Extensive reading (or free reading, book flood), is an aid to language learning, including foreign language learning, by means of a large amount of reading which is expected to statistically increase unknown word encounters and associated learning opportunities by inferencing. The learner's view and review of unknown words in specific context will allow the learner to infer and thus learn those words' meanings. While the mechanism is commonly accepted as true, its importance in language learning is disputed.(Cobb 2007)
Extensive reading is contrasted with intensive reading, which is slow, careful reading of a small amount of difficult text – it is when one is "focused on the language rather than the text". Extensive and intensive reading are two approaches to language learning and instruction, and may be used concurrently; intensive reading is however the more common approach, and often the only one used.
Extensive reading has been used and advocated in language learning since at least the 19th century (with Latin; see below).
Famous quotes related to extensive reading:
“In an extensive reading of recent books by psychologists, psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, and inspirationalists, I have discovered that they all suffer from one or more of these expression-complexes: italicizing, capitalizing, exclamation-pointing, multiple-interrogating, and itemizing. These are all forms of what the psychos themselves would call, if they faced their condition frankly, Rhetorical-Over-Compensation.”
—James Thurber (18941961)