Pile of books (clipart)A student willing to get into higher education knows an average of 80,000 words. Assume that the period of vocabulary acquisition of our high school senior is the 15 years between age 2 and 17, our student needs to learn an average of fifteen words a day, more than 5,000 words per year.

So how much? Research shows that if children read 1 million words, at least 1,000 words will be added to their vocabulary. 1 millions words represents approximately:

  • 20 books of 200 pages
  • 40 books of 100 pages 
  • 500 comics or newspaper feature
  • 300 magazine articles
  • 1000 encyclopedia definitions
  • And any combination of these…

This is not going to happen in school alone. “Most vocabulary words,” Mr Hirsch argues, result “incidentally, from massive immersion in the world of language and knowledge.”

“The Power of reading” (Heinemann, 2004), Stephen Krashen

From a NZ National Library workshop, Dunedin, 2008

One thought on “How much should we read?

  1. I have re-calculate these datas and so children should read about 55 pages per day! READ ON! You never get too much of it!

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