Extensive Reading for ESL/EFL Students

extensive reading

Extensive Reading for English Learners

The best speakers of English are those that can read fluently. Extensive reading is an excellent way to learn a language the natural way. Extensive reading means reading for enjoyment and to develop general reading skills. It can be compared with intensive reading, which means reading in detail with specific learning aims and tasks. For example, to answer a set of questions based on the reading.

English Grammar and Vocabulary used in the Real World

Extensive reading helps you see how grammar and vocabulary are used in the real world. You’ll see all the stuff you’ve probably learned from a textbook in a natural context. Keep in mind two things: you should choose something at a slightly lower level, so you’re able to read for pleasure, and you shouldn’t stop and get out the dictionary every two seconds. This will make you feel frustrated and you’ll probably give up!

My general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t use your dictionary more than once per page. If you do, the book is too difficult for you if your purpose is extensive reading (reading for fun!). In this case, put that book back on your bookshelf and get an easier one. Test out the book before you borrow it from the library or buy it from the store. Read one page and see how you do. Can you understand almost everything relatively easily? Good! Start with that one.

Start with Teen Fiction

I always suggest to my students that they start with teen fiction. The stories are quite interesting (I like reading them too!) and the language is less difficult. Once you’ve mastered that genre, it’s time to start reading more difficult stuff like in-depth magazine articles, or adult fiction.

Top 10 Extensive Reading Ideas for ESL/EFL Students

Some suggestions in the teen fiction genre you might enjoy are the following. Clicking the links below will take you to the book on Amazon.
1.The Hunger Games Series
2.The Twilight Series
3. The Harry Potter Series
4. His Dark Materials Series
5. A Wrinkle in Time
6. Charlotte’s Web
7. The Giver
8. To Kill a Mockingbird
9.The Anne of Green Gables Series
10. The Chronicles of Narnia

Did you like this Extensive Reading Tip?

If you liked this tip about extensive reading for English language learners, then you’ll need to check out Study Tips to Learn English Faster: Become Fluent Quickly and EasilyThere are 200+ ideas for how you can learn English quickly and easily.

The authors, Jackie Bolen and Jennifer Booker Smith have taught English to students from around the world for almost 30 years. In this book, they’ve put together all the advice they’ve given students during that time for how to improve their English skills. Reading, writing, listening, speaking, grammar + vocabulary, and English proficiency exams. If you’re ready to level up your English, you’ve most definitely come to the right place.

The book is available on Amazon in both digital and print formats. The (cheaper!) digital one can be read on any device by downloading the free Kindle reading app. Better English awaits you! Check out the book on Amazon today:

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