Reading is Important in Learning Languages

Reading is Important in Learning Languages

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Nowadays, many people think reading is not necessary, since there are so many sources of information and types of entertainment, such as TV, cinema and the Internet. I believe they are wrong because reading is very beneficial in many ways.
Good reading skills are very important in learning languages. Reading improves spelling because as students learn to sound out letters and words, spelling comes easier. It helps to expand the vocabulary, since the best way to acquire a large vocabulary is to read. Students learn new words as they read and put them in their mind for later use. . They also unconsciously absorb the information about things like how to structure the sentences, how words are used in different contexts, and it gives a better understanding of the word usage and definitions than the cold facts of a dictionary. It improves a person’s vocabulary and knowledge without the person even knowing it. Even if students do not understand every word, they will hear new sounds, words and phrases which they can then try out, copying what they have heard. They can comprehend ideas, follow arguments and detect implications. Reading texts also provide good models for English writing. Krashen (2004) found that reading is extremely important in learning English, since it is the only way to “become a good reader, develop a good writing style, an adequate vocabulary, advanced grammar” and the only way to “become a good speller”.
According to the research made by Bohlmann & Pretorius (2003), there is a significant correlation between reading ability and academic success. It means that students who read a lot are more likely to do well in school and pass exams than students who are weak readers. Good readers do not just do better at subjects like reading, English and history, they do better at all subjects and they do better all the way through school. Another study by Bohlmann & Pretorius (2002) showed that the students who failed Mathematics achieved 50% or less in reading comprehension, meaning that they understood only half of the text or even less. But when their reading ability improved, their marks for Mathematics improved as well. So, students who read a lot and who understand what they read usually attain good grades. It means that reading is essential for academic achievement.

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develops the imagination and emotions, because while reading students translate the descriptions they read of people, places and things into pictures; they are engaged in a story, imagining how the characters are feeling so that they become better at understanding people and situations, and it helps them to gain into people’s minds. It can carry students to different places, worlds and times. Within the pages of a book lie stories untold, places never visited and new people to meet. Through reading, students learn about the world around them, they learn about people, places and events outside their own experience. It teaches students about different cultures, different ways of life, different ideas and beliefs. It can introduce interesting topics for stimulating discussions.
There are many ways of teaching reading. In this Essay I want to discuss the Accelerated Reading Method which I learned attending TESOL course in China in 2012.
Accelerated Reading is when teacher literally reads with the students. They use their finger, pen or pencil to follow along with the text being read aloud by teacher. The purpose of following is to be concentrated on the word that is being read. For students it is not reading after the teacher, but with the teacher. Depending on students’ level, teacher can read word by word or whole phrases. In this case students have to read aloud phrases, just like the teacher does. Since the teacher read with students, he/she has to read loud enough, so that even if students read with the teacher they can still hear teacher’s voice and pronunciation. Students will be trying to match teacher’s pronunciation, adjusting their pronunciation by themselves. The teacher can use books, newspapers or magazines for this method. Every day it can be a new story to read. It should be employed for 5-10 minutes per teaching session every day. Teacher’s goal for students is not their understanding of each word of the text, the goal is just reading with the students. They see the word, hear the word, and say the word at the same time. After a while the teacher will see a dramatic increase in students reading skills. They will read perfect with no accent.
As a teacher I am sure learning to read is very beneficial especially for students studying English in Kazakhstan. Students who can read in English can discover so many new things! There are thousands of book that will teach them anything they want to learn. They can educate themselves through reading various journals and books about medicine, arts, business, economics, history, law, humanities, science and mathematics, which are only available in English. Though the Internet is widespread almost everywhere, it is a pity that Kazakh people do not have such a big variety of websites and web pages in the Kazakh language as it is in English language or even in Russian language. Many students in my country can not use the Internet since they do not know Russian or English, because it is almost impossible for them to browse the Internet not in their mother tongue. Even if some websites are in Kazakh language, there are very few of them. The situation is the same with many other sources of information. But the Internet, as well as books, magazines and educational TV-programs in the English language are great learning tools which require the ability to read in this language and understand what is read. Students who know how to read in English can educate themselves in any area of life they are interested in. The teacher can also help students find web pages with content that fits their own personal interests. The Internet is overflowing with information in English, but the main way to take advantage of it is reading.
The more students read, the better they read and the more pleasure they get out of reading. That is why it is very important for the teacher to encourage students to read as often and as much as possible.
The teacher can play an important role in helping to keep students interested in books, finding out what interests them and helping them to find books that will be engaging and fun for them. People have been writing books for many centuries, and teacher can help students to find a lot of brilliant writers and excellent books in many genres of literature for reading.
Since reading is extremely important in learning English and is essential for academic achievement, teachers should help students become interested in reading, support them to enjoy it and encourage growth in their reading skills.

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