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Teach English in FubaoshAn KAifAqu - Enshi Tujiazu Miaozu Zizhizhou
Reading can be done for many different purposes, such as to gain knowledge and information, to entertain oneself, and so on. Among these different purposes, one reason to read is to acquire a new language and learn the depths of any language like English. The main aim of this essay therefore, is to discuss how reading can help someone acquire a new language or new language skills. Hence, to establish reading as a useful tool for language acquisition, I am going to discuss three major processes that occur while reading, and how they reflect the efficiency and effectiveness of the Engage, Study, and Activate methodology. First of all, reading helps the reader to think in the language in which the text is written in, which is probably the language they are trying to learn too. Since it is almost impossible to read in one language and think in another, whenever we read a text- say in English, we adapt our brain to think in English too. Therefore every time anyone and especially the students of a language read, they automatically ‘Engage’ with the language of the text and make themselves more absorbent towards learning the aspects of the language, not only those presented in the text they are reading but also those that are present outside of that specific text. The second process that happens while reading, which aids the acquisition of a new language or language skills is the ‘Study’ of the rules and patterns of a language. While reading any text in a specific language, a reader is most likely to read something written either by the native user of the language, or by someone who is as proficient as a native user. Thus the reader gets an opportunity to observe how the rules of grammar as well as other conventions of the language are used correctly. Therefore they are able to study the correct ways to use different features of a language when they themselves have to put it into use. The third way through which reading can help someone acquire a new language or expand the language skills of a language they already know, is through the conversation that takes place within a reader while reading. Reading is not a passive activity as many perceive, on the contrary reading is a very active process. When a reader is reading a text they are actively participating in a conversation with the text itself. Hence the features of a language that the reader has already learned is being actively used by the reader in this internal conversation. In this manner a student of a language gets to practice the conventions of the language subconsciously, and are ‘Activating’ their knowledge about the language in a controlled environment before trying it out in the real world. Although more formal rules of a language need to be taught to a student by professional teachers, reading habit is a great supplement for a learner of any language that can expand the process of learning a language far beyond a formal classroom. As we discussed in the paragraphs above, reading process can reflect very effective teaching methodology such as the ESA method, without any active effort from the reader to follow the conventions of the said methodology. Additionally there are books available that can match the level of the individual student so that they can cater to their needs personally and can counter some disadvantages they might have faced in a formal classroom environment. Furthermore as reading is such a personal experience if a student can develop the habit of reading, the language skills acquired from it will last longer as they are self-motivated to learn it in the first place. Therefore reading is an essential tool for a student of a language that can help them acquire a new language effectively and expand their language skill exponentially.