ReadOasis Step 2
To learn English, living in an English speaking country is the best. This is because you can spend lots of time with English speakers every day, and you will need English to survive. But besides living abroad, extensive reading may be the next best thing for learning English. You don’t have to go to the English speaking world. You can put the world of English in your hands by reading lots of stories.
- read a lot
- read easy stories
- choose what you read
- read interesting stories
- read for pleasure
First of all, extensive reading is reading a lot. For example, during a period of four months, one of my students read 236,434 words. That is an average of 1,954 per day. This may seem like a lot, but look at the amount of time she spent. She reads about 150 words per minute, so she can read all these words, stories, and books in just 13 minutes per day. At this speed, she will read 1,000,000 words in one year. That’s an amazing amount in under 15 minutes per day.
With this much reading, you can expect great results. A professor in Japan showed this in his research. Dr. Hitoshi Nishizawa studied two groups of students. One group of students studied for one year in an English speaking country. Another group did extensive reading every day. Let’s call these groups the “travelers” and the “readers.”
Some of the readers read 3,000,000 words. These readers improved just as much as the travelers. (Remember, the travelers studied abroad for one year.) Some readers read 6,000,000 words, and they improved even more than the travelers. The results of this study are amazing, but good results like this are common in the science of extensive reading. This is a great result, but 3,000,000 words is also a great amount of reading.