March 08, 2005

Dear Extensionists,

My name is Weijen. I am sure you'd be wondering what the reading club is about. There is nothing fancy about the club; it does only one thing - reading. I will get some good articles from the Internet and we will read them together and hope you will develop the habit of reading from then on. We will also discuss words, grammar, cultural allusions through reading. Don't worry about your English proficiency; learning is a very basic human right, not some kind of privilege enjoyed by the few.

I think we are living in a world full of ironies. The more books we have, the less we read; the more "skills" are invented to learn English, the less we know English. Now, we have the Internet, and logically, students should learn more through it considering that 80% of the information on the Net is in English, yet this is not the case. What's going on? Do people spend time reading English?

The name Extension came out naturally because English is supposed to be the extension of our senses. In the word "extension," the root "tens" is from Latin. It means "stretch." "Ex" is a prefix meaning "out" – thus "stretch out." We live in a small island, and it is very important (and interesting) to reach out to the outside world through English (think globalization). Unfortunately, for many students, English becomes the obstacle for them to feel the world. Do so many tests and so many English language schools help? Your books are piling up and what have you read? Have you ever experienced the beauty the English language delivers? What do you do when you open your eyes? When I see students memorizing words, phrases, or grammatical points, I don't feel that they are stretching their perception. Rather, they are stuffing their memories with tons of English signs; they are not yet stretching their senses to know more about this world through English. Read, will you?

Don't expect your English will be better after the 3-month course, but I hope that you will love to read English as much as I do. I also hope your perception of the world can become infinite because of English. Make it a tool in your life; don't make it a burden from the endless English tests you will take.

Email me if you have any questions about the course.


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