Categories
Academic IELTS B1 Test CAE Exam Preparation English Courses English Language School Eurospeak Reading Eurospeak Southampton FCE Exam Preparation General IELTS Grammar IELTS Exam Preparation IELTS Preparation ISIC Language School Life in Reading Listening online english Reading Reading University skills Solent University Southampton Southampton University Universities in UK Vocabulary

The Benefits of Extensive Reading

Extensive reading – what is it?

Well, it’s like intensive reading: intensive reading for English classes or finding answers for your YES / NO /NOT GIVEN questions in IELTS, but for fun! Extensive reading is reading something that you enjoy or are interested in and lots of it; extensive reading is just reading, and it should be for enjoyment, interest or pleasure.

Reading is a mental activity as opposed to TV which is not; TV is purely visual (although TV is good for listening comprehension and pronunciation among other things, but that’s another story).

Everyone including those of us learning a second language can benefit from extensive reading. Carrel and Grabe (2010) argue that language learners can improve their comprehension and vocabulary by doing a little extensive reading. According to Julian Bamford and Richard Day (in Kreuzova 2019) you should read as much as you can on a variety of topics that you have chosen; the materials should be easily understandable to you from books, newspapers and magazines.

Extensive reading is moving away from the intensive reading of answer identification in your Cambridge, TOEFL or IELTS exams, and the reading skills of skimming and scanning toward a more relaxed form of reading; the kind of reading you do on the sofa because you want to, because there is nothing on TV or there’s nothing on your streaming service worth watching. So, think about what you like to read; are you interested in reading about what English-language newspapers say about your country or region; are you interested in learning about your own country’s history from another perspective? Like cooking? Read a few recipes? Remind yourself, what do you like reading in your own language: try reading the same in English.

I was surprised when I started to learn about British history from the Spanish and Argentinians. I never knew the British invaded Buenos Aries in the nineteenth century. I never knew the Dutch sailed up the Themes and stole the English flagship. It has also been suggested that extensive reading helps in examination results, make them more aware of the grammar when they are reading, increase a learner’s reading proficiency and by extension their vocabulary learning (Prowse, 2000) and (Liu and Zhang 2018).

There are other beneficial effects. It is generally believed that reading develops your concentration. When you’re watching TV, you’re probably doing something else: chatting, eating, doing your nails, interacting with social media, but reading, well reading is a different matter.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love binge-watching The Man in the High Castle on a lazy Saturday afternoon trying to forget work. With a book, you need to concentrate and focus on what is written and everything that it implies. Which brings me to another thing reading improves: your imagination. You can lose yourself in a character or situation, imagining yourself in their situation. Imagine yourself as a different person or asking yourself what you would do in such a situation.

In turn, reading is a good de-stressor; you are more likely to read when you’re in a quiet room, with no TV and oblivious to the world outside and exercising the most important organ in your body – your brain. So, while you are doing whatever you are doing like channel hoping, you are not using your imagination. We switch off our imaginations, but with a book we use our imaginations to a greater extent. Reading enhances your verbal skills; TV is visually-based media and normally uses short and simple sentences whereas books contain complex language more than you would find on TV or in a streaming service. This means using a greater range of vocabulary, longer sentences and more complex sentences; you can become aware of punctuation. So, go and borrow a graded reader from your school’s resource centre, borrow a book from the city library or read some on-line articles in magazines or newspapers on-line.

by Chris Scott, March 2020

Reference List

Carrel, Patricia. L., and Grabe, W. (2010). Reading. In: N. Schmitt, ed., Applied Linguistics, 2nd London: Hodder Education, Page 215- 229.

Sarka Kreuzova 17 July 2019, Encouraging Extensive Reading, English Teaching Professional (1 09), viewed 31 December 2019, < https://www.etprofessional.com/encouraging-extensive-reading >.

Philip Prowse (2000), The secret of reading, English Teaching Professional, (13), viewed 2 January,2020, < https://www.etprofessional.com/the-secret-of-reading >

Liu. J., and Zhang. J., (2018). ‘The Effects of Extensive Reading on English Vocabulary Learning: A Meta-analysis ‘, English Language Teaching; Vol. 11, No. 6; 2018, viewed 2 January 2020, < https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1179114.pdf >

Categories
CAE Exam Preparation English Courses English Language School English Testing eurospeak Eurospeak Southampton FCE Exam Preparation General IELTS IELTS Exam Preparation IELTS Preparation Language Learning Learn English Life in Reading Reading Southampton Study Abroad Summer School Uncategorized Universities in UK

BEGINNING & ENDING AN INFORMAL EMAIL OR LETTER

When you write an email or a letter to a friend or family member, it is usually appropriate to write informally. Here are some informal words and expressions that can help you to begin and end your emails or letters in an informal way.

Formal email / letters start with Dear, but when you’re writing to a friend, you can be much more, well, friendly. You could try these ways of saying hello:

  • Hi, Hiya, Hey, Heeeeellllllllloooooo,

You may want to follow any of the above with your friend’s name, but always use a comma at the end.

Next, move down two lines and start with a capital letter, but what can you write here? Here are some suggestions:

  • This is just a quick email / letter to say…

It was great to hear from you.

Thanks for your email / letter.

Sorry I’ve taken so long to write back.

Of course, you then need to write the main body of your email / letter. When you get to the end, you could try finishing with one of these expressions:

  • Well, that’s all for now.

Give my love to everyone.

Don’t forget to write soon.   

followed by:

  • See you soon,

See ya soon, (ya is a very informal way of writing you)

All the best,

Lots of love,

and your name – don’t forget your own name – that’s very important!

So, the next time you’re writing an email or a letter to a friend, try using some of these expressions to set an informal tone.

Categories
CAE Exam Preparation English Courses English Testing FCE Exam Preparation Reading Study Abroad

Cambridge Advanced (C1) Preparation Classes

At Eurospeak our Morning CAE (C1) Preparation classes  will be continuing from Wednesday 9th September 2015.

These classes run Wednesday, Thursday & Friday; 9:30am – 12:45pm.

Each class costs £18, and we have a minimum booking of 5 classes (£90).

For 5 weeks (15 classes) the total cost of the classes would be £270. For 10 weeks (30 classes) the total cost of the classes would be £540.

We require payment in advance. If you book the classes 5 at a time, you will only be charged for each class when you attend.

We also offer a 10 week membership option (30 classes) which costs £450. This is a 27% saving on the regular price.

With the membership option, if you do not attend a class, you will still be charged for the class and the classes paid for will be finished after the 10 week period once you have started.

The only other cost would be the book, which is mandatory to buy, and can be bought for around £25 from Amazon. Once you start the classes, you should ask your teacher which book the class is using, and you can either buy it yourself, or ask at reception for us to order it for you.

Advanced Evening classes are back!

From Tuesday 8th September 2015, Advanced Evening classes will run every Tuesday & Thursday from 18:30pm – 20:30pm.

Each class costs £12, and we have a minimum booking of 5 classes (£60).

For 5 weeks (10 classes) the total cost of the classes would be £120. For 10 weeks (20 classes) the total cost of the classes would be £240.

We require payment in advance. If you book the classes 5 at a time, you will only be charged for each class when you attend.

We also offer a 10 week membership option (20 classes) which costs £180. This is a 25% saving on the regular price.

We also offer a 20 week membership option (40 classes) which costs £320. This is a 33% saving on the regular price.

We also offer a 40 week membership option (80 classes) which costs £480. This is a 50% saving on the regular price.

For more information, please email us on info@eurospeak.org.uk or call us on 01189589599.