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Extensive Reading

Cigdem Göle

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The Characteristics of an Extensive Reading Approach

from Day & Bamford (1998, p. 7-8)

  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 student's 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.


I've been using Cover to Cover (Oxford U.P.), which was designed to cover extensive reading skills and I've seen that the students have benefited a lot more from it that they do from intensive reading where they deal with a set of comprehension questions and many unknown words.

Edited by Cigdem Göle
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