The benefits of extensive reading for lower level learners

2015-07-15


Gutenberg ScreenshotThe research into extensive reading suggests that those students who benefit most have at least pre-intermediate level English. There is more doubt about the advantages that extensive reading offers to lower level learners. We at Read Listen Learn are firm believers in the importance of reading even at beginner level though. Here's why?

Reading basic English aloud helps learners to recognise words at a glance. The more they see a word, the faster they recognise it and glean its meaning. So, reading helps low level learners to increase the speed with which they recognise words - if those words are not so hard, of course.

Next, reading is useful for low level learners because it increases their confidence. Very soon, they start to understand that they can read and that the more they do so, the better they become at it. They begin to feel that they could master the language.

Reading is also useful for low level learners when they are listening because they can follow the words and hear how they sound at the same time.

Of course, one of the major complaints about reading at low levels of English is that everything is aimed at children. Many writers of graded readers seem to assume that people without much knowledge of English must be a maximum of twelve years old and so they write about subjects that interest kids. Adult learners with little or no English may feel insulted by this and certainly won't be interested in the subect matter.

That's why we have articles about Martin Luther King, serial killers, football, fashion and bacteria - all in basic English! We may not have something to please everyone but we're adding new articles all the time...