What is extensive reading? How can it help me?

Have you ever heard of extensive reading? It’s a great way to study a language alone. Not only can you improve your reading speed, but you can also build your vocabulary and even grammar.

So what is extensive reading? Extensive reading (ER) is a kind of reading where you do a lot of reading at a lower language level. It is the level where you understand almost all of the reading (about 97%). In other words, if you read one hundred words, there should be about three new words for you. This is the level you should be able to read without stopping to check a dictionary. By reading a lot at this level, you naturally learn new language from its context (the language around it).

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To do a lot of extensive reading, you also need to read things you enjoy. But it can be difficult to find reading that matches both your level and interests. Most reading you find in books or online may be too difficult for language learners. One way to find the right kind of extensive reading is to use graded readers. These are special books made for language learners.

Graded readers

Graded readers have many different levels. They also have many different types, from romance and science fiction stories to biographies and self-help topics. This makes it easy to find reading that’s interesting for you. You can find graded reader websites online. You can also find them in libraries and book shops. Don’t rush to choose your first reader. Take time to find something that matches your level and interests.

Some learners make the mistake of trying to start with extensive reading that is too difficult and then giving up. If you’re not sure about the level, then it’s always better to start with the easier reading and focus on reading more.

Finally, how much extensive reading do you need to do? Of course, more is always better. It’s best if you can read for at least 3-4 hours each week. If you’re reading things you enjoy, hopefully, you will then start to want to read more 🙂

Related links

Pomaka graded readers

Ten tips to get your students reading more outside class