It is important to first understand that any ER program cannot sit by itself.
An ER program needs to fit within the goals, aims and objectives of the school, and not be outside of this, otherwise the ER program may fail from lack of direction or purpose.
An ER program needs to be part of a larger reading program because reading extensively is only one type of reading practice. There also needs to be instruction and practice in Intensive reading and the development of reading strategies and skills.
The key to a successful reading program is balance. Too much intensive reading leads to not enough work on developing a fluent reader. Too much ER can lead to a learner not noticing certain language, and too much work only on reading skills will not practice the skill of reading. Not enough vocabulary support leads to learners who cannot develop their reading fast enough.
Here is a typical breakdown
Intensive Reading 20% (working on grammar, vocabulary etc.). Independent vocabulary practice 5-10% (at home study of words, phrases etc.). Reading skills and strategies 10-15%
- Dictionary use
- recognizing word families
- guessing from context / co-text
- development of word part-knowledge (advanced only)
- Understanding of text types/ structure
- promotion of background knowledge
- development of speed reading / timed reading
- development of inferencing skills
- developing sight/sound relationships especially for beginners.
Extensive Reading 55-65%
- Reading for fluency, language and skills practice
- Reading for pleasure to get the habit of reading.
This allows for enough new material to be added but at the same time enough chances for previously met but not yet consolidated knowledge to be strengthened before it’s lost.