Reading Power (Part 2)
A3-Beginner++BNC LevelsCEFR LevelsProtectedSciencesStep 2Stories ReadOasis 1
ReadOasis Step 2
The lesson is this. You can win the race by working little by little. Extensive reading is a turtle technique. If you want to read 3,000,000 words in one year, how long will it take? If your reading speed is 150 words per minute, you can reach your goal in less than one hour per day. You can do it little by little, like a turtle.
Maybe you don’t have one hour per day. But you can reach the same goal in 15 or 30 minutes per day. It will take you a little longer, but the result will still be good. Also, as you read a lot, your reading speed will get faster, and you will read more in less time. But here’s the important point. If you do extensive reading little by little every day, you can get great results over time. It can be like living abroad for a year, or even more, just by reading.
Besides reading a lot, extensive reading is about ease and choice. Junko is reading a book. It’s hard for her. On just one page, she looks up 50 new words. Next to every new word, she writes a neat translation in Japanese. She takes more than one hour to read only one page. This is not extensive reading.
With extensive reading, Junko reads easy books or stories. On one page, maybe she doesn’t know 2 or 3 words. But she really doesn’t need to look them up in her dictionary. She can guess the meaning from the other words, and she can easily understand the story without a dictionary. Scientists say that, for this to happen, Junko needs to understand 95% to 98% of the words on every page. Graded readers and stories at ReadOasis.com are designed so that you can read them easily like this.
With this ease, you also have choice. You can choose from hundreds of stories and hundreds of books. You can choose books that are interesting to you. You can choose to read stories at ReadOasis.com that inspire you. This choice gives you power. You are free to choose what you want, and this gives you the power and desire to read. Choice gives you motivation, and all learners need motivation to succeed.
Because of choice, now you can read stories and books that appeal to you. Joe is interested in music, so he reads books and stories about music, about famous musicians, and about popular songs. Sue likes art, so she reads about famous artists and their works. Guy wants to study science at university. But he needs to improve his English first, so at ReadOasis.com, he reads stories about science and technology as he prepares for the TOEFL test.
Extensive reading is about ease, choice, and interest. It is also about pleasure. Some people like studying languages. But most people do not really enjoy the study of language. We learn language so that we can use it for learning about art, science, history, culture, and anything else that is interesting to us. With extensive reading, you can read for pleasure.
As you read for pleasure, you learn and enjoy many things. And as you read, you forget something. You forget that you are learning English! Language Learning goes into the background, and you feel the pleasure of a story, or the power of a big idea.
But even if this pleasure makes you forget, something good is still happening. You are learning new words and expressions. You are improving your grammar. And as you improve your vocabulary and grammar, you are also building the basis for your listening, speaking, and writing skills.
Reading for pleasure also has another benefit. Your feelings about the English language change. You start to feel positive about learning English. You start to feel more confidence, and this positive feeling makes you want to learn more. You read with ease, by your choice, with interest, and with pleasure. And because of these things, you begin to feel the power to speak.
Of course extensive reading is not the only way to learn English. Practicing all your English skills is helpful and important. But extensive reading is a great way to learn. By reading a lot, you can enter a world of English. You can enter a world of arts, sciences, and big ideas. You can change yourself and your world through the power of reading.