Annotated Bibliography of Works on Extensive Reading in a Second Language
Arranged in Chronological Order
1919Handschin, C. H. (1919). Individual differences and supervised study. The Modern Language Journal, 3(4), 158-173.
*This article has two parts. The first, "Adapting Work to Individual Differences," suggests that simultaneous class instruction produces both students who cannot keep up, and students able to go faster. These individual differences can be catered for by dividing the class into two ability groups, each with a student leader, and giving clear assignments to each. The faster group that finishes its assignment first may then profitably do an extra assignment, while the slower group is able to study its assignment more thoroughly without the pressure of keeping up with the "better" pupils.
There is a report of an experiment in second and third year university German classes. After the first few weeks, classes were divided into two groups. (Three groups were also tried but proved too many for a teacher to supervise.) The additional assignment of extensive reading is defined in the following way. There is "five or ten or fifteen pages of reading in an additional text. This is extensive reading, which [students] are instructed to read over twice at least, in order to learn the vocabulary and to be able to retell it in the foreign language" (p. 161). The experiment was a success. "The fast section of third year German read 300 pages extra, and moreover there was distinctly a higher order of work in that section than in the other" (p. 162). "The special assignment plan.... should become universal.... Extra reading assignments, especially, are easy to administer" (p. 163).
1925Hagboldt, P. (1925). Experimenting with first year college German. The Modern Language Journal, 9(5), 293-305.
*This article describes the first year German course in the Junior College of the University of Chicago. While extensive reading was done alongside intensive reading and the other usual features of the modern language course, "[t]he essential departure from the methods employed in most college courses was in shifting the emphasis of the course completely away from grammar, and emphatically over to reading" (p. 301).
In accordance with the precepts "the individual is the unit of instruction" and "we learn by doing," and in pursuit of oral and reading proficiency, first year students begin reading very easy texts extensively from the first. If in the first four to six weeks, the content of the reading material is very familiar, it links the unknown (the new language) to the known (the content). If the reading material is interesting and not difficult, a reading habit is established, and the usual "fatigue and discouragement so often connected with modern language courses" (p. 297) is avoided. Students are also required to collect and arrange vocabulary, "the indispensable basis for reading (p. 298)," in a note book.
"A student whose objective is an adequate reading adjustment cannot possibly find a better exercise than carefully graded and properly directed reading.... carried on outside of the class room" (p. 294).
As we learn how to swim by swimming and to ride by riding, so we must learn to read German by reading German, by reading every day without a single exception, by reading conscientiously and systematically. Every page we read means a definite amount of progress, every book well read makes the foreign language appear simpler and easier. The earlier we begin to read, the more rapid will be our progress. The more we have read at the end of a course, the better is our equipment for further successful study. (p. 295)
"The effect of extensive reading cannot be replaced by any known means in modern language instruction" (p. 295).
Extensive reading causes to pass through our consciousness an endless chain of words, clauses, idioms and sentences, and at the same time an endless wave of sounds and rhythms. In studying a foreign language we vocalize innerly, pronounce mentally.... Through this continual inner speaking we win something which intensive reading and the careful study of grammar can produce but very slowly. (p. 295)
"In a certain sense extensive reading offers, indeed, an actual substitute for all those activities of every day life by which as children we learn our mother tongue" (p. 296).
The results of reading at least 100 pages (first quarter), 300 pages (second quarter) and 350 pages (third quarter) include the "development of a feeling for the foreign language, greater ease in overcoming grammatical difficulties, and a more natural building up of an adequate vocabulary" (p. 296). In general, the students who read the most did the best and were promoted to higher classes faster. Extensive reading not only proved itself invaluable to the student's language study, but also fulfilled "our most ardent wish, that he enjoy it" (p. 305).
1926Bond, O.F. (1926). Reading for language power. The Modern Language
Journal, 10(7), 411-426.
*This article describes and analyses the extensive reading component of
a French course in a Junior College. Informal, voluntary, outside
reading was added to the formal, assigned reading for classroom
analysis. Students read hundreds of pages each quarter. In the first
quarter, extensive reading has no assigned place in the time schedule
and is not subject to conferences or tests or grading of any type. In
the second quarter, there is one extensive reading conference a week,
and students complete a reading slip for each book read (including
title and author; what is liked and disliked about the material; a
summary limited to 100 words; a significant quotation in French.)
Students are shown how to read "for the fun of it," and the effect of
reading on student's class work is explained. Directions for extensive
3. Look up only the words absolutely necessary for an understanding of
the gist of the story.
Reading lists are posted, and classroom talks in French stimulate a
general interest in reading. "At the end of the quarter, the student is
reading ordinary French prose with fair understanding and is immensely
pleased with himself!" (p. 414). "With the generation of interest and
self-confidence, there comes an acceleration of the whole learning
process" (p. 416). "There is produced an initial impulse toward the
acquisition of a 'feeling' for the language, that no amount of formal
instruction could produce in so short a time and at such an early
stage" (p. 417).
4. Select only material that interests you; what seems uninteresting is
probably too difficult.
5. Proceed from easy texts to difficult ones, being certain that the
line representing the increase of difficulty is very long, ascending
gradually. (p. 415)
Extensive reading is
a means to an end and not an end in itself....
[It] means little, unless the ability to read any French whatsoever is
increased thereby. The acquired ability is measured by achievement
tests; it cannot be measured by pages read. The question is not what
Mary White has read, but what Mary White can read, does read and wants
to read! And she must want to read; she must be induced to want to
read. Ability without desire is worse than desire without ability. (p.
Results of extensive reading include a trebling of reading rate, a
strong correlation between amount of reading and comprehension, and
between reading and general achievement. Overall, there is a rising
percentage of honor grades, and a decreasing percentage of failures. In
sum, "LIRE [to read] is a synonym for POUVOIR [to be able]" (p. 426).
1929Hagboldt, P. (1929). Achievement after three quarters of college German as measured by the American Council Alpha Test, Form B. The German Quarterly, 2(2), 33-43.
**This article is a supplement to an account of similar content published in the GERMAN QUARTERLY of November, 1928, in which two groups of students were discussed in reference to their progress during the first two quarters. The purpose of this article is to follow up these two groups through their third quarter, to state in terms of the American Council Alpha German Test how far they progressed, and by what means their progress was effected.
[*The content of the third quarter course is described in detail:
[O]ne of its most important aspects was to encourage the student to develop his reading ability through systematic outside extensive reading. The number of pages read came to an average of about 1,080 pages per student, or 480 pages more than required. This surplus is by no means extraordinary; it is nothing more than the students' natural reaction to adequate encouragement" (p. 35)
A sample reading list and three examples of student book reports are given.
The test scores at the end of the quarter broadly correlate with the number of pages read during the quarter, and where they do not, an explanation can sometimes be found in the book reports, as when one student's reports show that "he has read very flightily and superficially, covering pages instead of getting through content" (p. 40).
Comparison of the norms of the two groups with those given by the American Council for the Alpha German test indicate that the two groups achieved in two quarters approximately as much as—and in three quarters considerably more than--is usually accomplished in four college semesters or six semesters in high school. "[I]t is almost unbelievable that a high school student should profit as little from three years of German as a student at the University of Chicago profits from two quarters" (p. 41). It suggests that the result of high school as well as college teaching can be raised considerably. Reading ability should be the first aim, and this aim would make reading the main practice in most courses.]
1930Coleman, A. (1930). A new approach to practice in reading a modern
language. The Modern Language Journal, 15(2), 101-118.
Morgan, B. Q. (1930). The Coleman Report and the 'reading method.' The Modern Language Journal, 14(8), 618-623.
The length of the period of study by the majority of pupils is a major
consideration in fixing the objectives of modern language courses. The
ability to read is generally recognized as the first goal.
Investigations in teaching children to read the mother tongue provide
material of value to modern language teachers and suggest a technique
for the development of skill in reading a foreign language silently.
[*Reading ability is the only means by which the average pupil who
studies a modern language for two years can achieve a degree of
independence in that language. Pupils must therefore be quickly weaned
from the hallmarks of the Committee of Twelve's Reading Method (1901):
translation and the detailed reading of a small number of pages, which
are then analyzed in class. It is not that these methods—or the Direct
Method's speech-first principle—are wrong. It is just that, for all but
the top one-third of the pupils in a class, two years is not enough
time for them to bear fruit.
The teaching of fluent reading must be based on an understanding of the
reading process, and of the principles of teaching reading in the first
language, the first three of which are:
1. Children learn to read by reading and they learn better
if the reading practice is as nearly as possible like the reading they
may be expected to do after they have learned to read fluently.
2. The best results are obtained from material adapted to the age, the
interests, the abilities of pupils.
3. Extensive reading is an important factor in increasing the speed of
reading. (p. 112)
The pedagogical principle is that "teaching directly for the results
one wishes to achieve increases the probability of achieving the
desired results" (p. 113). Michael West's research and methodology show
the way to develop fluent reading in a foreign language. Pupils begin
by rapidly developing a recognition vocabulary of 150-250 words, which
allows them to start reading supplementary texts. Hundreds of pages are
read, in which new vocabulary is systematically introduced at the rate
of one new item per 30 to 40 running words. After two years pupils can
understand narrative texts with a vocabulary range of 4000 to 5000
The first value to be gained by studying foreign languages is the power
to use the language for the purpose for which languages exist, namely,
as a means of communication. By establishing one-way communication
through reading, teachers can get "for their pupils a larger net return
in terms of language power for their investment of time and effort" (p.
*This article criticizes the Coleman Report's exclusive recommendation that reading be learned through reading. First, in contrast to the controlled vocabulary in the special textbooks developed by Michael West, there is the problem of the large number of new vocabulary items in the textbooks advocated by Coleman. This leads to the second point: if a large number of new words are met while reading, what kind of comprehension will result? In some schools which follow the reading method, there are "pupils passing their eyes over endless pages with only the vaguest idea of their contents" (p. 620). Third, there is the mistake of equating modern languages. "Had Mr. Coleman been a teacher of German instead of French, I am confident that his attitude toward the 'reading method' would have been more qualified" (p. 621). Beginning readers of French can recognize a large amount of French vocabulary because of Latin roots shared by English, but the same is not true for beginning readers of German.
The article concludes by asking why Coleman, before advocating the 'reading method,' did not investigate other proven methods of improving reading ability, for example, the successful college programs that begin with intensive methods leading to an almost effortless development of reading ability. Oral work, and evidence that the best readers are also good speakers, is also ignored. By not realizing that "reading ability grows out of language mastery. . . based on endless repetition of selected material. . . . pedagogy has been carried backward rather than forward" (p. 623).
1931Mac Coon, A. (1931). Grammar and extensive reading. The Modern Language Journal, 16(1), 14-21.
*This article casts doubt on those advocates of the modern reading syllabus who downplay the teaching of grammar because it uses time that can be better spent reading. In the author's view, "there seems to be no such thing as too much grammar. . . . disastrous slowness and serious misunderstanding of meaning invariably resulting from incomplete grammatical knowledge" (p. 15). A three-year syllabus for foreign languages in secondary schools is presented. Basic grammar is taught in the first year together with a carefully selected, basic, active vocabulary. This is continued in term one of the second year, at which time students who become "restive upon this diet" (p. 18) are given outside reading assignments for extra credit. In year two, term two, there is intensive "creative reading" with highly idiomatic French texts of real literary value. Independent outside reading is continued—at least one complete and suitable book of average length. If students discontinue study at this point, they are able to go on reading French with some degree of ease the rest of their lives. In the third year, class time is devoted to larger units of reading and its discussion, with the goal of greater speed and accuracy in reading.
"My thesis [is] that grammar, lots of grammar, conscientiously . . . drummed into foreign-language students in our secondary schools, need not [at] all interfere with the quite adequate covering of a wide range of valuable reading, but actually makes for a prompter and more thorough comprehension" (p. 21).
