Wed, May 02, 2018 - Page 8 News List


Prioritize reading

I was surprised to discover that the Ministry of Education is to prioritize “listening and speaking skills” in English language education, and that it is to encourage students to “first listen, then speak, then write” (Letter, April 22, page 8 and Editorial, Jan. 24, page 8).

The ministry forgot reading.

Research over the past 40 years has confirmed that we acquire language by understanding what we hear and read, and that the ability to speak and write is the result of listening and reading.

Studies confirm that listening and reading need to come before speaking and writing.

The ministry might want to do some reading itself and get familiar with this research.

The annual English Teachers Association meeting in Taipei typically includes many reports from academics and teachers confirming that reading, especially self-selected reading, results in impressive gains in vocabulary, writing, grammar, spelling and, of course, reading ability.

In fact, time spent reading results in better progress in these areas than time spent in traditional teaching.

Stephen Krashen

Los Angeles, California

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