The Power of Reading – one of the best way to improve your English

by mareq22 on January 8, 2014

The title “The Power of Reading” comes from a book by Dr. Stephen Krashen, probably the number one expert on language learning and language teaching in the world. He has done an incredible amount of research on the topic of learning languages.

I’m going to concentrate on just one particular idea that comes from Dr. Stephen Krashen and his research and that is the power of reading. Dr. Krashen did a lot of research about how do native speakers, and people learning foreign languages learn vocabulary, how do they get good grammar and how do they acquire excellent writing skills.

One of the most important methods is reading for pleasure. And if you learning English or any other language, that means reading a lot of easy books. It might be just children’s novels. In other words we learn to read by reading. We learn vocabulary from reading. We learn a lot of our grammar from reading. We learn our writing skills from reading. Not by analyzing and studying grammar. Not be trying to memorize vocabulary.

It’s the same for grammar. The best grammar have people who are just reading lots of novels. The readers have much better grammar than the people who are studying grammar from textbooks.

This is fragment from Dr. Krashen’s book:
“When second language learners read for pleasure, they develop the competence they need to move from the beginning ordinary conversational level to a level where they can use the second language for more demanding purposes. Such as the serious study of literature, business and so on. When they read for pleasure they can continue to improve in their second language without classes, without teachers, without study. And even without people to converse with.

When we read we really have no choice. We must develop literacy. We rarely find well‑read people who have serious problems with grammar, spelling and so on. They write acceptably well because they can’t help it. They have subconsciously acquired good writing style as well as the conventions of writing. Our problem in language education, is that we have confused cause and effect. We have assumed that we first learn language skills and then apply these skills to reading and writing. But that is not the way the human brain works. Rather, reading for meaning, reading about things that matter to us is the cause of language development.”

This article is about reading but, in fact, listening is the same thing. So when you’re reading and listening a lot, that’s the first step to improve your language skills. And you need to do so much of it. You’ve got to read and listen for pleasure, for fun. If you do that first, the grammar skills then come later. They come from the listening and the reading. The writing skills come from reading a lot. Your vocabulary comes from reading a lot and listening, too. Your pronunciation comes from listening a lot. It’s the input that is the most important. And specific kind of input, it’s got to be meaningful, real, enjoyable, pleasurable. So that’s the power of reading.
If you like get his book. The book is called “The Power of Reading” by Dr. Stephen Krashen.

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