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Extensive Reading: Why is it so Important?

Extensive Reading: Why is it so Important?

Did you know students who read one graded reader a week ...?

- do better on standard tests than students who study only their course books? - greatly increase their overall motivation and liking for English? - become more confident and more motivated readers and language learners? - will double their vocabulary knowledge and greatly develop their sense of how

grammar works?

- will improve their listening, speaking as well as writing and spelling abilities?

There is research evidence for all of the above. Strong evidence. This is not magic, it’s common sense.


Traditional course books introduce new grammar points in each lesson which is good for getting a initial idea about how they work. But these lessons don't give enough practice in the grammar and vocabulary because the next lesson has something new. Students need to meet the grammar and vocabulary time and time again and in many contexts so they can develop a deeper and richer understanding of how they work together. Extensive reading develops their English because the massive exposure to language through extensive reading consolidates their English through experience, develops their ‘sense’ of how English works, and allows them to make better choices when speaking and writing. This creates more confident and motivated learners who feel their English is developing.

What do the students read?

They read very easy books at varying levels of difficulty from complete beginner to very advanced. These books are called graded readers. Students can read the same book together, or read books they choose themselves in class or at home.

How much should they read?

As much as possible. The more they read, the greater the benefits. Most teachers have some silent reading time in class once or twice a week.

How can I assess their reading? This type of reading is for reading practice and it’s not always necessary to assess them. You can check they did they reading by asking them to write a short reading report, by telling others in the class about their book, or by asking them to take free online reading tests at

How can I set up an Extensive Reading program?

The free Guide to Extensive Reading available online is full of information and ideas about Extensive Reading.

Is it easy to do?

Yes. All you do is watch the students learn as they enjoy reading.

You can find more information here

The ERF Graded Reader List: The Extensive Reading YouTube


Start Extensive Reading today! Your students will LOVE it!

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