The syllabus is designed for the able student, but "can be done without in any way penalizing the less apt, or those who, dropping by the wayside, must look to their brief secondary school experience for whatever cultural values may survive in their lives" (p. 21).
1933Bagster-Collins, E.W. (1933). Observations on reading. The German
Quarterly, 6(4), 153-162.
Hagboldt, P. (1933). Reading for comprehension and its testing. The
German Quarterly, 6(2), 68-76.
*This talk makes a case that teachers need better textbooks and reading
materials if the present goal of language teaching--direct reading--is
to be achieved. The problem is poor gradation. At present, the
overlap of vocabulary between textbooks, Readers and texts may be as
low as 10 percent. Moreover, grading to elementary, intermediate and
advanced levels (Committee of Twelve) is too broad. Reading material
must be developed in a much narrower vocabulary range than is now the
case, and carefully graded with several plateaus up to, for a two-year
course, a maximum of 2000 high frequency items. "We need a number of
texts all on the same level, all employing largely the same basic
vocabulary. Instead of saying, 'this is an elementary text,' a
publisher could state, 'such and such a text keeps within the first
thousand word-range'" (p. 156). If a pupil reads five texts, 200 pages
in all, that never rise above, say, the 1000 word-level, we can expect
his rate of reading at that level to increase, and we can expect that
he will be ready to cope successfully with the next higher level.
Fiction rather than fact, and stories especially written rather than
simplifications are to be preferred, although not exclusively. The
difference between this and plans by West, Ogden and Palmer is that
there should be "a concerted effort on the part of many authors and
editors whose texts are handled by different publishers to have their
output conform to the above-mentioned principles" (p. 158).
*This article has four parts. In Part I (called "General principles in
college courses where reading ability is the main objective"), the
first four principles relate to the teaching of grammar. The next
describes extensive reading: students are told that their reading
ability will, in the end, depend largely upon their outside
reading--not the skimming over a large number of pages, but the correct
interpretation of what is read.
Part II (The grading of reading material) explains that extensive
reading material should be considerably easier than the class texts,
but "[w]e know altogether too little about the books we advise our
students to read" (p. 69). As there is no scientific analysis of
syntax, words and idioms used in the books, nothing can be done except
to grade reading material roughly as elementary, intermediate and
advanced. In this way, 20 books have been ranked in order from most
easy to most difficult. When read in this sequence, they offer no
serious difficulty to college students.
Part III (Types of reading tests) describes various question types,
with their advantages and disadvantages. Part IV (Correlation between
the various sections of the American Council Test) is an empirical
study of correlation between the scores on the grammar, reading and
vocabulary subsections of standard examinations. Strong correlations
were found between grammar and reading, vocabulary and grammar, and
especially vocabulary and reading.
1936Trotter, R. C. (1936). The relation of extensive reading and civilization test scores in second-year French. The Modern Language Journal, 21, 162-164.
Civilization tests administered to intermediate college French classes show that students retain little cultural information from extensive reading, and that high school transfer students are poorly prepared in this respect. Intensive reading of cultural material in intermediate college classes is recommended to correct this deficiency, [with the cultural objective suggested to be stressed in class by means of textbooks and class discussion about customs and institutions of the country whose language is being studied.]**
1937Wilson, W. E. (1937). Choice in extensive reading in Spanish. The Modern Language Journal, 21(5), 344-345.
*This is a survey on the fifteen most popular Spanish writers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries reported by 260 students over a period of seven years, from 1929 to 1936. This list of popular reading material is based on choices made by students registered in two courses in literature. Students admitted to the two courses were those who had had at least two years' work in Spanish. They were required to read extensively, the minimum amount acceptable being forty pages for each class period or a total of 880 pages for a two-credit course each quarter. At the beginning of each quarter a list of the works of the authors to be read was given to the students; special attention was called to the most important works, but the students were allowed to read and report on any work included in the list. The overall findings suggested greater popularity in prose fiction.
1938LaBrant, L. L. (1938). An evaluation of free reading. In C. Hunnicutt, & W.
Iversen (Eds.), Research into the three R's, 154-161. New York: Harper.
*This chapter reports on a program at University School of Ohio State University to encourage students in grades 10-12 to read a numerous books and to consciously select books of varying genres. The same class, averaging 57 students, were involved over their 3 year career at the school. The emphasis of the study was placed on the variety of books reported read. A total of 3974 readings were reported, with girls reading 2.3 times as many books as boys. There was no control group nor any measures of improvement in reading ability.
1940Maronpot, R. P. (1940). Our experience with the reading approach. The Modern Language Journal, 24(7), 494-497.
The effectiveness of the reading approach depends, in the main, upon these factors: (1) teachers who are genuinely "sold" on the Dewey philosophy of "living the learning act," that is, the method of learning to read by reading, (2) the effective use of the proper teaching materials, and (3) the employment of new-type testing techniques.
[*"Though the teachers of modern foreign languages have ostensibly accepted reading as the primary objective of the modern language course, there still exists a difference of opinion as to the best approach to be employed" (p. 494). A "conservative" group "believe that the intensive treatment of a limited amount of reading is the best introduction to reading" (ibid.), while a "progressive" group "feel that reading is to be taught as far as possible by reading, and that this reading should be both intensive and extensive, and should be greatly increased in quantity" (ibid.).
The author describes five years experience of modern language courses at a U.S. high school adopting the second position. The Spanish syllabus is described in detail. The two-year course uses 500 pages of interesting, mostly scientifically-graded reading material in class, supplemented by optional outside reading of slightly easier texts. Half the grammar of a traditional course is taught, restricted to that which correlates with the points of syntax encountered in the reading. There are systematic vocabulary-building exercises in conjunction with the reading. Regular objective tests are given: "Constant testing is the price of success" (p. 496). The progressive curriculum produces "highly satisfactory" (p. 497) results on a par with national norms.]
1942Moore, A. Z. (1942). An experiment designed to measure the comparative achievement in vocabulary and reading ability of second year classes in French and Spanish. The Modern Language Journal, 26(5), 358-360.
Evidence is presented to show that students of French using an extensive reading approach made greater progress in the acquisition of reading skill and vocabulary content than students of Spanish using an intensive reading approach.
[*Standardized tests were given to second year high school French and Spanish classes. The emphasis in the study of both languages "rests primarily on the development of skill in reading, but the teaching technique used in reaching this common end varies greatly.... Students of French begin to read earlier and read more widely than do the students of Spanish" (p. 358), and "a greater amount of stress is placed upon the acquisition of grammatical principles in Spanish than in French" (p. 360).]
1943Anthony, A.E. (1943). Intensive and extensive reading in the secondary
school language course. The French Review, 16(6), 497-500.
Moore, A. Z. (1943). Extensive reading versus intensive reading in the study of modern foreign languages. The Modern Language Journal, 27(1), 3-12.
*This article asserts that the majority of foreign language teachers
favor either intensive or extensive reading, and that either position
alone is dangerous and injurious. In contemporary language courses of
two or three years, extensive reading skill will not develop by itself,
but must be cultivated. A procedure is described: The teacher displays
attractive and very simple French books, magazines and newspapers in a
corner of the classroom, and encourages pupils to try them by
introducing certain items ("This is a good 'roman policier'") and
giving higher grades for voluntary reading. "If John is to be led to
read extensively, he must enjoy the reading" (p. 499). "The teacher
must forget all noble aspirations for developing a 'taste' for good
literature in her pupils. Her job is to set the scene, to surround
them with reading material which will attract their attention and be
sufficiently simple to arouse their curiosity, so that, as a result,
they read, whether the material be detective story or comic strip, and
having read, wish to continue to read" (p. 500, emphasis in original).
Pargment, M. S. (1943). What constitutes a reading knowledge of a foreign language, and how it can be acquired. The French Review, 17(2), 74-82.
A partial review of the literature in the field of extensive and intensive reading in modern foreign languages, together with an experiment designed to measure reading skill and vocabulary growth.
[*The article begins by summarizing the Coleman Report (1929), which advocates "the power to read" as the most realistic goal for modern language instruction, and extensive reading as the method to achieve it. After describing the circumstances that led to its publication and the "storm of criticism" that greeted it, the author reviews articles and research from the 1920s and 1930s, some of which makes a case for extensive reading, and some of which favors "intensive reading of texts, accompanied by grammar training and oral work... [as] more conducive of good results in learning to read" (p. 6). Because of these conflicting results and opinions "the time has not yet come when modern language teachers may say with confidence that one method of teaching reading is better than the other" (p. 7).
In an attempt to answer the question of method, a study was conducted with a class of high school students beginning their second year of Spanish, divided into two treatment groups.
Major problem: Is extensive reading a more effective method for acquiring reading skill than intensive reading?
Minor problem: Is extensive reading more conducive to vocabulary growth than intensive reading? (p. 8)
The intensive reading group outperformed the extensive reading group. A limitation of the study was that "the time allotment was far too short.... Extensive reading must be carried on for a considerable length of time before the results become apparent" (p. 10).]
*This article examines what is meant by a reading knowledge and how it can be acquired. A reading knowledge "means the ability to get the meaning of a text... accurately and precisely, without the conscious registering of every word, without conscious attention to grammatical phenomena, without the interposition of English, and without the constant thumbing of a dictionary" (p. 75). This can be achieved if basic courses emphasize reading, if reading is pleasurable, and if there is no distraction from the reading goal. Reading material must be graded, very gradually increasing in difficulty so that students appreciate and enjoy reading, and desire to continue. The article defines intensive and extensive reading, and explains their roles in reading instruction. It concludes with discussion of pronunciation, translation, grammar, and grasping meaning from groups of words rather than one word at a time.
1945Tharp, J. B. (1945). Unit lesson in extensive reading. The Modern Language Journal, 29(5), 358-375
**Tharp distinguishes between intensive and extensive reading. The former, according to him, is a growth activity: vocabulary is being acquired in context and fixed by repetition; semantics is extending the raw word count; syntax and accidence as they affect meaning are being mastered; the "reading adaptation" is being established. Intensive reading is the climb to the hump; extensive reading is the breathing spell on the plateau. Through class-managed extensive reading the gear is inspected, the muscles flexed, in preparation for the down-hill coast to self-sustaining reading for profit and literary appreciation. Tharp argues that extensive reading may and should be done in class as well as outside school hours or in the library, before presenting a series of specimen lesson units as a way to illustrate how extensive reading lessons may be conducted for the learning of French and Spanish.
1953Bond, O. F. (1953). The reading method: An experiment in college French. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
**An experiment in the teaching of a foreign language began in the autumn of 1920 in the Laboratory Schools of the University of Chicago. In 1950 it was still going on in the College. For thirty years the teaching of elementary French has been under continuous scrutiny, measurement, and revision. Although in certain areas there remain unsolved, perhaps unsolvable, questions, some basic principles, an outline, an established chronological order of trainings, effective materials and techniques, and a tested philosophy have come out of this long stage of trial and error and constitute what may be called a method. This book is the history and the testimonial of that method. [Bond's summary of related work by West and Coleman begins on p. 118.]
1964Rivers, W. M. (1964). The psychologist and the foreign-language teacher. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
West, M. (1964). Criteria in the selection of simplified reading books. English Language Teaching Journal, 18(4), 146-153.
*This book sets out to explain the audio-lingual approach to the foreign language teacher, in particular the approach's connection with behaviorist psychology. Other perspectives are brought in as well. Although the audio-lingual approach would seem to have little in common with extensive reading, in fact it is advocated, at least for students past the beginning proficiency level:
[W]ide reading can do a great deal to extend the student's knowledge of structure, increase his [sic] vocabulary (particularly his passive or recognition vocabulary), and throw much light on "meaning" in the cultural and psychological sense of the word. Such an increase in language knowledge may occur without direct intention on the part of the reader, as a form of "latent" or "incidental" learning (p. 147).
