Mike, as another long-time teacher of language, literature and writing in French, English and Spanish, at several educational levels throughout the years, I totally agree with everything you say about reading, the value and quality of it, and sadly, its increasing demise.
While I don’t deny that the Internet has great advantages and has opened up worlds of opportunities, let us not forget that most of those who use it well are, in fact — for want of a better expression- ‘traditional readers’ in the first place…
And reading is mainly the way to learn and consolidate all languages… that’s how I did it; that’s how I teach it (after having experimented with all the new ways that have cropped up within the last 20'some years); that’s now how I present it at teacher-training workshops. The oral practice may have increased the speed of my spoken output, but it’s the reading that built and shored up any real mastery of thought and expression in … any language.
Always great to read you, Mike! Thank you, Internet ;)