocabulary will be introduced slowly in such away that their meaning can be deduced from contextor quickly ascertained. The student will be encouragedto make intelligent guesses at the meaning ofunfamiliar items. Material consists of authentic shortstories and plays, or informative or controversialarticles from newspapers and magazines. A fewadaptations of vocabulary and structure will be made.The style of writing should entail a certain amount ofrepetition without monotony. Novelties of vocabulary
should not coincide with difficulties of structure. Itmeans reading in quantity and in order to gain ageneral understanding of what is read. It is intended todevelop good reading habits, to build up knowledge ofvocabulary and structure and to encourage a liking forreading, Increase total comprehension, enable studentsto achieve independence in basic skill development,acquaint the student with relevant socio-culturalmaterial, and encourage recreational reading.
The Characteristics of an Extensive Reading Approach 1. Students read as much as possible, perhaps in and definitely out of the classroom. 2. A variety of materials on a wide range of topics is available so as to encourage reading for different reasons and in different ways. 3. Students select what they want to read and have the freedom to stop reading material that fails to interest them. 4. The purposes of reading are usually related to pleasure, information and general understanding. The purposes are determined by the nature of the material and the interests of the student. 5. Reading is its own reward. There are few or no follow-up exercises after reading. 6. Reading materials are well within the linguistic competence of the students in terms of vocabulary and grammar. Dictionaries are rarely used while reading because the constant stopping to look up words makes fluent reading difficult. 7. Reading is individual and silent, at the students own pace, and, outside class, done when and where the student chooses. 8. Reading speed is usually faster rather than slower as students read books and other material they find easily understandable. 9. Teachers orient students to the goals of the program, explain the methodology, keep track of what each student reads, and guide students in getting the most out of the program. 10. The teacher is a role model of a reader for the students -- an active member of the classroom reading community, demonstrating what it means to be a reader and the rewards of being a reader
In the real world, reading is a means to an end and notan end in itself. It is always a purposeful activity, andour job as teachers is to help students, identify thesedifferent purposes and to master the strategies bestsuited to achieving them.Teaching Extensive Reading skills :Teachers are often discouraged by the inefficientreading methods of otherwise fluent students. Manyforeign- language students in secondary and tertiaryinstitutions cant keep up with their assignments andblame their slow reading speed. Despite our bestefforts , we find students struggling word -for-wordthrough a text, plowing on from beginning to end andstumbling at every unfamiliar item. Unfortunately, suchslow and wasteful procedures are commonly due to alack of reading confidence created by the very mannerof their learning in EFL classes.Identifying Purposes :Students have to be disabused of the notion thatreading in English is somehow a linguistic exercisequite different form reading in their own language.Outside the classroom the motivation to read is alwayssupplied by a specific purpose the reader has inextracting the information that a text contains. Wemust simply seek to provide the materials andexercises that reflect the authentic purposes of thisreading. The increase in a students linguisticunderstanding is thus gained only as a by- product. The purpose of reading a particular text is the mostimportant determinant of reading strategy. We do notalways require the same level of comprehension,detail our students that it is efficient and profitable tovary their technique and speed according to theirpurpose in reading. Attention.Table 1 shows the relationship between these factors insome sample reading situation. Table 2 is morespecific. It gives an outline of how particular purposes
can be designated to various reading assignments fortiary institutions. It connects immediate goals to moregeneral purposes and suggests the most appropriatestrategies.Awareness of reading flexibility : The next step is to show student that different tasks require different degree of understanding and attention. While extremely useful in many study situation, the skills developed through intensive analysis of short texts are not always appropriate, and students may be surprised to learnthat they dont have to read everything or give equalweight to each word.This can be demonstrated by getting student toreconstruct closed texts or read passages with all"grammar" words removed. It is rate that a text willcontain less than 20% of articles, connectives,prepositions, modals, and so on, which are usuallyautomatically skimmed in the L1, and by efficientnative English speakers.More importantly however, student need to realizethat texts contain information of varying importanceto the purpose in reading. To make students aware ofthe relationship between purpose and strategy, givethem a series of different reading tasks bases on someof the main purposes derived from the sample situationin tables 1 and 2. for example, the following kinds ofexercises might be used.
1. Read a technical /scholarly text carefully to preparefor detailed exam questions in its content.2. Read a similar text to find the answer to a particularquestion without looking back in the text.3. Find one book containing the relevant material for aparticular topic area from a 10-item reading list.
4. Read several movie reviews to decide which one tosee this weekend. Students should notice the actorsnames, general plot information, and the reviewersoverall opinion.These exercise can be timed and assessed foraccuracy. If students scores for speed andcomprehension in them are similar, then they areapproaching all these tasks in the same way. Theyhave developed the habit of reading every text frombeginning to end and need to be taught theadvantages of explicitly identifying their purposebefore starting to read.Developing reading efficiency : Reading efficiently means approaching every reading task with a clear purpose and with the flexibility to adjust reading strategy to the purpose at hand. The burden is therefore on the teacher to provide reading tasks that exploit differenttechniques. Table 3 summarizes the relationshipbetween high- level purposes and reading strategies.Because there seems to be some confusion about themain extensive reading skills-often because they aremerged together and their features obscured-I willbriefly review them below and suggest some classroomapproaches.Surveying :Surveying is a strategy for quickly and efficientlypreviewing text content and organization usingreferencing and non- text material. Although specificstrategies depend on the type of text, surveying
basically involves making a quick check of therelevant extra- text categories.1. Reference Data - e.g., title, author, copyrightdate, blurb, table of contents, chapter or articlesummaries, subheading etc.2. Graphical Data – diagrams, illustrations, tables,maps.3. Typographical data all features that help informationstand out, including typefaces, spacing, enumeration,underlining, indentation, etc.Skimming : Efficient readers unreflectively skim most of what they read to some extent. Skimming is a more text oriented form of surveying and refers to the method of glancing through a text to extract the gist or main points. Generally speaking, about 75% of the text isdisregarded. This is a valuable technique forreviewing material or determining whether it isrelevant for more detailed investigation.Scanning :Scanning is a rapid search for specific informationrather than general impression. Scanning demandsthat the reader ignore all but the key item beingsearched for. It is a useful skill for data gathering,review, using reference books, or judging whether atext contains material deserving further study.Phrase reading :While not strictly an extensive- reading strategy,phrase reading utilizes what are essentially advancedscanning skills and is a valuable reading strategy.The two keys to proficient scanning and phrasereading are concentration and eye- span ability.
Text – organization awareness :In addition, recent interest in describing the rhetoricalstructure of different text types or genres is directlyrelevant to improving extensive reading strategiesfinding in cognitive psychology have established thateffective comprehension depends on the readersability to relate what is being read to a familiar patternor scheme (Widows on 1983). By enabling the readerto correctly identify and organize information into aconventional frame, knowledge of genres provides aking of structural map that assists the rapid appraisalof a text and thereby increase skimming, scanning,and phrase- reading ability.Conclusions : Efficiently reading is an essential prerequisite for success in todays world, where there is never the time to read everything leisurely and thoroughly. Creating an awareness of reading flexibility and developing the strategies for this are thereforeamong the most useful contribution we can make toour students futures.This is not suggest that we neglect intensive readingskills. There are obviously many occasions when aclose and accurate interpretation of a text is essential.But we cannot leave learners with the idea thatreading a text always means understanding everyword.