The author urges teachers to help students select materials that will contribute to their understanding of the culture of speakers of the L2, while avoiding materials that might maintain or create unfair stereotypes.
*This article begins with historical information on simplified readers. The author states that the first one was a simplified version of Robinson Crusoe, published in 1926. Four stages of simplified (the author prefers the term “adapted”) readers are described. Stage one is introduction to reading for pleasure, with a vocabulary of 450-700 head words. The goal is to convince learners that they can read for pleasure in the L2. Stage two, with a vocabulary of 1000-1800 headwords, greatly broadens the range of books available. Here the goal is enjoyment. Stage three is labeled as foretaste. With a vocabulary of 1800-2300 headwords, these books convey some of the flavor of the original. Finally, at stage four, lead-in to unadapted books, the books retain the original language but have explanatory passages of 2000-2500 headwords and may be shortened.
1968Burling, R. (1968). Some outlandish proposals for the teaching of foreign languages. Language Learning, 18, 61-75.
Longman (Publisher). (1968).Longman Structural Readers handbook. London: Longman.
Three propositions which bear upon second language learning are defined: (1) Some students need or desire only to be able to read and it is legitimate to design courses for such students which omit training in oral skills unless these help with reading. (2) Passive linguistic knowledge can develop far ahead of active ability, and this fact can be exploited when teaching reading by not demanding the simultaneous ability to write. (3) A number of examples suggest that grammar, lexicon, and phonology can be learned in greater independence of one another than is often assumed. It follows from these three propositions that it might be worth experimenting with courses which first teach the recognition of grammatical forms, then the recognition of lexicon, but which minimize both phonology and active production of sentences in the new language. Techniques by which this could be accomplished would have the added advantage of avoiding the childish level of materials with which even adult students must usually contend when beginning a foreign language.
Rivers, W. M. (1968). Teaching foreign-language skills. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
*Longman Structural Readers is a 6-level series of graded readers now out
of print. (A few titles survive in the Penguin Readers series.) While,
earlier series of readers had been based on vocabulary controls, this was
the first to add formal structural controls at each level, which
subsequently became standard practice. The 48-page booklet lists the
structures and vocabulary allowed at each level, with brief explanatory
notes, such as, "Common figurative use (eg of head or heart) may begin to
appear at Stage 4" (p. 28). Recognizing the overlap between structure and
vocabulary, words with structural implications are italicized in the
vocabulary list. (Abstract based on 1976 Second Edition)
*In the book's first two chapters, four L2 teaching methods are reviewed, with the author seeming to favor the audio-lingual method, including its emphasis, at least at early stages of L2 development, on oral forms of language: "[T]he best approach appears to be to present all foreign-language material at first in oral form, especially in the elementary sections of the course; ... then to train them with the script, which they may use as a help to clarification and memorization" (p. 48). She also discusses the Reading Method, which includes both intensive and extensive reading. Extensive reading was done with controlled texts, often related to L2 culture, with students choosing their own books and advancing at their own speed. Some of her criticisms of the method were that too often emphasis was placed on quantity of pages read instead of on understanding of what was read, and the use of graded readers led to unwarranted confidence in L2 proficiency.
In the book's ninth chapter, "The Reading Skill", extensive reading is first mentioned in the fourth of six stages of reading training. Suggestions made include: the difficulty level of extensive reading texts should be lower than that of texts for intensive reading, "Each student should be encouraged to read at the level at which he can do so with ease and with uninhibited enjoyment" (p. 231); guessing from context and use of monolingual L2 dictionaries should be encouraged rather than concern for exact meaning; to promote reading in quantity, materials should match students' L1 reading interests; teachers might wish to read aloud to the class the first part of a book in order to encourage them to read the rest of the book for extensive reading; extensive reading can be done in pairs; and post-reading work should be quick and focus on comprehension, not memorization of minor details.
1969Kelly, L. G. (1969). Extensive reading. In 25 centuries of language teaching (pp. 150-152). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.
King, J. K. (1969). A reading program for realists. The German Quarterly, 42(1), 65-80.
*This short section of the chapter "Reading" (pp. 128-152) summarizes the history of extensive reading from medieval times to the present. "Independent reading outside the classroom has always been strongly recommended" (p. 151). "[O]ne constant that can be found in discussions of extensive reading... [is] that it should be part of the introduction to the foreign culture. Another theme is the idea that reading should be enjoyable.... The third point of emphasis is that reading is not translating" (p. 150). There is brief discussion of pioneers of extensive reading in this century, such as Peter Hagboldt and Otto Bond. Some early examples of simplified reading materials are mentioned, and the section ends with speculation about when reading—which meant reading out loud in the Middle Ages—became silent reading.
*This article surveys the different theories and methods of modern language teaching, and in particular the teaching of reading, since before World War I to the current competing traditionalist, audiolingual habit, and "cognitive code-learning" methods. After noting what research tells us about how to teach reading, a methodology is proposed, with the starting point that "[a]udiolingual practices have not altered the fact that in order to learn reading students must do a considerable amount of reading" (p. 69, emphasis in original).
Nelson Brooks' distinction between intensive reading (two to four pages done in class to teach vocabulary and grammar) and extensive reading (an entire short story or chapter assigned for outside reading for overall comprehension, not precise details) is introduced.
My proposals for a reading method are based in large part on Brook's [sic] extensive/intensive reading distinction, but my definition of these terms and my approach differ from his. I believe both types of reading should be done in the same text: The intensive reading should be limited to one paragraph which the student is told to master. . ." (p. 70).
This mastery helps the student achieve comprehension of the text as a whole.
An obstacle to this method is that students approach extensive reading as they do intensive, so initial class practice is necessary. The teacher chooses the reading text and tells students their purpose for reading it. Key vocabulary is pre-taught. Students reread the extensive assignment two or three times. An example of the application of this intensive/extensive methodology is given for a university freshman German class assigned to read the short story Das Brot.
1970Bright, J. A., & McGregor, G. P. (1970). Teaching English as a second language: Theory and techniques for the secondary stage. London: Longman.
*This book, aimed at the teaching of ESL at the secondary school level, has parts devoted to extensive reading (pp. 65-80 and 92-95). Topics treated therein include setting up and managing a collection of books for extensive reading, encouraging students to read, monitoring and assessing extensive reading, and the use of class readers.
1971Anderson, J. (1971). Selecting a suitable 'reader': Procedures for teachers to assess language difficulty. RELC Journal, 2, (2), 35-42.
McCracken, R. A. (1971). Initiating sustained silent reading. Journal of Reading, 14, 521-524, 582-583.
*This article explains how to construct and use a cloze test to match a class reader with a particular class of students, or to determine whether, for a particular student, a text is at independent reading level, instructional level, or frustration level.
*This short piece outlines the history and general principles behind SSR. He outlines six "rigid rules":
"Our experience suggests that most classes (90 percent or more) will sustain silent reading for twenty-five minutes or more within one week's time if there are daily sessions. Classes usually need a month of reading under the six rules before the teacher can instigate variations from the six rules."
- Each student must read silently.
- The teacher reads.
- Each student selects a single book.
- A timer is used.
- There are absolutely no reports or records of any kind.
- Begin with whole classes or larger groups of students heterogeneously grouped.
"We have reports form hundreds of classrooms with all sorts of pupil populations…They report unanimously that SSR works and that it worked almost instantaneously once it was initiated."
1972Rivers, W. M. (1972). Speaking in many tongues: Essays in foreign-language teaching. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.
*In the chapter titled, "Teacher-student relations: coercion or cooperation", the author states much practice in L2 instruction demotivated many students. This occurred because of uniform approaches that left no room for student choice. Further demotivating was the fact that these approaches either focused on abstract learning of language forms and use of reading materials from other times, removed from the majority of students' interests, or instruction focused on repetitive exercises that left no room for thinking. She suggests that graded readers (p. 139) provide one means of giving students a degree of autonomy, which in turn promotes intrinsic motivation.
1973Eskey, D. E. (1973). A model program for teaching advanced reading to students of English as a foreign language. Language Learning, 23, 169-184. [Reprinted in R. Mackay, B. Barkman, & R. R. Jordan (Eds.), Reading in a second language: Hypotheses, organization, and practice (pp. 66-78), Rowley, MA: Newbury House,1979]
Korlinska, A. (1973). The results of an enquiry into extensive reading of English simplified texts by the students of Lodz secondary grammar schools (February of the 1971 school year) [Original title: Wyniki ankiety dotyczacej czytania lektury uzupelniajacej w jezyku angielskim w ldzkich liceach ogolnoksztalcacych (luty 1971 rok)] Jezyki obce w szkole, 17(4), 244-251.
*This article begins by stating that, owing to the view of language as speech, reading and writing are given a secondary role, even though they may be more important for many advanced L2 students. Furthermore, the differences between spoken and written forms of language mean that development of proficiency in the spoken form of a language will not be sufficient in promoting proficiency with the written form. The article goes on to review work by Goodman and others on the reading process, before suggesting a model reading program. This involves both intensive and extensive reading, "moving back and forth between close in-class analysis and the synthesis that reading in quantity provides". Three points are emphasized in the model program: materials that are neither too difficult nor too easy, although too easy is preferable to too difficult; content of the reading should match students' needs; and reading material must be available in large quantity. Reading labs, stocked with graded readers, provide one means of providing this quantity.
The curriculum of English as a foreign language for students in secondary grammar schools established in 1971 stipulated that several hundred pages of adapted texts should be read by the students during the four year course as a supplementary task. A questionnaire was circulated to investigate how that stipulation had been put into practice by the students who had been taught English according to the program. Open-end, multiple-choice, and other types of questions were used. A list of simplified texts, published in Poland since 1945, was included. The hypothesis was that an average of even good students had not been able to read the required adaptations because: (1) They were too difficult in general, and in no way correlated with the school handbooks; (2) They were not interesting for students; and (3) They were not easily available in book shops. All the last year of secondary grammar schools in Loodz were given questionnaires during their English lesson. They were asked to answer the questions anonymously and frankly. Simultaneously, their teachers were presented a separate kind of questionnaire on the same problem. Results of these questionnaires are presented, which support the study's hypothesis.
1974Aston, P. and Christian, C. (Eds.). (1974). Guide to Rangers: Structural and lexical control book. London: Macmillan.
*Macmillan Ranger is an 8-level series of graded readers edited by Carol
Christian, now out of print. This 32-page booklet has brief notes on the
series philosophy, with ideas for using the books in class. It lists the
structures and the vocabulary allowed at each level of the series (Range 1:
350 headwords; Range 8: 3200 headwords). "The Word List has been limited as
far as possible to concrete terms, so that subtleties are expressed by
implication or in the illustrations. The interdependence of illustration
and text, especially at the lower levels, is a major feature of the series"
(p. 4). (Abstract based on 1982 edition)
1975Busacker, K. (1975). Wie kann extensives Lesen ueberprueft werden? (How can extensive reading be checked?). Praxis des Neusprachlichen Unterrichts; 22(2), 210-214.
*** Shows the need for extensive reading in FL teaching. Suggests a test which shows whether a student has actually read the material or has simply gained a superficial knowledge of it. Discusses advantages and disadvantages of multiple-choice. Suggests test exchange for interested teachers. Includes test on Steinbeck's "The Pearl."
1977Honeyfield, J. (1977). Simplification. TESOL Quarterly, 11, 431-440.
Milne, J. (1977). Heinemann Guided Readers handbook. London: Heinemann.
This paper examines traditional simplification techniques for the
preparation of language teaching materials, especially graded readers.
