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Differences between Extensive

and Intensive Reading

A) Extensive Reading covers large area,
while Intensive Reading covers narrower

1. According to Graham Stanley, Extensive

Reading involves students reading long texts
or large quantities for general understanding,
with the intention of enjoying the texts.
2. In this case, the students also have to find
supported articles related to the topic in
order to give them background knowledge,
so that they know more about the topic they
have chosen.
3. Intensive Reading that does not allow the
students to find a topic they like. The topic
is given by the teacher.

4. The students also do not necessary to

look for supported articles because the
topic which is chosen by the teacher is
usually short and easy to understand.
Students reading with teacher.
B) In Extensive Reading the students
activity in classroom is more complex than
in Intensive Reading.

1. The students, in Extensive Reading

class, usually are asked to write a
summary after reading an article/
2. It allows learners to assert full control,
both of the main factual or fictional
content of an article/ book, and of the
grammar and vocabulary used to express
it (Bell, 1998).
3. Student will also do short presentation
which will ensure the students have
knowledge of the right preparation, self-
independence and autonomy (Bell,
4. While in Intensive Reading, instead of
writing summary and having
presentation, the students are asked to
answer some questions related to the
topic which is given by the teacher.
5. Usually, all of the answers are available
on the text, so that the students only
rewrite it.
C) Extensive Reading will discourage the
over- use of dictionary (Bell, 1998); on
the contrary dictionary is a must in
Intensive Reading.

1. Students will focus only on the

language if they always consult the
dictionary every time they find an
unfamiliar word. They will not pay
attention to the message conveyed.
3.Meanwhile in Intensive Reading, students
have to find difficult words while they are
4. The frequency of using dictionary is often
because in Intensive Reading, a text will
be used to answer some questions, so the
students have to know the meaning of all
words in the text in order to make them
easy to answer the questions.
Bell,Timothy. 1998. Extensive Reading:
Why? And How?. The Internet TESL
Journal, Vol. IV, No. 12, December 1998.
(Accessed on October 13, 2005)

Stanley, Graham. _____. Extensive

(Accessed on October 13, 2005)