August 6, 2007

It's Not That Hard!

"The provision of a rich supply of high-interest story books is a much more feasible policy for improving English learning than any pious pronouncements about the urgent need to raise teacher quality. Many suggestions always ignore the most obvious, the most economical, the easiest to implement, one that students enjoy doing, and the one best supported by research: Study after study shows that increasing the amount of self-selected reading done by students has a profound impact on first and second language proficiency. Those who read more do better on tests of reading, writing, grammar, and vocabulary, and do better on the TOEFL. We also know from the research that when young people have access to genuinely interesting and comprehensible reading material, they usually read it. Before investing in untested and expensive adventures such as restructuring and testing teachers, a crucial first step is to improve the collection of interesting and comprehensible English books available to students, and begin to include some reading time in class."

--Stephen Krashen, Ph.D.