What is the most important improvement a language teacher can make? According to Paul Nation, it’s “Adding an extensive reading program to a language course.”
But what are the benefits of extensive reading, and why should we practice it? In this workshop at JALT National (11/23/2015), we gave a core definition and summarized 9 benefits of ER.
First, we stated that ER is a reading BEE (a meeting for communal enjoyment). Readers commune with authors, story characters, and other readers. BEE stands for the idea that ER is Big, Easy, and Enjoyable.
Next, we stated the benefits of ER, saying that “ER makes MASTERFUL English.” Each letter in MASTERFUL summarizes one of the 9 benefits of ER.
- Motivation: ER motivates reading and learning.
- Attitude: ER improves attitudes.
- Syntax: ER develops learner syntax and grammar.
- Thinking: ER improves thinking, that is writing.
- Ears: ER benefits listening skills.
- Riches: ER enriches physical, emotional, and intellectual life.
- Fluency: ER increases reading automaticity and fluency.
- Uber-text: ER employs the supreme form of content, namely stories.
- Lexis: ER improves vocabulary and word knowledge.
Click here or on the image for a PDF of the talk.