The importance of extensive reading in ESL classes
Extensive reading is a highly rewarding way of learning a new language which is commonly overlooked in ESL classes, particularly as a classroom activity. This type of reading occurs when learners read large amounts of high interest material concentrating on comprehending main ideas and skipping unknown words and specific details with the aim of improving reading fluency and enjoying their learning experience.
How to encourage extensive reading
While both fiction and non-fiction texts can be included in reading programmes to encourage this constructive habit, most ESL teachers falsely believe that only long novels can serve this purpose. However, there exist graded reading materials that even provide an audio recording of the book. This greatly facilitates reading fluency since the reader needs to follow at the pace of the recording. It sometimes even pushes them to read much faster than would otherwise be the case. Students would certainly benefit from this because it helps them establish connections between written and spoken English.
A major problem with most reading activities is many parents and schools are somewhat confused about the right texts which are suitable for extensive reading activities. In fact, more often than not, they have a hard time selecting books which can help their kids maximise their children's proficiency; thus, they are highly likely to resort to books that are either too difficult or too long and dull for their kids which can turn the entire experience into a frustrating one.
Despite the numerous merits of extensive reading, lots of ESL Teachers often do not consider it an effective use of class time or are simply uncomfortable with the extended silence in the classroom as students read their favorite passages.
How Forbest Academy encourages extensive reading programmes
We provide diverse material based on the recent syllabi recommended by the most credible schools in North America to ensure learners find texts that are interesting to them and are of an appropriate level of difficulty.
We have made it easier for students to appreciate the merits of extensive reading, including linguistic benefits, through carefully-designed exercises.
Our teachers model good reading habits.
Our course schedule has been designed in a way that it helps students build the foundations of extensive reading in class time. We have even considered a multitude of delivery modes (e.g. material to be read on a phone).
We have chosen reading and follow-up writing formats that young learners can easily relate to.
The inclusion of material that has short sections has made reading less intimidating for reluctant readers, especially for young boys. This is coupled with opportunities to enhance input and repeated exposure through interesting post-reading activities (discussions and audio materials) in order to aid vocabulary acquisition.
At Forbest Academy, we use “Graded readers” which are novels or plays that have been simplified or adapted by renowned international publishers, like Cambridge, Oxford and Macmillan, to make lower level English learners' extensive reading activities more purposeful and more worthwhile both in and outside the classroom. These texts are graded based on the level of difficulty and are intended to direct language learners to an appropriate level while making sure that they are not asked to read something beyond their true reading ability as too much unknown language prevents students from reading quickly (ideally, at least 150-200 words a minute) and fluently.
Our library provides a broad range of carefully-selected books from a wide variety of genres and topics to choose from. There are also bimonthly reward programs and competitions for successful readers.
Copyright 2021 Forbest Academy 福拜思教育