Extensive Reading as a Tool For Conversational Skills


 Extensive Reading as a Tool For Conversational Skills

By: Janna Neniouc

Reading has been the skill most emphasized in traditional EFL teaching,and even today is the main point of EFL instruction in many countries.
Today ESL/EFL reading instruction is moving increasingly from teaching texts to teaching readers. Specifically, we now teach learners reading skills/strategies for understanding such elements as content, textual features, rhetorical elements, and cultural background.

In the world practice of teaching ESL/EFL there are a lot of debates regarding “intensive reading” and “extensive reading”. Intensive reading is mostly used for the development of reading comprehension skills, which are necessary for an advanced level.
On my opinion, only extensive reading is suitable for young learners.

There is a large body of research where extensive reading is called "pleasure reading," "sustained silent reading", or "uninterrupted sustained silent reading". I partly agree with these definitions. I would call my method: “uninterrupted reading aloud”.
The kids that are not accustomed to the sounds of the foreign speech have the real opportunity to hear themselves and due to this experience to start imitating the new sounds. This experience conducts to the conversational skills.


There are 3 basic steps in this process:

1. Reading the text 3-5 times
2. Learning the text by heart
3. Retelling the memorized text at class

The young kids do not possess of an ability of generalization of the given material, that’s why it doesn’t seem to me useful to retell the summary of the text at the beginning. At the same time learning texts by heart is the only way to start speaking naturally.




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