The two principal forms of simplification, linguistic and content
simplification, are described. The paper argues that these processes
produce material which differs significantly from normal English in the
areas of information distribution (the way in which information is
distributed in the text), syntax, and communicative structure (the way
in which information is organized in a text for particular
communicative purposes). It is argued that such material may lead
students to develop reading strategies that are inappropriate for
unsimplified English. The paper makes some suggestions for improving
simplification methodology. It concludes, however, by suggesting that
what is needed, at least for intermediate and advanced learners, is an
alternative approach which will both encourage them to tackle
unsimplified material sooner and give them help in doing so. Practical
suggestions are given for such an approach.
[See also Claridge 2005]
*Heinemann Guided Readers is a 4-level series of graded readers, later
expanded to 5 levels and in print as Macmillan Guided Readers. This 28-page
booklet immediately sets the series apart from others: "The control of
vocabulary and the grading of structure are not by themselves enough to
produce a readable and interesting reader. Much more is needed, and what
this 'much more' is will be explained in the following pages" (p. 2). There
are no lists of allowable structures (because the list is too complex) and
vocabulary (because no list was used). Instead it has detailed discussion
of grading in its widest sense, including choice of titles, the importance
of style, and Milne's original concept, "information control." There is
also a practical section on using graded readers in and out of the
1978Broughton, G., Brumfit, C., Flavel, R., Hill, P., & Pincas, A. (1978). Teaching English as a foreign language. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Burling, R. (1978). An introductory course in reading French. Language Learning, 28, 105-128.
*This methods book argues for the important role that extensive reading can play in foreign language programs from the elementary stages onwards.
It is by pursuing the activity of extensive reading that the volume of practice necessary to achieve rapid and efficient reading can be achieved. It is also one of the means by which a foreigner may be exposed to a substantial sample of the language he may wish to learn without actually going to live in the country to which that language is native (pp. 92-93).
These ideas were to achieve axiomatic status when stated as aphorisms by Christine Nuttall (1982). Broughton et al. explain how to use class readers and how to set up class libraries. For the latter, they come down in favor of easy graded readers in which fewer than one word in every hundred is unfamiliar.
Collins (Publisher). (1978). A guide to Collins English Library. Glasgow: Collins.
Students who wish to read French and who are willing to omit instruction in the spoken language have learned successfully by using texts that are mixtures of French and English. The texts begin with English words in French word order, and in subsequent passages a few French words are substituted for the English words. Later the proportion of French gradually rises. The method has the advantage that adult students can practice from the beginning with adult materials. They need never be subjected to the French equivalent of "Dick and Jane". The method also allows a relatively systematic introduction of grammatical material, another advantage for the adult student, and it allows a good many aspects of the language to be absorbed relatively unconsciously through extensive exposure to written materials. Its major disadvantage is the unaesthetic appearance of the mixed texts. The method violates a number of widely held assumptions about second language instruction but reasons exist for doubting all these assumptions.
Hermes, L. (1978). Extensives lesen und lektueren im Englischunterricht der sekundarstufe eins (Extensive reading and reading materials in English teaching in the intermediate grades). Englisch, 13(3), 93-99.
*Collins English Library (later published by Nelson and by Longman) is a
6-level series of graded readers now out of print. This 48-page booklet has
detailed and thoughtful notes on structural and vocabulary controls. "All
grading schemes corrupt, and absolute grading schemes tend to corrupt
absolutely. But just as a measure of power helps society to work, so a
measure of grading helps language learning to work" (p. 9). The structure
scheme was devised by Caroline Tutton et. al, and the word lists by Tom
McArthur. There are lists of structures and words allowed at each level of
the series (Level 1: 300 headwords; Level 6, 2500 headwords), plus a word
formation guide that lists the prefixes and suffixes that may be used at
Hermes, L. (1978). Zur frage des extensiven lesens im Englischunterricht der sekundarstufe eins (On the problem of extensive reading in teaching English in grades 5-10). Englisch, 13(1), 1-7.
***Maintains that cursory reading of original literary texts should have no place in foreign language teaching in the intermediate grades. Discusses "edited" versions of texts, and the weaknesses thereof. Gives a review of reading texts available in series, and discusses methodological problems.
Saragi, T., Nation, I. S. P., & Meister, G. F. (1978). Vocabulary learning and reading. System, 6(2), 72-8.
***Discusses the use of extensive silent reading, its purpose, place in the course, methodology and choice of appropriate texts.
***Discusses the individualization of vocabulary teaching in the ESL (English as a second language) classroom: (1) indirectly, through extensive reading, and (2) directly, through suitable vocabulary exercises. An experiment involving word frequencies is described that assessed the probable effectiveness of an indirect approach.
1979Brumfit, C. J. (1979). Readers for foreign learners of English (ETIC Information Guide 7). London: The British Council.
Dawes, S. (1979). Make time for reading. Guidelines, 1(2), 38-43.
*This, perhaps the first bibliography of English-language graded readers, lists the titles of 1160 books from different publishers. It is also perhaps the first attempt to create a common system of levels across publishers: each book in the list is given a word-level "in order to establish an approximate order which bears some relation to publishers' systems of grading" (p. 5). In addition, the list is divided into four phases, with books suitable for beginners, intermediate classes, advanced classes, and as a bridge to literature respectively. Books that have been successfully used as class readers are also noted. A short introduction (pp. 5-7) exhorts the use of readers in language education, citing the need for both appropriate books and "enthusiasm and commitment to reading by teachers" (p. 7). An appendix, "Grading: A Bibliography" contains 50 items.
Piechorowski, A. (1979). Medien fuer stilles lesen im Englischunterricht (Media for silent reading in English teaching). Englisch, 14(3), 114-117.
This article contains practical suggestions for running an extensive reading programme. These suggestions include: how teachers can work together to grade the books so as to make it easier for students to select appropriate books; how the use of class readers can build skills that enhance students' out-of-class reading; and writing and speaking activities to use with class readers. The author concludes by emphasizing two points: the need for careful planning, and the value of time spent on extensive reading.
Samuels, S. J. (1979). The method of repeated readings. Reading Teacher, 32(4), 403-408.
***Refers to the importance assigned to receptive skills in recent teaching plans, and proceeds to a new evaluation of silent reading in the form of so-called extensive reading. To the basic theoretical statements are added some practical working suggestions for the teacher.
*This article provides theoretical and empirical evidence to support the use of rereading by L1 students who have some reading difficulties. The author used rereading for passages rather than entire books. Rereading was done with and without audio accompaniment. An analogy is made with the type of repetitive work done by musicians and athletes.
1980Collins, C. (1980). Sustained silent reading periods: Effect on teachers' behaviors and students' achievements. Elementary School Journal, 81(2), 109-114.
Tadman, J. (1980). How to make the most of graded readers on cassette.
Harlow, Essex: Longman.
*This study reports on a project to identify the effects of sustained silent reading period on the achievement of elementary-school students. The experiment, with 220 elementary school students in grades 2-6, was carried out daily for 15 weeks with the amount of time reading varying from grade to grade, ranging from 10 to 30 minutes per day. Intact classes at each level were randomly assigned to the experimental or control group.
The results showed that the experimental groups had progressed one-tenth of a book further, which was significant at the .0005 level. There was no significant difference between the groups in the students' attitude towards reading. However, "teachers whose classes took part in a sustained silent reading program were able to record significantly more specific reading interests of their students on the free-response questionnaire than teachers who did not take part in a sustained reading program (P=.0001)…. Similarly, teachers in the experimental group recorded more specific verbal responses that students made concerning materials they had read than teachers in the control group did (P=.0001)…. Participation in a sustained silent reading program during the time that was previously used for instruction in spelling and English did not appear to lower students' achievement in spelling and English when scores of the subtests of the Iowa Tests of Basics skills were used as the measurement criteria."
*This 29-page booklet includes both lesson plans and notes for students
working individually. Sections include using cassettes for storytelling and
notetaking practice, and using them with or without their accompanying books
for listening and other language practice.
1981Elley, W. B., & Mangubhai, F. (1981). The impact of a book flood in Fiji primary schools. Wellington: New Zealand Council for Educational Research.
Krashen, S. (1981). A case for narrow reading. TESOL Newsletter, 15(6), 23.
In many countries of the world, English is learned formally by pupils as a second or foreign language. Much of the instruction in schools is aimed at teaching one English structure at a time, in the belief that the learners will be able to put these discretely learnt structures together in real communicative situations. That learning for communication is slow and for the amount of time devoted to it relatively unproductive and often bereft of any enjoyment is not surprising. In the schools of the South Pacific, the situation is not different. In this report, the authors explore an alternative, more enjoyable approach to promoting the acquisition of English at the primary school level. The approach capitalizes on children's love for stories and the belief that effective learning takes place at the point of interest. Children in rural schools of Fiji were exposed to a variety of high-interest illustrated story books and encouraged to read and discuss them regularly. The report describes how the children's language progress was carefully monitored to investigate the effects of the new approach. The results were positive and sufficiently encouraging to give new hope to pupils and teachers of English in many contexts, and to provide sound empirical support for the contribution of reading to general growth.
Laufer-Dvorkin, B. (1981). "Intensive" versus "extensive" reading for improving university students' comprehension in English as a foreign language. Journal of Reading, 25(1), 40-43.
*The author states that while second language teaching often seeks to use a variety of topics, taking a more narrow approach may be more beneficial. Narrow reading is advocated because it can provide multiple comprehensible exposures to grammar and vocabulary by building readers' familiarity with particular authors and topic areas. The language gains made while reading in one topic area are believed to transfer when reading in other topic areas. Suggestions are made for implementing narrow reading, e.g., L2 courses that focus on a specific subject area.
*** This study of various methods of teaching English as a foreign language concludes that an intensive method in which university students study passages in detail yields the best results.
1982Burling, R. (1982). An introductory course in reading French. In R. W. Blair (Ed.), Innovative approaches to language teaching (pp. 77-94). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.
Mangubhai, F. & Elley, W. B. (1982). The role of reading in promoting ESL. Language Learning and Communication, 1(2), 151-160.
*This chapter describes a method for teaching reading to beginning level L2 learners of French. Learners begin with reading L1 translations of L2 texts written with L2 word order. Gradually, students are introduced to similar texts with an increasing quantity of L2 vocabulary. Examples are provided. Advantages and disadvantages of the method are discussed. The author explains the rationale for the method by attempting to debunk four assumptions about L2 acquisition: (1) the primacy of oral over written language; (2) the integral unity of a language; (3) inviolable boundaries separate different languages from one another; (4) language production goes hand in hand with comprehension.
Novak, S. S. (1982). Reading laboratories: The conversion of the speed reading lab into an ESL reading lab. ERIC Reproduction Service No. ED238286
*The study reported here tested the hypothesis that extensive reading enables L2 children to progress more quickly than a conventional oral-first approach only. For one year, children aged 9 to 11 in Fiji rural primary schools were divided into three groups: shared book, sustained silent reading, and control. Although results differed between language skills, classrooms and schools, in general both the shared book and silent reading classes outperformed the control classes in overall language growth. This result was for both boys and girls, and for both Fijian and Indian pupils. The impact of the "Book Flood" (i.e., both shared book and silent reading) was greatest in comprehension skills, whether reading or listening, and least in productive skills, supporting the general principle that in L2 learning, we learn what we practice.
Schon, I., Hopkins, K., & Davis, W. A. (1982). The effects of books in Spanish and free reading time on Hispanic students' reading abilities and attitudes. NABE Journal 7(1), 13-20.
***It is proposed that the reading-machine laboratory provides a means for the classroom ESL instructor to continue using his present method in the classroom (intensive, theoretical-grammatical instruction) while providing additional extensive reading and learning practice with the machines in the reading laboratory. Two speed reading systems currently on the market are found to contain materials well suited to adult ESL instruction. Adjustments in speed expectations and careful selection from the large amount of material available in the programs are recommended. A reading program designed for college-bound ESL students and emphasizing comprehension skills is outlined. The facility requirements are given, and the controlled reader is the primary equipment recommended. Applications of the suggested instructional materials are described.
