Extensive Reading (ER) is an approach to second language reading. When learners read extensively, they read very easy, enjoyable books to build their reading speed and fluency.
There are many reasons why Extensive Reading is good for language development:
(1)Extensive Reading builds vocabulary. When learners read a lot, they meet thousands of words and lexical (word) patterns that are not taught in textbooks. Extensive Reading allows the learner to develop an awareness of collocations (common word partnerships) and thousands of lexical phrases.
(2)Extensive Reading helps learners understand grammar. In textbooks, learners meet hundreds of grammar patterns but these often don’t occur frequently enough for real acquisition to occur. Extensive Reading provides opportunities to see grammar in context so learners can deepen their understanding of how grammar is really used.
(3)Extensive Reading helps learners to build reading speed and reading fluency. In particular, developing reading speed is important because it helps learners to understand language faster and better.
(4)One objective of Extensive Reading is reading for pleasure. This builds confidence and motivation which makes the learner a more effective user of language.