Are you looking to improve your language skills but unsure whether to dive deep into a few texts or read extensively? The age-old debate between intensive reading and extensive reading has been going on for years.
Intensive reading is an approach that involves reading a small amount of complex material in a focused and detailed manner to gain a deep understanding of the text. While Extensive Reading is an approach that involves reading a large quantity of easier and less complex material in a relaxed and enjoyable manner to develop general reading skills and improve overall reading comprehension.
Extensive vs. Intensive Reading
|Extensive Reading||Intensive Reading|
|Extensive reading involves reading a large amount of text with the goal of gaining a general understanding of the content.||Intensive reading involves focusing on understanding the details of a specific text.|
|It involves reading materials that are easier and less complex.||It involves reading materials that are more challenging and complex.|
|Extensive reading is usually done for pleasure or for general knowledge.||Intensive reading is usually done for academic or professional purposes.|
|In extensive reading, the focus is on reading quickly and efficiently to cover a lot of material.||In intensive reading, the focus is on reading slowly and carefully to understand the meaning of each sentence.|
|Extensive reading is often done at a comfortable pace without much emphasis on vocabulary acquisition.||Intensive reading involves focusing on new vocabulary and grammar rules.|
|It can help improve overall reading comprehension and fluency.||It can help develop critical thinking skills and deeper understanding of a specific topic.|
What is Extensive Reading?
Extensive Reading is a reading approach that involves reading a large number of materials, usually in a relaxed and enjoyable manner, with the goal of developing general reading skills and improving overall reading comprehension. This approach often involves reading materials that are easier and less complex, such as novels, magazines, or newspapers, with the aim of building reading fluency and speed.
In Extensive Reading, the focus is on reading for pleasure, with the goal of gaining a general understanding of the content. It involves reading at a comfortable pace, without paying too much attention to specific details or vocabulary acquisition. Instead, the emphasis is on enjoying the reading experience and absorbing the overall meaning of the text.
Extensive Reading is believed to help improve reading comprehension, vocabulary, and overall language proficiency, making it a popular approach in language learning classrooms around the world
What is Intensive Reading?
Intensive Reading is a reading approach that involves reading a small amount of material, usually in a focused and detailed manner, with the goal of gaining a deep understanding of the text. This approach often involves reading materials that are more complex and challenging, such as academic papers, scientific articles, or legal documents.
In Intensive Reading, the focus is on understanding the meaning of each sentence and the details of the text. The reader pays close attention to new vocabulary, grammar structures, and other linguistic features. This approach may also involve note-taking, highlighting, and asking questions to deepen understanding.
Intensive Reading is commonly used in academic and professional settings, where the reader needs to gain a thorough understanding of complex material. It is also used in language learning and teaching, where learners are exposed to authentic texts to develop their reading skills and language proficiency.
Benefits of Extensive and Intensive Reading
- Extensive reading helps build your vocabulary and gives you a better understanding of grammar. It also helps improve your fluency and comprehension.
- If you want to build up your overall language skills, then extensive reading is probably the best way to go. But if you’re looking to focus on a specific skill, such as pronunciation or writing, then intensive reading will give you the chance to really work on that area.
How to choose the right reading approach for you?
When it comes to reading, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The best way to improve your reading skills and comprehension is to find a method that works best for you.
Intensive reading is a slower, more deliberate type of reading where you focus on understanding every word and sentence. Extensive reading is a faster, less detailed type of reading where you skim the text for the overall meaning.
Ultimately, the best way to choose the right approach for you is to experiment with both methods and see which one works better for you.
Strategies for successful Extensive Reading
- Find material that interests you: If you’re not interested in what you’re reading, you’re not going to get much out of it. So find books, articles, or other material that really speaks to you.
- Read at your own pace: There’s no need to race through the material or try to read as much as possible. Just take your time and enjoy the process.
- Stop and look up words you don’t know: Don’t just plow ahead without understanding what you’re reading. If there are words you don’t know, look them up so you can fully understand the text.
- Take notes or highlight important passages: As you read, it can be helpful to take notes or highlight important passages. That way, you can go back and review them later on.
- Discuss what you’ve read with others: Talking about what you’ve read is a great way to deepen your understanding of the material and build your vocabulary further
Strategies for successful Intensive Reading
- Intensive reading requires active engagement with the text. This means that you need to be prepared to stop and think about what you are reading, to make connections between the material and your own prior knowledge, and to draw inferences from the text.
- Additionally, it can be helpful to break the text down into manageable chunks and to focus on one task at a time such as identifying main ideas or looking for specific information.
- Another strategy that can be useful is to create a mind map or other type of graphic organizer as you read in order to keep track of key points and ideas.
- Don’t forget to take breaks and give yourself time to process what you have read – this is an important part of effective intensive reading!
Key differences between Extensive and Intensive Reading
- Intensive reading is a type of close reading that requires readers to analyze a text in great detail. In contrast, extensive reading is a type of pleasure reading in which readers can read relatively quickly and without having to stop to analyze the text in depth.
- Intensive reading is usually done for educational purposes, while extensive reading is often done for pleasure. Intensive reading is also typically much slower than extensive reading, as it requires readers to carefully examine the text.
- Intensive reading often involves re-reading sections of the text multiple times, while extensive reading generally only requires one read-through.
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Extensive Reading and Intensive Reading are valuable reading approaches that serve different purposes. Extensive Reading is useful for building reading fluency, improving overall reading comprehension, and developing a love for reading. Intensive Reading is ideal for gaining a deep understanding of complex material, developing critical thinking skills, and improving vocabulary acquisition.