Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Free Reading: First Class

by AJ

Today was the first day to try free voluntary reading. I did it with my English for Economists class. Each student brought something to read... so we read silently during the final 10 minutes of class.

It seemed to go well. Though it did feel strange. It is hard to let go of the idea that I must be leading the class at all times. I felt quite lazy.... sitting and reading my Spanish baby-book while the students read quietly on their own. Maybe they thought I was being lazy too.

But this is what "effortless" language acquisition is all about. Its not about doing what is most difficult. Its about doing what works. And according to A LOT of research,... free reading works. The research is very very clear about that.

So this may or may not be lazy... but I am trying to do what is best for my students. In fact, the 10-20 minutes they spend reading will probably be the most useful part of the course for them.... though they may not realize it. Free reading has been shown to improve grammar, writing ability, vocabulary, spelling, and reading comprehension much better than traditional instruction.