The Spanish and English reading abilities, reading attitudes and academic self-concepts of two comparable groups of elementary Hispanic students were investigated. The effects of providing a great variety of books in Spanish and sixty minutes a week of free reading time were studied by analyzing the results of the Tests of Reading: Inter-American Series and by having students respond anonymously to reading attitude and academic self-concept inventories. There was a trend for significantly higher Spanish reading performance in the experimental group with no loss in their English proficiency. The reading attitudes of the experimental groups also improved significantly.
1983Elley, W. B. & Mangubhai, F. (1983). The impact of reading on second language learning. Reading Research Quarterly, 19, 53-67.
Hamp-Lyons, E. (1983). Developing courses to teach extensive reading skills to university-bound ESL learners. System, 11, 303-312.
Five critical differences between first and second language learning were identified and discussed. It was hypothesized that the effect of these differences in formal education could be virtually eliminated by means of a reading program based on the use of an abundance of high-interest illustrated story books. A sample of 380 Class 4 and 5 pupils from eight rural Fijian schools with very few books was selected, and each class was provided with 250 high-interest story books in English. The 16 participating teachers were given directions in two different methods of encouraging the pupils to read the books. Pre- and posttests were given to all pupils and to matched control groups of 234 pupils who followed the normal structured English language program, which puts little emphasis on reading. Posttest results after eight months showed that pupils exposed to many stories progressed in reading and listening comprehension at twice the normal rate, and confirmed the hypothesis that high-interest story reading has an important role to play in second language learning. After 20 months, the gains had increased further and spread to related language skills.
Kutiper, K. (1983). Extensive reading: A means of reconciliation. English Journal; 72(7), 58-61.
Most courses in English for academic purposes concentrate on teaching traditional reading comprehension skills at the intensive level, and do not offer help to the students with the area of reading which frequently causes the non-native student the greatest difficulty in his English-medium university courses: the sheer volume of reading required, which often overwhelms the foreign university student. At Universiti Sains Malaysia there was a particular need for a course which would help students to develop extensive reading strategies and offer them sufficient opportunity to practice these in a controlled situation. The course which was developed used overhead transparencies keyed to a tape recording in the skill development stages, and proceeded to real university textbooks. At WESL Institute of Western Illinois University, the concept of a course in extensive reading skills was retained, as was the use of the overhead projector as a presentation technique, but the course which was developed was rather different, as a response to differing student needs and as a result of background research into psycholinguistic theories of the reading process, coupled with experience gained from the use of the first course.
***Cites research suggesting that extensive reading is as effective as intensive reading in developing general reading ability and is more effective in promoting good attitudes among elementary and secondary school students toward reading.
1984Bamford, J. (1984). Extensive reading by means of graded readers. Reading in a Foreign Language, 2, 218-260.
Davies, A. (1984). Simple, simplified and simplification: What is authentic? In J. C. Alderson, & A. H. Urquhart (Eds.), Reading in a foreign language (pp. 181-195). London: Longman.
This paper is an overview of graded readers. It first outlines the characteristics of the graded reader, and its contribution to foreign language teaching. Second, suggestions are made as to the use of graded readers so that their potential may be maximized. Third, the grading systems themselves are analyzed, as are the levels of published titles in terms of their readability. Next, the article presents a detailed bibliography of most available titles--from beginner to intermediate levels--of interest to secondary level and adult learners. And finally, practical advice is given for setting up a library of graded readers.
Elley, W. B. (1984). Exploring the reading difficulties of second-language learners in Fiji. In J. C. Alderson, & A. H. Urquhart (Eds.), Reading in a foreign language (pp. 281-297). London: Longman.
*Simplification is often used to create extensive reading materials for L2 students. The author begins this chapter by stating that "Simplicity is difficult". He goes on to describe some of the issues involved in simplification of language and its relation to authenticity. In conclusion he states, "In teaching our concern is with simplification, not with authenticity. Everything the learner understands is authentic for him. It is the teacher who simplifies, the learner who authenticates."
Hudelson, S. (1984). Kan Yu Ret an Rayt en Ingles: Children become literate in English as a Second Language. TESOL Quarterly, 18, 221-238.
*This chapter begins with a description of how reading is taught in Fiji and of the Tate Oral English Program based on audio-lingual principles and used widely in the South Pacific. Next, data are presented indicating that the cloze procedure may be valid for assessing L1 and L2 reading. The author then explains why he supports two changes to the teaching of reading in Fiji: more books in schools and an instructional approach that encourages students to read much more. Elley presents data in which the variable that correlated most strongly with reading scores - after removing variance accounted for by home background - was the size of students' school library. Many primary schools were found to lack well-stocked libraries, or even not to have libraries, in part due to the absence of indigenous children's literature in written form. Second, he argues that the audio-lingual approach's delay in the introduction of reading generally and in the introduction of specific structures in reading until they have been taught orally is unfounded, especially in light of work, mostly in the 1970s, by students of reading such as Clay, Goodman, and Smith. Instead of books chosen for their controlled use of selected grammatical structures, he suggests a reading programme based on high interest stories in order to encourage reading by primary school students. The editors' postscript to the chapter includes a discussion of the relative place of oral and written forms of language in L2 education.
Kerecuk, N., & Velloso Ribeiro, O. (1984). The Book Club project. Modern English Teacher, 12(1), 18-24.
Current research on second language reading and writing development in children has provided teachers and curriculum planners with multiple possibilities for innovations in classroom practice. In the case of oral language development in ESL, this research has made significant contributions both to classroom teaching and to the materials being published for classroom use. Classroom practices in literacy for ESL children, however, have not kept up with research. This article presents several general findings from recent research on second language reading and writing development in children. These findings suggest: that even children who speak virtually no English read English print in the environment; that ESL learners are able to read English with only limited control over the oral system of the language; that the experiential and cultural background of the ESL reader has a strong effect on reading comprehension; that child ESL learners, early in their development of English, can write English and can do so for various purposes. This article also presents classroom applications for each finding.
Krashen, S., Terrell, T., Ehrman, M., & Herzog, M. (1984). A theoretical basis for teaching the receptive skills. Foreign Language Annals 17, 261-275.
*This article describes an extensive reading programme for beginning and intermediate EFL students in Brazil. Reading for pleasure was a key aim of the program. Students are in groups of about four. Each group reads the same graded reader, selected by their teachers, and then works together to do teacher-designed, fluency-focused tasks. Eventually, every group has read the same books.
Schon, I., Hopkins, K. D., & Vojir, C. (1984). The effects of Spanish reading emphasis on the English and Spanish reading abilities of Hispanic high school students. Bilingual Review, 11, 33-39.
****This article begins by discussing research-based ideas about how L2 receptive skills develop and contrasts these with commonly held assumptions. Then, the authors discuss implications for teaching and materials development. Extensive reading is among these implications.
Two studies were conducted in which high-interest reading materials in Spanish with a wide range of readability were provided to Hispanic students in remedial reading classes at two Arizona (U.S.) high schools that have a substantial proportion of Hispanic students. Comparable Hispanic students in other remedial reading classes taught by the same teachers served as the control group. Spanish reading, English reading, and affective (reading attitude/academic self-concept) measures were employed as pretests and posttests. Analyses of covariance failed to detect any significant difference in the E (experimental) and C (control) means, although some method-by-teacher interactions were evident on both the Spanish reading and affective measures. Classroom observation and teacher interviews revealed that U.S.-born Hispanics had little interest in and rarely made use of the Spanish materials, but recent Hispanic immigrants to the United States enjoyed the materials and used them extensively.
1985Bamford, J. (1985). Interview -- Monica Vincent: Reading with readers and writing for women. The Language Teacher, 9, (2), 9-11.
Bouman, L. (1985). Who's afraid of reading? Some strategies for using simplified readers in class. Modern English Teacher, 12(3), 3-13.
****A writer of language learner literature talks about her craft, including the contrasting experiences of writing for three different series of graded readers.
Brumfit, C. J. (1985). Graded material and the use of the lexicon. In C. J. Brumfit, Language and literature teaching: From practice to principle (pp. 96-99). Oxford: Pergamon.
*This article begins by offering ten suggestions for inspiring pupils to read, e.g., that teachers like reading and read regularly and that pupils be involved in selecting and promoting books. Next, are suggested activities for pre-reading to accompany simplified readers, e.g., students generate words associated with the subject or theme of the book. The longest part of the article provides suggested activities for while pupils are reading the simplified books, e.g., a press conference held by four main characters. Finally, suggestions are made for post-reading activities, e.g., spot-the-mistake, in which a version of the story with ten errors is created.
Cline, W. (1985, May). Teaching Spanish for technical purposes. Proceedings of the Eastern Michigan University Conference on Languages for Business and the Professions, Dearborn, Michigan. ERIC Reproduction Service No. ED272020
*Brumfit uses this review (reprinted from BAAL Newsletter, Number 11, March 1981) of Roland Hindmarsh's Cambridge English Lexicon (Cambridge University Press, 1980) to look at how word lists (such as West's General Service List) are used in the grading of teaching materials and readers. He examines the misuse of such lists--this article is in the "Criticisms of Current Practice" section of his book--and offers a 5-step checklist for writing for language learners, as a way to prevent a lexicon being used as "a straight-jacket on interesting writing." (See also p. 101 for Brumfit's criticism of the belief that "A 'scientific' grading of reading materials is not only possible, but useful.")
Hedge, T. (1985). Using readers in language teaching. London: Macmillan.
***An Eastern Michigan University course in Spanish for special purposes with an emphasis on technology was intended to serve students of business, international trade, and technology, but the actual enrollment came largely from the department of foreign languages and bilingual studies. However, significant diversity in scientific preparation and aptitude and in language proficiency was still found in the course population, both undergraduate and graduate. The courses have since been designed for a broad target group, with emphasis placed on translation from Spanish to English and limited English-to-Spanish translation practice. The course content includes fundamental technological and scientific terminology in a variety of fields (mathematics, physics and subfields, chemistry, biology, and automotive and computer technology). The methodology used involves extensive readings, vocabulary review, translation, oral reports, and examinations. Instructional materials at varying linguistic levels and from a variety of fields are used. Student evaluations of the course have indicated satisfaction with the amount of learning in varied fields and with their newly acquired ability to translate technical texts. Student dissatisfaction relates to learning vocabulary in fields unrelated to career goals, text difficulty, and the instructor's lack of technical knowledge in some fields. Course outlines are appended.
Latorre, G. & Kaulen, M. A. (1985). From "hard-core" to "soft-core" ESP: A case study, The ESP Journal, 4(2), 101-109
*This book contains eight chapters. The first explains how graded readers are written by means of lexical, structural, and information control, and discusses issues related to such simplification. The next chapter describes how using graded readers can help learners develop knowledge of language and language use, improve their reading skills and strategies, and enhance their attitudes toward reading. Ideas for selecting graded readers for student use are presented in chapter three, followed by a chapter on how to introduce students to graded readers. Chapter five deals with setting up a class library and how to encourage students to use it frequently and wisely. Chapter six presents ideas for activities when each student selects their own book to read, and the next chapter gives suggestions for when the entire class is reading the same book. The final chapter provides examples of activities that teachers can create to accompany the graded reader collection.
Schon, I., Hopkins, K. D., & Vojir, C. (1985). The effects of special reading time in Spanish on the reading abilities and attitudes of Hispanic junior high school students. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 14, 57-65.
