The Importance of Reading in English Learning I. Introduction In the modern time ,many university students who are majoring in English have learned English for 12 years ,most of them still feel that their English is very poor .What is worse ,they can not express their thought ,not to mention speak with foreigners fluently .How to learn English well is asked more often .At the same time ,more attention is paid to reading. What is reading? Reading is a process of mentally interpreting written symbols (Li Chun ,1992)It involves a series of factors that a reader brings to the test (Li Chun ,1992).Reading is of great importance in basic linguistic knowledge acquisition and English language learning .In English Teaching Outline (Revised)reading skill is attached importance to. So we can conclude that reading is very vital in English learning. What is more, reading is a feasible way to operate. Reading does not demand too many conditions when one is to read and there are a great deal of materials available such as fictions, newspapers and so on .Finally, one can read at whatever time and a place wherever. II. Why do you study English? In fact, as a language, the most important factor for English studying is to communicate with others. When you encounter foreigners, do not feel nervous. Please be full of confidence so that you can communicate with them, nothing serous! If you have the opportunity to contact with foreigners, you will find lots of them could not speak English well, they can only say some simple English, especially for the Japanese, the Korean. Even the European people such as French, Germany. Their spoken English is very bad! As I mentioned, the purpose to study English is to communicate with foreigners or appreciate foreign culture. So please kindly note, English is not mark, not the examination, not theCET, TOFEL .It's very easy, it’s very simple. It is a well-known fact that when there were no televisions or computers, reading was a primary leisure activity. People would spend hours reading books and travel to lands far away in their minds. The only tragedy is that, as time goes on, people have lost their skill and passion to read. There are many other exciting and thrilling options available, besides books. And that is a shame because reading offers a productive approach to improving vocabulary and word power. It is advisable to indulge in at least half an hour of reading a day to keep abreast of the various styles of writing and new vocabulary. Reading helps in mental development and is known to stimulate the muscles of the eyes. Reading is an activity that involves greater levels of concentration and adds to the conversational skills of the reader. It is an indulgence that enhances the knowledge acquired, consistently. The habit of reading also helps readers to decipher new words and phrases that they come across in everyday conversations. The habit can become a healthy addiction and adds to the information available on various topics. It helps us to stay in-touch with contemporary writers as well as those from the days of your and makes us sensitive to global issues. III. What factors are important in learning English There are many factors involved if one wants to learn English in a good way. In order to learn English a person should be mentally prepared to take challenge and promise him or herself that they will be able to complete this mission. A lot of efforts, hard work and determination are required when one wants to learn English. It can not be spoon fed in to your brain and needs a lot of practice and understanding. If a person does not concentrate properly there is no use of learning English. Listening skills are very important if a person wants to learn English. As long as a person listens carefully, he can learn any language in this world very easily. One should listen to the tones of the English speaking person and try to grasp it in their minds. Try to listen to English television programs and news as it has a great effect on your learning ability. Reading skills are also very impotent when one wants to learn English. It is important not only to speak in English but also to write in English as it will enhance the spoken English more. Lastly it is very important to converse in English with people around you to practice the language. The more you speak, the better it will become .You might make mistakes at the beginning; you will improve your English day by day. IV. The necessity of reading A. Reading can help absorb all kinds of information At current time, human has entered the 21st century, an era of intellectual economy or rather the Internet .Peoples' knowledge is increasing at an astonishing speed.By the way of reading ,a learner can master these high-tech and cultural knowledge concerning English -speaking countries. As reading is the only time-saved way to absorb foreign advanced technology, by reading, we can learn more and make contributions to the construction of our motherland .In that case, reading becomes necessary and urgent. B. Reading can help us develop our interest People in the 21st century have a strong desire to learn more knowledge and read more original books and newspapers. So people should be encouraged to do more reading in English. Reading English books, magazines etc can improve reading ability step by step, speeding up cultivating and forming good reading habits. Then people can realize how English is used in reality by reading. C. Reading can improve our Intelligence By reading a lot, one can advance their English background knowledge and broaden his or her vision, inspire his thought, build the values, train the creative performance and develop his intelligence. If a person master the English reading skills and form a good reading habit, she or he can master English forever. V. Reading skills Reading has traditionally been divided into two types: intensive and extensive. In broad terms, intensive reading may be described as the practice of particular reading skills and the close linguistic study of text. Extensive reading, on the other hand, can be defined as reading a large quantity of text, where reading confidence and reading fluency are prioritized. Although this twin categorization of reading into two basic types can be found in many teacher resource books for the teaching of English as a foreign language ， it is not the whole story, as the student's learning history clearly pointed out. We need to extend the categorization. We can do this by adding, first, oral reading (RR.ed:1993), or reading aloud in class, where considerable focus is put on correct pronunciation of the text - and, second, text translation, where correct translation of the foreign language text into the learners' mother tongue is emphasized in tandem with the study of an array of grammatical, lexical and phonological points. This creates a three-way methodological categorization of reading in a foreign language, summarized in the following table. Methodological choice classroom focus Extensive students read a lot of text Intensive students practice particular reading kills Oral reading students listen and read aloud A. Intensive Reading When we read the intensive articles, we should make notes of the new words and phrases and good sentences. After reading them, we may ask ourselves some questions about them by using such words: who, what, why, when and where. Then try to answer them in our own words. Nearly anyone who has taken a foreign language class in the North America is familiar with intensive reading. Maybe you have to read a