Two Ways to Practice Reading

4259120807_0673304b76There are two main ways to work on your reading:

  1. Intensive Reading
  2. Extensive Reading

You are probably most familiar with Intensive Reading.

When you read intensively, you’re given a difficult text and work out every detail of it. You look up the words you don’t know. You answer comprehension questions. You feel like a scholar (though often a miserable one).

You usually do this in school.


Extensive Reading is much different.

Actually, some of my students don’t like it because it sounds lazy: have fun reading easy books.

Seriously. It helps. This is supported by research!

When you read extensively, you (the student)¬†choose an interesting text that’s pretty easy for you. On the first page, there shouldn’t be more than 3 or 4 unfamiliar words.

Read it. Enjoy. Repeat.

If you don’t like the book, stop reading it and pick something else.

When you’re finished, choose another book. No questions, no book reports. The idea is to just read a lot of high-interest, low-difficulty English.

You *might* choose to keep a simple list of the titles you’ve read. It could be useful for your teachers to see your interests and progress. It might help you see your own accomplishments, too. Your choice!

Have you been making time for extensive reading? If not, visit your local library and pick out some books! Do it this weekend! Have fun!

Listen to Emily read this post. (a new window will open)

Photo Credit: Indi Samarajiva on Flickr