**Most ESP instruction at the tertiary level has a narrow communicative focus. This study attempts to answer questions about what happens when ESP- trained academics broaden their goals and attempt reading for wider audiences. The participants read popular scientific readings (av. 516 words), answered comprehension questions and recorded the time required to complete the readings. Results showed that participant comprehension increased considerably; however, reading speed did not consistently increase, since some readers adjusted their speeds to improve comprehension. Conclusions are drawn about the implications of these results and suggestions are made for encouraging extensive reading and participant self-evaluation.
The purpose of this study is to determine whether providing special reading time with a wide variety of reading materials in Spanish affects the reading abilities, reading attitudes and academic self-concepts of Hispanic junior high school students. Common reading measures in both English and Spanish, and related attitude tests, were given to 400 experimentally accessible Hispanic students. On most of the measures, the difference between the E (experimental) and C (control) groups was not statistically significant. On the 4 measures for which significance (alpha level = 0.10) was attained (and on the other tests not achieving statistical significance) there was a trend for the E group to perform better on the Spanish reading tests and the C group to do better on the English reading tests. Differences on the reading attitude and academic self-concept tests did not approach statistical significance. The pattern of results was consistent for both sexes, and for students who were, and who were not, taking a Spanish language course, and for students whose teachers taught in both the E and C situations. E teachers who were conscientious in implementing the treatment tended to have significantly greater gains in both English and Spanish reading achievement. Within the E group, gains in English and Spanish reading abilities were positively correlated.
1986Grabe, W. (1986). The transition from theory to practice in teaching reading. In F. Dubin, D. E. Eskey, & W. Grabe (Eds.), Teaching second language reading for academic purposes (pp. 25-48). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (Publisher). (1986). Guide to the HBJ Pyramid Reading Series. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
*This chapter considers issues of approach, design, and procedure in L2 reading instruction. Under approach, two claims made that are relevant to extensive reading are "Reading requires practice--time on task" and "Reading requires purpose--motivation (interest, need)". Under design, the author discusses how extensive reading provides what he calls a "Critical Mass of Knowledge" of both language and of the world. This critical mass supports reading as well as overall L2 proficiency. Thus, extensive reading is part of the design for reading instruction at all proficiency levels, including elementary. Suggestions for procedures include extensive reading done outside of class with materials selected less for their authenticity than with consideration for their being challenging but not too difficult, so as to build students' confidence. By reading such materials, students are more likely to develop effective reading habits.
Janopoulos, M. (1986). The relationship of pleasure reading and second language writing proficiency. TESOL Quarterly, 20, 763-768.
*The HBJ Pyramid Series is a 6-level series of graded readers (Frank Crane
senior series editor) now out of print. This 64-page booklet describes in
detail the development of this American English series written for Japan,
and lists the structures and words allowed at each level (Level 1: 500
words; Level 6, 3000 words). There are also guidelines for exploiting the
books as class readers.
Jensen, L. (1986). Advanced reading skills in a comprehensive course. In F. Dubin, D. E. Eskey, & W. Grabe (Eds.), Teaching second language reading for academic purposes (pp. 103-124). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
*This study investigated whether either L1 or L2 pleasure reading is positively correlated with L2 writing proficiency among 79 graduate students at a U.S. university who were non-native speakers of English. Data were collected by asking students to write a composition on one of three open-ended topics. They were then asked to provide data on their age, sex, L1, years of English study, and time spent weekly on pleasure reading in their L1 and in English. Writing proficiency was found to positively correlate with quantity of time spent on L2 pleasure reading but not on L1 pleasure reading or a combination of L1 and L2 pleasure reading.
Shanefield, L. (1986). ESOL at the library: How to set up a collection. TESOL Newsletter, 20(5): 1, 5.
*This chapter describes an approach to teaching reading to high intermediate-advanced level L2 students taking a comprehensive skills course. The author suggests that such a course use content themes to simulate a regular university course. Authentic materials are combined with L2 textbooks to create theme-based units that require students to read analytically. These units consist of both core readings used for intensive reading and supplementary readings available for extensive reading. The latter provide students with greater reading quantity, as well as with the responsibility of self-selecting materials. A key rationale for extensive reading is that "the more students read, the better readers they become (and the better they read, the more they enjoy reading)". The extensive reading component also provides a place for texts too long to be read in class. The author suggests that students do activities based on their extensive reading and keep a log of these activities, as extensive reading is viewed as required course work.
Stoller, F. (1986). Reading lab: Developing low-level reading skills. In F. Dubin, D. E. Eskey, & W. Grabe (Eds.), Teaching second language reading for academic purposes (pp. 51-76). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
*This article explains how a special ESOL reading section was set up in a university town in the U.S. An eight-step procedure is described: determine who needs the books; contact the library director; draft a budget; order books; divide duties; catalogue and shelve the books according to word level; and get ready to circulate the books; publicize the collection; and maintain the collection by doing an inventory, replacing worn or lost books, and adding new titles and second copies. The author's final piece of advice is to start small.
Vincent, M. (1986). Simple text and reading text. In C. Brumfit & R. Carter (Eds.), Literature and Language Teaching (pp. 208-215). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
*This chapter provides guidance in setting up a reading lab for low intermediate students (400-450 TOEFL). Such a lab is not viewed as an adjunct to other courses, but as an independent course in itself. Reading lab activities involve extensive reading, as well as activities such as skimming, scanning, and phrase reading. Suggestions are provided for conducting individualized outside reading, including selection and organizing of materials, establishment of reading requirements, physical set up of the lab, the use of a form of simple book reports (an example of which is provided), and modifications for lower and higher proficiency levels.
**I wish to focus on... the use of simple text, and its role in the development of the reading skills necessary for the eventual direct approach to authentic works of English literature.... Original works of English literature are not accessible to foreign learners of English at the start of their course.... [Thus] a worthy desire to read what is 'worthwhile' can result in an almost worthless reading process.... [However] If the final result of the simplification process is merely a synopsis or report of the original work, is the effort worth it? One published novelist who decided to write an original story at the level of Longman Structural Readers, Stage 1, remarked, 'It's like trying to box in a telephone booth.'... Our concepts of simplification and grading need to be more subtle and sophisticated if we wish not only to build up our students' fluency and confidence in understanding written English, but also hope to lead them to an enjoyment and appreciation of English literature.
1987Carrell, P. L. (1987). Readability in ESL. Reading in a Foreign Language, 4, 21-40.
Eskey, D. E. (1987). Conclusion. In J. Devine, P. L. Carrell, & D. E. Eskey (Eds.), Research in reading in English as a second language (pp. 189-192). Washington, DC: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.
This article reviews the literature critical of readability formulas from the perspective of their use in second language reading contexts. Relevant empirical research (Davison & Kantor 1982; Johnson 1981; Blau 1982; Floyd and Carrell 1987) which casts doubt on the efficacy of syntactic simplification/adaptation is also reviewed. The paper argues against using readability formulas not only as guides to text production or adaptation/simplification, but also as measures of the difficulty of naturally occurring texts. The paper argues that valid measures of a text's comprehensibility require consideration of textual phenomena at the level of discourse, of syntactic and lexical choices other than those which affect length, of logical/rhetorical ordering of ideas and progression of topics and comments, as well as--most importantly--background knowledge presumed of the reader.
Livingstone, C., Pike, H., Tadman, J., Tunnacliffe, D. & King, J. (1987). The Longman guide to graded reading. Harlow, Essex: Longman. (New edition 1992)
*Reviewing the research presented in the book's previous chapters, the author concludes that because reading is such a complex, interactive, and multifaceted process, sustainable progress can only be via a large quantity of reading of texts of increasingly greater difficulty.
Unless students can somehow be induced to develop a serious interest in some kind of reading that leads to a long-term reading habit, all talk of teaching reading becomes meaningless. There is much that can be done to help students along, and to wean them from counter-productive strategies, but providing appropriate material to read, that is, material which the students themselves find interesting or useful at a level which is largely comprehensible to them, should always be the teacher's first priority.
O'Sullivan, T. (1987). Some thoughts on extensive reading in GCSE modern languages. British Journal of Language Teaching, 25(3), 159-161.
*This 32-page booklet is a practical guide for teachers on implementing
extensive reading. It's five sections begin with reasons for doing
extensive reading with graded readers, and continue with instructions for
setting up a library for students' self-selected reading, guidelines for
planning lessons using a class reader, ideas for using reading as a basis
for communicative activities, and finally ways to use graded reader
cassettes. The 1992 edition edited by Nick Dawson, adds detail and clarity
to all sections, and includes a new one on assigning reading for holiday
Parker, R., & Turner, J. (1987). Breeding the reading bug. TELL, 3, 20-22.
***Considers some important arguments in favor of the vigorous promotion of greater literacy in foreign languages, including analysis of how several essential components of GCSE syllabi can be applied to such instruction.
Parrott, J. (1987). Reading syndicates: A working model for the language classroom. Reading in a Foreign Language, 3, 411- 416.
*This article discusses the problem of students who can read but do not. This may be due to instructional strategies that emphasize reading skills at the expense of giving students large amounts of experience with whole texts. Suggestions are made as to how to put books in the classroom, make time for silently reading and reading aloud by the teacher, encourage students to share what they read and keep a record of their reading, and avoid the pitfalls of students competing with one another over who has read more.
Simensen, A. M. (1987). Adapted readers: How are they adapted? Reading in a Foreign Language, 4, 41-57.
A classroom model is proposed for developing an interest in reading for pleasure and increasing literacy competence amongst intermediate or advanced language students. The relevant background to the teaching and learning situation in which this scheme was elaborated is outlined, and reasons given for wanting a more sophisticated wide-reading programme than the traditional class reader. At the heart of the article is a detailed model showing the mechanics involved in implementing a reading syndicate, with examples of texts which have been used successfully. The article concludes by enumerating perceived advantages of such a system and suggesting possible adaptations in different teaching situations.
Adapted readers are described as one type of graded reader. Arguments are given for using graded readers in the teaching of English as a foreign (or second) language. The paper reports selected research results of a study of publishers' policy on text adaptation. The main principles of text adaptation, as reflected in publishers' documents, are described and compared. Previous research relevant to text adaptation is briefly described.
1988Bearne, C. (1988). Readers and 'Readers': Foreign language reading in 18+ learners. Russian as a case study and some strategies. Reading in a Foreign Language, 5, 163-179.
Brown, D. S. (1988). A world of books: An annotated reading list for ESL/EFL students (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.
This article examines the foreign language learning needs of a specific group of undergraduates and postgraduates, principally learners of Russia, with particular reference to their need to develop reading skills in the foreign language. It examines what actual reading this group do and how this relates to their previous language learning experience. Traditional educational publications designed to foster reading skillsÑreaders, are examined, taking Russian as an example, and their effectiveness evaluated. In the light of the evaluation alternative strategies are exploredÑwith a view to integrating reading into the total FL learning process.
Dunning, B. D. (1988). Young adult literature as a bridge to academic success. TESOL Newsletter, 23(6), 1, 10-11.
**This book is designed to "help students who are fairly proficient in English, but not completely at home in the cultures of English-speaking countries, to find books that they can read with a maximum of pleasure and a minimum of frustration".
Greenwood, J. (1988). Class readers. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
*This article proposes that L2 students can benefit from reading books written for young adult native speakers. Among the suggested benefits of reading such books are their modern themes, fast pace, relatively short page length, uncomplicated plots, and contemporary language. Sources of recommended titles are provided.
Hill, D. R., & Reid Thomas, H. (1988). Guided readers (Part 1). ELT Journal, 42(1), 44-52.
*The large majority of this book is devoted to describing activities that can be used to accompany class readers. These are divided into pre-reading, while reading, after reading, and a section on "changing frame" with activities in which students are asked to view the text from a different perspective. For instance, if the class is reading Silas Marner, they could try to see the story from the point of view of an adoption committee, charged with deciding to whom to grant adoption rights. An eight-lesson sample scheme of work is also provided.
Hill, D. R., & Reid Thomas, H. (1988). Guided readers (Part 2). ELT Journal, 42, 124-136.