paragraph. In either case, you’d be reading something with a great deal of vocabulary and/or grammar that is beyond your current reading ability. If your instructor is kind, maybe the vocabulary and grammar that is new to you will be glossed page by page. If not, you’ll be spending more time looking up a dictionary than reading. Assuming vocabulary is supplied for you, the most efficient way to do this kind of reading is to first drill yourself on the new vocabulary for an hour or so, and then read. Diligent students will be able to use the reading to learn 10 or maybe even 20 vocabulary words within a couple of hours. However, even they will probably be reading word by word rather than taking in the language a phrase at a time as they would read in their native languages. B. Extensive reading We must train our ability to scan, skip and read fast. Namely, the ability to catch the key words, the topic sentences and the drift of the articles. Nearly anyone who has taken a foreign language class in North America is familiar with extensive reading. C. Oral reading Oral reading is a complex process in which the reader becomes the "link" between the author and the listeners by comprehending the selection and interpreting it for the enjoyment and understanding of those listening. Students who read orally improve their speech and understanding, and gain much enjoyment when they experience success. Students should be given many opportunities to practice oral reading, either by themselves (with an audio recorder) or in pairs. Often, the support given by peer changes hesitant oral readers into willing and competent oral readers. Always provide time for sufficient practice before expecting a student to read aloud in class. A willing audience is necessary for success in oral reading and the teacher should prepare students to be effective listeners. Students may read to individuals, to small groups, to the whole class, to other classes, and to interested adults. Students benefit from listening to oral reading, and should be given opportunities to listen to the teacher and to professionally recorded audiotapes. D. Speed reading There are ways to improve our reading speed: a) Reading the articles from the beginning to the end without intervals so to catch the rough idea of the articles on the whole. Never waste too much time on some new words and single sentences) We may keep time when reading articles)When reading articles, we can point at the words with our finger or pen point and our eyes move with the finger quickly so that we are able to read very fast. Speed Reading is highly useful at many occasions in our lives. The person who is really capable of Speed Reading enjoys more benefits at many junctures such as at his examination hall during the study phase, his office front where he is entrusted some case study to prepare for some specific business meetings or even at the time of displaying some of his newer products in the market etc. Though, reading at a normal speed is the nature’s gift to every human, but that could easily be enhanced or improved drastically if one is really serious about doing so. For those fond of reading are always benefited with such increased Speed Reading as they can enjoy more and more books in the same time frame where other can read very limited books. Speed Reading than your in-born capacity could well be developed by just working a bit on the subject. All you are required is to prepare your mind and soul in addition to tuning your eyes to sweep faster on the pages of the book being read by you. There are some of the most effective reading-aid tools available in the market all these days that could easily and systematically help you improve your reading skills. Moreover it is now easy to become the remarkable personality of Speed Reading E.Newspaper as good reading materials can widen our sight and richen our knowledge. VI. Tips to improve you reading skills In the modern age of information, reading truly is a fundamental survival skill. Here are ten tips that anyone can use to improve their reading skills. A. You don't have to be a great reader to get the point Some people read fast and remember everything. Others read slowly and take a couple of times to get all the information. It doesn't matter, really, so long as you read, you get information you're seeking. Everyone should do more reading to improve his or her reading skill. B. Know why you're reading Are you reading for entertainment or to learn something? Decide why you're reading before you start and you'll greatly improve your comprehension and your enjoyment. So reading can bring us happiness, we should do more reading. C. You don't need to read everything Not every magazine, letter, and email you receive contains information you need .In fact, most of it is simply junk. Throw it away, hit the delete key! Just doing this wills double the amount of time you have available to read. Choose good material to read so that to save our reading time. D. You don't need to read all of what you do read Do you read every article of every magazine, every chapter of every book? If so, you’re probably spending a lot of time reading stuff you don't need. E. Scan before you read Look at the table of contents, index, topic headers, photo captions, etc.These will help you determine if, a) you have a real interest in this reading, and b) what information you're likely to get from it. F. Prioritize your reading You can't read everything all at once (and wouldn't want to).If it's important, read it now. If it's not, let it wait. G. Optimize your reading environment You will read faster and comprehend more if you read in an environment that's comfortable for you. So try to choose a comfortable environment before your read. H. Once you start, don’t stop Read each item straight. If you finish and have questions, go back and re-read the pertinent sections. If you don't have questions, you got what you needed and are ready to move on. Once you start reading a article you should keep reading ahead, do not stop. I. Focus Remember, you’re reading with a purpose, so focus on that purpose and the material. If you lose interest or keep losing your place, take a break or read something else. You can keep track of where you are by following along with your hand. This simple technique helps you focus and increase your concentration. J. Practice The more you read the better reader you are. We should do more reading to improve our reading speed, If you enjoy your reading, you will like reading better. VII. Conclusion Reading is very important to our studying English, especially reading speed, skills, factors and steps. So we should master some good reading skills to improve our English levels. In our country, most English learner are worried about not understanding English articles, newspaper, magazines and so on. How to improve our English become more and more important .Experience from across the world suggests that extensive reading programs can play an important role in promoting language improvement and development. They require a certain amount of investment in both time and resources, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. With the new introduction of a new syllabus in China that gives due weight to the importance of extensive reading, we can look forward to a nationwide change in attitudes to reading, and to wonderful opportunities for progress. References: 1. Li Chun Reminding In English -Zhen Zhou Henna Univ Day, 2. R.R. (ed.) 1993. New ways in teaching reading. Virginia: TESOL Inc. Ersity Press, 1992.