Most language teachers do not require their learners to read much. Instead, they consider extensive reading as somehow supportive, or supplemental and rarely they set fluent reading for homework. This chapter has argued that it is fundamental mistake to consider sustained silent reading as supplemental, or optional. Extensive reading (or listening) is theonly way in which learners can get access to language at their own comfort level, read something they want to read, at the pace they feel comfortable with, which will allow them to meet the language enough times to pick up a sense of how the language fits together and to consolidate what they know. It is impossible for teachers to teach a “sense” of language. We do not have time, and it is not our job. It is the learners’ job to get that sense for themselves. This depth of knowledge of language must, and can only, be acquired through constant massive exposure. It is a massive task that requires massive amounts of reading and listening on top of our normal course book work.
© Rob Waring, via Dmytro Korduban