*This article presents a survey of twelve series of English language graded readers. The following characteristics are considered: covers, page length, size and look of pages, illustrations, vocabulary and syntax control, glossaries, introductions, pre-reading questions, chapter headings, type of book (story, play, poetry, or long fiction), genre (fiction - animal, fable, general, romance, spy, science fiction, sport, thriller, or western - and non-fiction - animal, biographical, cultural, geographical, historical, scientific, or sport), setting, period, gender of protagonist, sensitive issues, readability level, interest rating, and age of readership.
Kitao, K.C., & Shimatani, H. (1988). Jishu-teki na eigo no dokusho shido [Pleasure reading: Setting up a special English section in the library]. The Language Teacher, 12(2), 47-49.
*This article continues the authors' survey of graded readers, examining the twelve series, rating them, and describes strengths and weaknesses of each.
Krashen, S. D. (1988). Do we learn to read by reading? The relationship between free reading and reading ability. In D. Tannen (Ed.), Linguistics in context (pp. 269-298). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
*This article, the majority of which is in Japanese, provides advice on setting up a library of graded readers. Included is a list of titles.
Petrimoulx, J. (1988). Sustained silent reading in an ESL class: A study. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (22nd, Chicago, IL, March 8-13, 1988).
**In this paper, I review studies that attempt to determine whether there is a relationship between the amount of pleasure reading done and reading ability, as measured by tests of reading comprehension. Three kinds of studies are presented:
I will argue that free reading consistently relates to success in reading comprehension, and that the apparent counterexamples to this generalization are easily dealt with.
- Free reading programs done in school (e.g. Sustained Silent Reading, Self-Selected Reading).
- Students' reports of free reading outside of school.
- Reading resources, or the availability of books and other forms of print.
Polak, J. & Krashen, S. (1988). Do we need to teach spelling? The relationship between spelling and voluntary reading among community college ESL students. TESOL Quarterly, 22(1), 141-146.
A study of the effect of regular sustained silent reading (SSR) periods on the reading comprehension and vocabulary of a group of adult students of English as a second language is reported. Sixteen foreign students from 10 countries enrolled at the University of South Florida participated in one of three groups. One group engaged in SSR for ten minutes daily for fifteen weeks and discussed the vocabulary they learned. Two control groups did no required SSR. After 15 weeks, the experimental group had higher reading comprehension and vocabulary scores than the control groups, but the differences were not statistically significant. However, the experimental group showed a high degree of acceptance of the SSR activity and increased at-home reading. The results are consistent with those of native-language SSR studies that indicate the technique to be effective over the long term. A longer study is recommended. The results of this study and the findings of other SSR studies are charted for reference, vocabulary learned by the experimental group is presented, and the measurement instruments used in the study are included.
Wodinsky, M., & Nation, I. S. P. (1988). Learning from graded readers. Reading in a Foreign Language, 5, 155-161.
**The three studies described here were an attempt to determine whether a relationship exists between spelling competence and voluntary reading.... If such a relationship could be demonstrated, it would provide additional support for the hypothesis that reading contributes to spelling ability.... Correlations do not imply causality.... [nevertheless] our results suggest that voluntary reading will help spelling. [There were follow-up comments on this research in TESOL Quarterly, 23(1), p. 163.)
A word frequency study was made of two graded readers and an unsimplified text to determine the contribution that graded readers can make to vocabulary learning. Assuming that 10 repetitions are needed for learning, it was found that in order to master the vocabulary at a particular level, it would be necessary to read several texts at that level. It was also found that when moving from one level to another, it is not necessary to learn the vocabulary of the new level, or indeed to master all the vocabulary of the previous levels, in order to read successfully at the new level. Graded readers also provide suitable conditions for guessing unknown words from context.
1989Hafiz, F. M., & Tudor, I. (1989). Extensive reading and the development of language skills. ELT Journal, 34(1), 5-13.
Hill, D. R., & Reid Thomas, H. (1989). Seven series of graded readers. ELT Journal, 43, 221-231.
A three-month extensive reading programme using graded readers was set up involving one experimental group and two control groups of ESL in the UK. The programme, inspired by Krashen's Input Hypothesis, was designed to investigate whether extensive reading for pleasure could effect an improvement in subjects' linguistic skills, with particular reference to reading and writing. The results showed a marked improvement in the performance of the experimental subjects, especially in terms of their writing skills. A number of recommendations are made regarding the setting up of extensive reading programmes.
Krashen, S. (1989). We acquire vocabulary and spelling by reading: Additional evidence for the input hypothesis. Modern Language Journal. 73, 440-462.
*This article presents a review of seven series of graded English language readers. A set of categories modified from the authors' 1988 surveys of graded readers is used.
Pitts, M., White, H., & Krashen, S. (1989). Acquiring second language vocabulary through reading: A replication of the Clockwork Orange study using second language acquirers. Reading in a Foreign Language, 5, 271-275.
**In this paper, I review some research in vocabulary and spelling and suggest that the results of this research are, so far, consistent with a central hypothesis that has been proposed for language acquisition in general, the Input Hypothesis, and inconsistent with two alternative hypotheses [the Skill-Building Hypothesis and the Output Hypothesis].
Robb, T. N., & Susser, B. (1989). Extensive reading vs. skills building in an EFL context. Reading in a Foreign Language, 5, 239-251.
Adult second language acquirers were asked to read the first two chapters of A Clockwork Orange, a novel containing a number of slang words of Russian origin ("nadsat" words). Subsequent testing revealed modest, but significant incidental acquisition of nadsat words. This result replicates Saragi et al.'s findings for native speakers of English and confirms that adult second language acquirers can acquire vocabulary from reading.
Susser, B., & Robb, T. N. (1989). Extensive homework. The Language Teacher, 13(8), 7-9.
Reading has been taught by the translation procedure in EFL situations such as Japan, but today there is a trend towards the use of ESL-type "skills building" text books and procedures and, to a much lesser extent, towards extensive reading. There is a considerable difference between these two procedures, not only for teachers and learners, but also for the allocation of institutional resources. Despite this, there is little useful research comparing them. This paper examines previous research on extensive reading, and then describes an experiment comparing the improvement of reading comprehension by Japanese college freshmen taught by either a skills-based or extensive reading procedure. The results suggest that extensive reading may be at least as effective as skills-building, with the important advantage that it is more interesting for the learners.
Tudor, I., & Hafiz, F. (1989). Extensive reading as a means of input to L2 learning. Journal of Research in Reading; 12, 164-78.
*This article describes one approach to extensive reading used with classes of first-year university students in Japan and the methods used to encourage these students to read extensively and to do writing based on this reading. These classes were involved in a study reported in Robb and Susser (1989). Students read unsimplified materials written for native speakers at levels from elementary school to adult, and not available in Japanese translation. A page weighting system was used to measure quantity of student reading. To encourage students to do the reading, varies strategies were used: points were given for number of weighted pages read; a student record of books read was monitored by teachers; and students wrote summaries of the books they had read. Based on questionnaire data, the authors report that students liked the approach. Students also believed that their summary writing improved.
*** Investigates whether a three-month extensive reading program involving graded readers could improve English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) learners' second language competence. Finds improvement in reading and writing skills and a simpler but more correct use of syntax in the second language.
1990Cliffe, S. (1990). How to set up a class reading library. The Language Teacher, 14(12), 29-30.
Fox, G. M. (1990). Increasing intrinsic motivation in second language readers. The Language Teacher, 14(3), 13-15.
*The author proposes that setting up a class library is a good way to bring books to students' attention. Among the suggestions given for setting up such a library are: survey students about their reading preferences; provide short introductions to the books and a worksheet to guide students in selecting suitable books; establish a procedure for recording which books students are reading and which ones they like, but avoid post-reading tasks that make reading a chore; and have a student library monitor to help maintain the collection.
Hafiz, F. M., & Tudor, I. (1990). Graded readers as an input medium in L2 learning. System, 18, 31-42.
*This article explains why intrinsic motivation is crucial for reading, what factors increase and decrease intrinsic motivation to read, and how to design a reading program that promotes intrinsic motivation. Suggestions include encouraging students to stop reading a book they are not enjoying, using enjoyable and non-threatening means of checking on students' reading, and allowing students to do extensive reading in a comfortable place, one not associated with serious studying.
Hyland, K. (1990). Purpose and strategy: Teaching extensive reading skills. English Teaching Forum, 28(2), 14-17, 23.
The article describes an experiment into the effect of a 90 hour extensive reading programme using graded readers on the language development of a group (N=25) of learners of English as an L2 in Pakistan. Results show significant gains in both fluency and accuracy of expression, though not in range of structures used. It is suggested that extensive reading can provide learners with a set of linguistic models which may then, by a process of over-learning, be assimilated and incorporated into learners' active L2 repertoire. The results are discussed with reference to a related study by the same authors in an ESL context in the UK.
Kitao, K., Yamamoto, M., Kitao, S. K., & Shimatani, H. (1990). Independent reading in EnglishÑUse of graded readers in the library English as a second language corner. Reading in a Foreign Language, 6, 383-398.
*This article stresses that students need to read for a real purpose, rather than focusing on reading as a tool for teaching language. These authentic purposes will vary and include finding main points, mastering content, relaxation, and finding specific information. Different reading strategies will be appropriate to these different purposes. The focus of this article is on helping students develop the flexibility to use a variety of strategies when they read independently. These strategies include: surveying, skimming, scanning, phrase reading, and identifying the genre of a text.
Lipp, E. (1990). Extensive reading through sustained silent reading: Developing comprehension in adult learners. CATESOL Journal, 3(1), 75-91.
Recently the study of English for the purpose of communication has increased in importance in Japan. Use of graded readers for individualised reading helps improve students' English reading skills. In this paper, we will report on a study of this method. Using 220 graded readers divided into four levels, we offered 300 freshman and sophomore English students an opportunity to read graded readers over a period of four to six weeks. According to the results of reports on the books and a questionnaire administered at the end of the study, many students have a desire to read English books. 60% of the students who did read books chose elementary level (less than 1,000 words) books and 27% read low-intermediate level (less than 2,000 words) books. Extra credit points helped motivate students to read. Of the students who did not read any books, the most frequently expressed reason was that they were too busy. It is important to increase the number of books and the variety of topics available so all students can find books that are in familiar fields or of interest. We conclude with a brief discussion of how such a program could be improved, based on the results of our survey.
Raj, D., & Hunt, B. (1990). The Malaysian Class Reader programme. Reading in a Foreign Language, 6, 369-382.
This article discusses an adjunct Sustained Silent Reading Program (SSR) in which getting satisfaction from reading and developing a better attitude toward reading are the goals. During SSR, students self-select books from a collection and read them. They also write journal entries, prepare oral and written book reports, and talk about books that they are reading, they receive recognition for the books they finish. While it is the student's task to read and read a lot, it is the ESL program's task to provide a variety of interesting books that students can understand.
Simensen, A. M. (1990). Adapted texts: A discussion of some aspects of reference. Reading in a Foreign Language, 6(2), 399-411.
This paper briefly describes reading standard in Malaysian schools, outlines a Class Reader programme, and provides samples of teaching files designed to help teachers implement the programme.
Stuart, K. (1990). Developing extensive reading skills with culturally relevant folktales. TESL Reporter, 23(1), 3-4.
The place of reading, as a receptive skill, is discussed in relation to current foreign language learning and teaching theory. Selected research on adapted texts, as one kind of potentially comprehensible input, and relevant research on reading comprehension are briefly dealt with. Three types of reference in texts are defined, and selected examples of these types in adapted texts are reported and analysed: reference to the outside world, textual reference, and situational reference. Many of the examples discussed point in the same direction as the results of previous research and basic theoretical assumptions such as studies of the comprehension of various forms of anaphoric reference relationships and "the bridge theory." However, this does not apply to some examples which reveal completely different reference relationships in the adapted version compared with the original text. In some cases this kind of adaptation practice seems to lack any sensible justification and may be the result of negligence.
