What do you Mean by Extensive and Intensive Reading? Explain with an Example.

Intensive reading refers to the detailed study of the prescribed text to train the students is an important aspect of language teaching which includes reading. Jesperson states,” To keep them occupied with the text repeatedly in such a way that they do not lose sight in the meaning, so that they may thus become so familiar with it at last that they know it almost or entirely by heart, without having been directly required to commit it to memory.” The teacher has to carefully plan the teaching material of intensive reading as it plays an important role in examinations and practical life as well.

Objectives of Intensive Reading

The objectives of intensive reading are as follows:

  1. It aims to make a detailed study of words, phrases, word order, and expressions. Therefore, it deals entirely with the sentence structure.
  2. It enables the learners to comprehend the text, its sense, and its meaning.
  3. It aims to encourage the learners to improve and command of English and increase their comprehension of the texts so that they can expand their vocabulary.
  4. It encourages the students to gather information from the text.

According to Dave Singh,” Teachers follow their method: for, after all, a teacher is a principal method. Much depends on his personality, expression, initiatives, drive, devices, etc. However, still, there are broad steps in a lesson which no intelligent teacher can afford to miss without detriment to his efficiency of teaching.”

Extensive Reading

The Indian Education Commission(1964-66) strongly recommends extensive reading. This type of reading is also known as rapid reading or independent reading. The teacher plays the role of the supervisor while the students read independently.

Extensive reading includes reading silently and quickly to understand the subject matter and derive the meaning as a whole without the assistance of the teacher. This is also done to expand passive vocabulary. Thompson and Wyatt state,” The main purpose of extensive reading is the cultivation of a taste for reading and it seeks by encouraging the habit of visualizing what is read to make reading a form of visual instruction.” Extensive reading should be done only when the students have mastered at least a vocabulary of around 500 words. It should be done at an intermediate level and not when learners are beginners. They should have developed the ability to recognize words at sight.

Objectives of Extensive Reading

The main objective of extensive reading is as follows:

  1. To expand the passive vocabulary of the learners.
  2. To develop the habit of self-study in the learners.
  3. To help the learners to understand the meaning of the given passage as early as possible.
  4. To encourage learners to read for pleasure and recreation.
  5. To develop the taste for reading in the learners.
  6. To develop the power of concentration.

Intensive reading involves reading short texts to extract a specific piece of information. Extensive reading generally involves reading long texts for pleasure.