MY FAVORITE READING QUOTES (with sources)

These are the quotes I use to motivate students and to justify reading in the classroom to skeptical parents and administrators:

 

READING IS FASTER THAN TRADITIONAL INSTRUCTION

“Picking up word meanings by reading is 10 times faster than intensive vocabulary instruction.”

―Stephen Krashen (1993). The Power of Reading, p. 15, citing a study by Nagy, Herman and Anderson

 

READING BUILDS BIGGER VOCABULARIES

“Less frequent words… may best be learned by reading extensively, because there is just not enough time to learn them all through conscious study.”

―Norbert Schmitt (2000). Vocabulary in Language Teaching, p. 137

 

READING STORIES HELPS STUDENTS REMEMBER BETTER THAN ISOLATED BITS

“We remember things best when they are organized with everything else we know, when they come with stories attached, rather than as isolated bits of information.”

―Frank Smith (2007). Reading FAQ, p. 45

 

VOCABULARY BUILDING IS EASIER WHEN STUDENTS READ STORIES

“It’s not easy to learn new words from word lists, where there is no meaningful context. But new words are learned with remarkable facility, especially in stories, when you are reading something that makes sense to you.”

―Frank Smith (2007). Reading FAQ, p. 40

 

READING IS EASIER AND MORE POWERFUL THAN OTHER METHODS

“Incidental learning of words during reading may be the easiest and single most powerful means of promoting large-scale vocabulary growth.”

―Nagy, W.E. & Herman, P.A. (1987). Breadth and Depth of Vocabulary Knowledge: Implications for Acquisition and Instruction. In M.G. McKeown & M.E. Curtis (Eds.), The Nature of Vocabulary Acquisition, p. 27

 

READING IS AN EFFICIENT USE OF CLASSROOM TIME

“Teaching vocabulary lists is inefficient—the time is better spent reading alone.”

―Stephen Krashen (2004). The Power of Reading, p. 19

 

READERS ACQUIRE EVEN DIFFICULT GRAMMAR QUITE WELL JUST BY READING

“The only significant predictor of the ability to use the subjunctive was the amount of free voluntary reading done in Spanish; the amount of formal study of Spanish, the amount of formal study specifically aimed at the subjunctive, and how long subjects had lived in a Spanish-speaking country were not significant predictors of subjunctive competence.”

―Stephen Krashen (2001). Free Voluntary Reading, p. 27

 

AUTHENTIC TEXTS OFTEN DO NOT ALLOW STUDENTS TO READ FOR ACQUISITION

“The use of authentic texts with learners often has an effect opposite to that intended: instead of helping the reader to read for the meaning of the message, an authentic text at too difficult of a level of language forces the reader to focus on the code.”

―Eddie Williams (1983). Communicative Reading. In K. Johnson and D. Porter (Eds.), Perspectives in Communicative Language Teaching, p. 175

 

NOVICE AND INTERMEDIATE STUDENTS NEED A BETTER DEFINITION OF “AUTHENTIC TEXTS”

“The usual definition of “authentic” is “a text written by native speakers for native speakers”. Perhaps a better definition is this one; “A text that is interesting and comprehensible” … In other words, there is nothing wrong with reading texts that are specially prepared for second language students, as long as they are interesting and comprehensible. They can be a helpful first step, leading to the reading of texts that are authentic in the traditional sense.”

―Stephen Krashen (1997). Foreign Language Education the Easy Way, p. 34

 

BOOKS CONTAIN MORE COMPLEX LANGUAGE THAN VIDEO

(But books are paradoxically also easier to understand because the reader controls the pace of input.)

“TV language is not nearly as complex as book language.”

―Stephen Krashen (2004). The Power of Reading, p. 78

 

YOU CAN EXPRESS A LIFETIME OF THOUGHT WITH A LIMITED SET OF WORDS

(We live in a more demanding and complex world now, but the point is that people can function well with a limited number of words—focusing on high-frequency vocabulary is a good use of class time.”)

“The German peasant-farmer of [1825] had a vocabulary of only 600 words, all told.”

―G.G. Coulton (1925). The Medieval Village, p. 393

 

A SELF-SELECTED READING PROGRAM HAS MANY BENEFITS

“According to the research, students who do SSR typically gain at least as much on standardized tests as students who participate in traditional programs, and usually do much better if the program lasts long enough. SSR is ideal for the intermediate level but also can begin earlier.”

―Stephen Krashen (1997). Foreign Language Education the Easy Way, p. 26

 

RATHER THAN LISTS TO MEMORIZE, STUDENTS NEED INPUT TO FIGURE OUT THE LANGUAGE

“To become speakers, children cannot just memorize; they must leap into the linguistic unknown and generalize to an infinite world of as-yet-unspoken sentences.”

―Steven Pinker (1994). The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language, p. 281

 

INTERNALIZING GRAMMAR DOES NOT DEPEND ON “PRACTICING” GRAMMAR

(Practicing the language is not as important as getting quality input—and reading leverages input.)

Grammar development does not depend on overt practice, because actually saying something aloud, as opposed to listening to what other people say, does not provide the child with information about the language he or she is trying to learn.

―Steven Pinker (1994). The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language, p. 280

By |2019-01-15T20:57:44+00:00January 15th, 2019|Categories: Books, C.I. Skeptics, Encouragement, Krashen, Light Reading, Reading|0 Comments

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