Why Reading is Necessary for Successful Language Acquisition
Learning a language begins with developing the receptive skills, either consciously or subconsciously, to get familiar with how the language is used and later for producing the language learned or observed. The sensory abilities include two modules: reading and listening. Of them, reading skills can have a wide variety of impacts not only on the individuals' overall language learning but also on the development of them as individuals.
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This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Md. Mahfujar R. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
For the learners of the language to use it spontaneously, they need to know the words used to express what they would like to and how these words are put together to form a whole idea itself. The act of reading from various sources, both authentic and non-authentic, exposes the learners a great combination of all these required for them to be successful in learning the language, and that in less time. They get to know how our thinking is put into words using some conventional formats influenced mainly by the culture and the nation-building process of a particular place where the language is generated and used for years. This happens to be a reason why a language can bridge the gaps prevailing across various cultures. Not coincidentally, reading materials from the native users of the language provide greater exposure of natural language to the learners, familiarizing them with collocations and some other usages of the exceptions to the conventional rules generally taught in the books, and eventually in the language schools. What is more, students experience the differences between the usages of the same vocabulary in different sentence patterns in some other spheres of our life; thus, the meaning of that particular word gets imprinted in their mind alongside its uses. As many linguists suggest, there is no other better way to expand the vocabulary in the process of learning a new language than reading vigorously, even though reading at times may prove tiresome, requiring both patience and time simultaneously.
Reading also has a direct bearing on mastering various grammar points in some sporadic but topic-oriented ways so much so that students can retain the patterns and rules for a more extended period. Where acquiring language skills is concerned, only studying practices from a good grammar book may go futile if this does not accompany a regular reading habit. This is why some EFL institutes design their courses so that learners have to undergo an extensive reading process from various enriched sources carefully chosen based on the students' level and needs to ensure that they pick up the pattern of the language with little chance of forgetfulness. As a result, they feel confident while using the language themselves as the process goes on for some time necessary to cover a wide range of topics from our real-life situation.
The other most crucial contribution of reading skills becomes apparent in the learners' productive speaking skills in general and writing, to be precise. Developing the writing skill is incalculably contingent upon how much time is devoted by the learners to reading. Students learn how to present a specific topic on paper with the knowledge gathered through reading materials ranging from a piece of advertisement to novels. One idea can be demonstrated in quite a few writing approaches; if students go through those, they will emulate the same in their writing. Although speaking skills require some other forms of practice than applicable in the case of writing with the fact that language patterns used in the speaking module sometimes differ from that in writing, reading habit can largely influence the way a person puts the thinking into a single string owing to the direct exposure to the use of the language that student can relate to.
One of the invisible roles of reading some beautiful materials is that it keeps students motivated to continue learning the language for a better understanding. Consequently, their level of experience keeps improving, making them far more capable individuals in their respective fields than those who do not spend time reading. This, in turn, increases the confidence level of the students to a greater extent.
To sum up, indeed, reading tests the levels of perseverance being present in the learners and thus may be toilsome for some students; however, the magnitude of the outcome is incomparable with language acquisition.
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