Differences Between Extensive and Intensive Reading: Reading can take intensive or extensive form, although we are rarely conscious and particular about this. When something is said to be extensive it implies covering vast or large area, and when something is said to have taken an intensive form, it implies being thorough, highly concentrated, persistent and assiduous and being of a great degree.
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What Is Meant By Extensive Reading?
A reader would be said to be reading extensively when the direction of the reading is focused on understanding the general content and concept of the materials being read. An extensive reading is the form of reading that seeks to cover large quantity of text usually with the aim of grasping a general understanding of the book. To read extensively means to read widely.
Extensive reading is a very effective form of reading. Sometimes people may read extensively because they are left with no option that to do so. For instance, a student who has a bulky syllabus to cover would be faced with no better option than to deal with the task. People may also read extensively just for the pleasure of reading which may extend to widen their horizon and expand their knowledge.
In the ordinary sense, extensive reading gives you an idea about a large amount and species of information as to be determined by the extent of your reading. Reading extensively and intensively can go hand in hand, and of course it is the best form of reading. Thus; there can be a combination of the two and such combination seems to be the most productive and commonly used form of reading.
However, circumstances may deem it necessary and most appropriate for the extensive reading method to be employed. This of course depends on the purpose of the reading. For instance, as have been pointed out before, reading for pleasure may fell best for extensive reading method to be employed. Another instance is where research is being conducted in the course of reading.
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Benefits of Extensive Reading
1. Vocabulary Impact: Extensive reading increases one’s vocabulary level and gets the reader accustomed to writing styles and languages. Reading extensively makes one a voracious reader whether or not the person enjoys reading. Reading extensively is a sure way to vocabulary development.
2. Little effort required: An extensive reading is not intensified. There is usually no high concentration. It therefore consumes less energy from the reader as compared to intensive reading. Extensive reading method can even be employed for relaxation. This shows how much of less effort that could be required for extensive reading.
3. Improvement in writing skill: By reading extensively, a reader subconsciously learns how to write. The reason for the possibility of this impact is obvious; the act of reading extensively faces you with a lot of works written from which the pattern, language and style unconsciously becomes part of you.
4. Vast Knowledge and Ideas: In as much as knowledge from an extensive reading may not be as deep or settled as that from an intensive reading, extensive reading increases one’s wealth of knowledge and gives one an idea and familiarity with many concepts and ideas.
5. Self-Esteem: Extensive reading builds one’s self-esteem, for knowledge builds confidence.
What Is Meant By An Intensive Reading?
An intensive reading is a method of reading through which readers acquire in depth, thorough, detailed and comprehensive perusal and assimilation of a written piece. To read intensively demands having an all round focus and concentration while reading a piece in order to have the best available understanding of the content and concepts. Whilst extensive reading goes horizontal, intensive reading goes vertical.
An intensive reading is a purposeful reading. During intensive reading, one may be required to expend so much time and energy trying to have a deep understanding of the text. Intensive reading unlike extensive is not particularly interested in covering a large piece of work.
This however does not mean that a large piece of work cannot be covered intensively, although it will take longer time and mental effort. Intensive reading is not a reading for relaxation or pleasure. It is rather an intentional and purposeful reading. Intensive reading must be done carefully in order for important details not to be missed.
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Practically speaking, to get the best result from reading, it is best to combine the intensive and extensive reading method, although one attribute may dominate the other. Human instinct already has its way of placing the balance of which method to dominate as required by every given circumstance.
Asides relaxation, acquisition of general ideas and the requirement of little effort in extensive reading, the benefits of extensive reading runs through intensive reading as well. Particularly, intensive reading allows one to acquire an in depth and specific knowledge of a text as opposed to mere general or surface knowledge.
Differences Between Extensive Reading and Intensive Reading
1. Extensive reading exposes readers merely to the general knowledge and understanding of the materials being read, whereas intensive reading allows readers to acquire specific and settled knowledge and understanding of the materials.
2. Intensive reading demand high level of concentration which consumes a lot of strength and energy. On the other hand, only little effort may be required for an extensive reading. In fact, extensive reading can be employed even for relaxation and pleasure.
3. For extensive reading, the readers covers large amount of text usually within a short time, whereas for intensive reading, its demand warrants that only few materials may be covered by the readers and this will usually take a longer time. The reason for this is obvious; readers are bent on distilling the substance of the text in order to have an in depth knowledge and understanding of the content.
4. Extensive reading merely allows readers to acquire information which are incidental to going through the text without intensity. It also allows for pleasure. Such can be employed for texts such as novels, magazines, newspapers, and so on. On the other hand, intensive reading is bent on understanding the literal import and the substance of the text being read.
5. Intensive reading is usually employed where there are prescribed texts which are to be read under pressure. This for instance refers to such texts as required or prescribed by the school for the students.
On the other hand, extensive reading particularly is suitable and applicable for spontaneous readings. It is still spontaneous and not recommended when the form is employed in the course of research.
6. Intensive reading usually has purpose and direction which is to grasp the substance of the text and most probably reproduce the substance when needed or put has been learnt into practical use.
For extensive reading however, it can go as wide as endless and it need not have any purpose and direction.
Extensive and intensive readings are complementary to each other. As has already been established, both methods work best when employed together by the readers. Regardless of their complementary attribute, they are capable of being employed independently.
The primary distinguishing factor is that intensive reading is more useful for acquiring specific knowledge intended to be internalized for reproduction or long-term use, while extensive reading covers a large tons of materials and it is more interested in the extent covered. A better illustration is that extensive reading moves on a horizontal direction while intensive reading moves on a vertical direction.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka, ACMC, is a lawyer and a certified mediator/conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a developer with knowledge in various programming languages. Samuel is determined to leverage his skills in technology, SEO, and legal practice to revolutionize the legal profession worldwide by creating web and mobile applications that simplify legal research. Sam is also passionate about educating and providing valuable information to people.