Reading what we like improves our reading skills


Like many others we believe that reading for pleasure helps EFL and ESOL learners to master English. It almost goes without saying that in order to get pleasure from reading, you need to be reading something that you like.

It is no surprise that we read more often, with more interest and for longer periods of time when we are interested in the subject we are reading. Too often at school, we are forced to read books from cover to cover, which we absolutely hate. It is precisely this tendency - that we should read what somebody else thinks is good for us, rather than what we are excited by - that has turned so many school children away from great authors, many never to return.

Self-directed choice is clearly important but it also makes sense that variety is a good thing. For instance, many people like to read thrillers with short sentences that make them turn page after page when sitting in an airport lounge or in similar situations where attention or the ability to concentrate might be limited. The same people however might well make a different choice when in a situation where they can really relax and concentrate.

We mustn't forget non-fiction of course but not only factual articles and books but also newspapers, fashion and other magazines and even comics. We believe that they all improve our reading skills and that there is no 'right' book or subject that we must read or 'wrong' one that will damage young (or not so young) minds.

These are among the reasons why we believe in giving people choice and letting them exercise it. Most importantly we believe that doing so helps them learn.