Susser, B., & Robb, T. N. (1990). EFL extensive reading instruction: research and procedure. JALT Journal, 12(2), 161-185.
This article describes an extensive reading course for tertiary students at an education college in China. The program begins with English translations of Chinese folktales, before moving on to simplified novels and then unsimplified American or British literature. Approximately 15 minutes of each class is spent with students retelling stories they have read. The course grade is based solely on regular quizzes on the assigned readings.
This article surveys the literature on extensive reading and establishes a working definition of extensive reading as a language teaching/learning procedure. It explores the main issues in extensive reading, including the role of graded readers and the transfer of L1 reading ability. A model of extensive reading is described, based on Richards and Rodgers' (1982) definition of "procedure."
1991Benson, M. J. (1991). University ESL reading: A content analysis, English for Specific Purposes, 10(2), 75-88
Brusch, W. (1991). The role of reading in foreign language acquisition: Designing an experimental project. ELT Journal, 45, 156-163.
**The three standard questions of content analysis (What? How? With what effect?) form the basis of this investigation into the reading actually done by an ESL student at a U.S. university. The texts he encountered were analyzed for their content, their use of sources of authority, and the values that underpinned them. Text type and difficulty analysis were also performed. Lastly, a piece of the student's writing was examined to ascertain to what extent, and through what processes, learning from the readings had taken place. The findings show readings more varied in content and text type than is generally imagined for such courses, together with extensive use of sources of authority. A strong Western-intellectual-progressive value system was revealed. The learning achieved by the student is best described in terms of tuning the incoming ideas to fit existing structures, rather than the wholesale adoption of new concepts. These findings support the idea that extensive reading is central to any EAP reading course.
Coll, A. et al. (1991, April). Impacto de un programa de lectura extensiva en la adquisicion de una segunda lengua (Impact of an extensive reading program on second language acquisition). Paper presented at National Congress of the Spanish Association of Applied Linguistics, San Sebastian, Spain. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED353772
This article describes the rationale and structure of a research project into the effectiveness of reading in foreign language acquisition. The article focuses on two issues: the initial stages of the project (which has been very much influenced by a similar one carried out by Elley and Mangubhai, 1983); and some aspects of the backgrounds of the pupils involved. In the first stages of the project, pupils in fifteen Hamburg schools have been provided with class libraries, and tests have been administered in both 'reading' groups and 'non-reading' groups. Both groups will be tested again, in two years' time. The background information about the pupils suggests that reading is, in fact, more popular amongst them than might be supposed, but that the provision and organization of reading materials in school fall far short of pupils' needs and interests.
Cunningham, R. (1991). The Zanzibar English reading programme. Reading in a Foreign Language, 8, 663-675.
***This study investigates the application of Krashen's Input Hypothesis, studying the relationship between exposure to the target language and language acquisition within the context of the English-as-a-foreign -language secondary classroom in Spain. The project studied the effect of additional reading instruction with emphasis on reading for pleasure. Series of graded readers were made available to students in the experimental group who were asked to turn in short reports on which they received teacher feedback. An average of 15 hours of after school reading was completed by students in the experimental group. Student achievement was evaluated via the short form of the English Language Skills Assessment (ELSA), a multiple-choice cloze test, a dictation test, the Spew test (vocabulary), and a self-assessment measure. The difference between control and experimental groups was not significant. The following possible explanations are provided: reading does not correlate with greater achievement in a second language; the treatment provides either inadequate or insufficient input to support Krashen's hypothesis; the length of the study was insufficient to show significant results; the measurement tools used were inadequate to capture differences.
Day, R. R., Omura, C., & Hiramatsu, M. (1991). Incidental EFL vocabulary learning and reading. Reading in a Foreign Language, 7, 541-551.
The brief ELT background and description of the reading programme's design and aims are first given. The paper then identifies the main problem areas in implementation and describes the broad approaches used to address them. Specific problems and the programme's response to them, relating to both Class Readers and Class Libraries are examined. Finally some conclusions are reached in the light of our experiences, which may have implications for the design and implementation of similar programmes.
Elley, W. B. (1991). Acquiring literacy in a second language: The effect of book-based programs. Language Learning, 41, 375-411.
During the process of first language development, children learn new vocabulary incidentally from listening and reading situations. While it has been claimed that the same is true for second language learners, there is a paucity of empirical evidence. This paper reports the results of an investigation whose purpose was to determine if Japanese EFL students could learn vocabulary incidentally while reading silently for entertainment in the classroom. The findings demonstrated that such incidental vocabulary learning did occur for both high school and university students.
Ellis, G., & McRae, J. (1991). The extensive reading handbook for secondary teachers. London: Penguin.
This article outlines a set of recent little-known empirical studies of the effects of "book-floods" on students' acquisition of a second language in elementary schools. In contrast to students learning by means of structured, audiolingual programs, those children who are exposed to an extensive range of high-interest illustrated story books, and encouraged to read and share them, are consistently found to learn the target language more quickly. When immersed in meaningful text, without tight controls over syntax and vocabulary, children appear to learn the language incidentally, and to develop positive attitudes toward books. In some cases, the benefits are found to spread to other subjects and languages. Implications are drawn for language policy in developing countries and some support is established for such concepts as "comprehensible input" and "whole language" approaches to language acquisition in schools.
Grabe, W. (1991). Current developments in second language reading research. TESOL Quarterly, 25 (3), 375-406.
*The first 20 pages of this book provide an introduction explaining what extensive reading is and providing ideas for teaching English as a second language via extensive reading. The remaining approximately 125 pages present guides for teaching 18 different books. The guides include explanatory notes and a range of activities focusing both on content and on language.
Gradman, H. L., & Hanania, E. (1991). Language learning background factors and ESL proficiency. Modern Language Journal, 75, 39-50.
*This article synthesizes and interprets L1
and L2 reading research, especially from the 1980s, and ends with a page of
guidelines for reading instruction. "After having reviewed ESL reading
research. . . the next logical step is to interpret this research into
curriculum guidelines and effective teaching practices" (p. 395). Two of
the seven guidelines involve extensive reading. "Third, sustained silent
reading should be encouraged to build fluency (automaticity), confidence,
and appreciation of reading. . . . Seventh, and finally, students need to
read extensively. Longer concentrated periods of silent reading build
vocabulary and structural awareness, develop automaticity, enhance
background knowledge, improve comprehension skills, and promote confidence
and motivation. In short, students learn to read by reading" (p. 396).
Hickey, T. (1991). Leisure reading in a second language: An experiment with audio-tapes in Irish. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 4(2), 119-131.
*This article reports a study in which 101 students in an ESL program at a U.S. university were individually interviewed to collect data on 44 variables concerning the students' language learning background prior to entry into the program. These data were analyzed for relationships between the variables and students' TOEFL scores and subscores. The researchers highlight the relatively high correlation between extracurricular (extensive) reading and TOEFL score, and the lack of a direct correlation with TOEFL scores of hours of formal instruction and quantity of oral language use. When multiple regression analysis was conducted, "[O]utside reading emerged as the most important, indeed the only, factor with a significant effect on TOEFL scores."
Jacobs, G. M. (1991). Second language reading recall as a function of vocabulary glossing and selected other variables. Unpublished dissertation. UMI AAT 9215020
The problems of second language readers of Irish in the elementary school are analysed. The results of a survey of 50 9-year-old children's attitude to Irish reading are given, as well as a discussion of their parents' attitudes and difficulties in this area. The low frequency of the children's Irish reading and their restricted access to Irish materials has inevitable repercussions on their L2 reading ability. The effect of supplying tapes to accompany leisure books in Irish was explored. It was found that such tapes considerably increased the children's motivation to read, resulting in more frequent reading of a taped compared to a non-taped book. There was a significant increase in frequency of reading even in the case of a book which was perceived to be difficult by the children. In addition to the marked improvements in the motivation to read, there were indications that the tape facilitated comprehension and increased the children's reading rate and accuracy of pronunciation. These benefits indicate that the provision of tapes to accompany leisure readers is an important form of environmental support for second language reading, and an especially useful tool to increase exposure to a minority language in particular.
Krieger, E. (1991/1992). The book report battle. Journal of Reading, 35, 340-341.
[Note: Although the empirical focus is elsewhere, this study is significant for its discussion of extensive reading.] There have been inconsistent findings in second language research on the effect of vocabulary glossing on reading comprehension. The present study was undertaken to extend this body of research in two ways: (a) by the inclusion of another set of second language learners, another text, and another group of vocabulary glosses; and, (b) through the consideration of other variables. These other variables were aptitude, tolerance of ambiguity, psychological type, proficiency, frequency of gloss use, perceived value of gloss use, and time on task. One hundred sixteen U.S. college students enrolled in a third semester Spanish course at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa participated in the study. They were randomly assigned to condition, with half reading an unglossed Spanish text and half reading the same text accompanied by English glosses in the margin. After reading the text, participants were asked to write, in English, as much as they could recall of the text. The dependent variable in the study was recall of the text. This was measured by scoring participants' written recalls in two ways: t-units and nouns and verbs. Results showed a significant effect for glossing on both measures of recall. No significant interactions between the treatment and any of the other variables were found. Based on the results of this study, it is suggested that glossing can play a useful role in aiding the comprehension of authentic or otherwise difficult passages. However, it is proposed that acquisition of a second language will be increased more by the use of modified texts which encourage students to gain large amounts of comprehensible target language input via extensive reading. This may be combined with intensive reading of authentic texts with glosses. In this case, students should be trained in the proper use of glosses. The effectiveness of such a program of large amounts of extensive reading and smaller amounts of intensive reading of glossed texts is a matter which awaits empirical testing.
Lai, F. E. (1991). Extensive reading as input for second language acquisition. Unpublished PhD thesis, The University of Hong Kong.
* One controversy in extensive reading concerns whether or not students should be asked to do follow-up activities when they have finished reading a book. Book reports are among the best-known follow-up activities. In this article, the author, who teaches in an L1 context, presents and then refutes many of the reasons typically given for using book reports. A student who did not enjoy book reports and related follow-up tasks is quoted as saying, "Hey, can I just finish the book or do I still have to do more chapter questions? I'm really at the exciting part and I want to finish it." The author proposes how the use of book reports can be optimized and also suggests that oral reporting may be an alternative.
Mason, B., & Pendergast, T. (1991). Do cloze exercises make pleasure reading more effective? Shitennoji International Buddhist University Junior College Journal, 31, 14-24.
The present study investigates the validity of Krashen's Input Hypothesis which states that when comprehensible input is present in a low affective filter environment, language acquisition will take place. Krashen claims that the Input Hypothesis provides an overall theory of second language acquisition with important pedagogical implications.
Extensive reading was chosen as a means to test his theory. Because it could provide error-free comprehensible language input in a low anxiety situation, it was taken as being able to optimize the necessary and sufficient conditions for acquisition as stated by Krashen.
This study passed through four stages over four years. The first stage consisted of a comparison in language proficiency gains between experimental and control groups with an extensive reading scheme implemented in five schools. The second stage consisted of replicating the extensive reading scheme in two schools to collect more data. The third stage consisted of the involvement of the researcher in the extensive reading scheme as a teacher to check the effect of the administrative aspects of the scheme on a classroom basis. The fourth stage consisted of an intensive summer programme to isolate extensive reading as a variable. This summer programme was repeated in the next year with more emphasis on deep processing or quality as well as quantity of reading.
Parry, K. (1991). Building a vocabulary through academic reading. TESOL Quarterly, 25(4), 629-653.
*This article discusses an extensive reading program at a junior college in Japan. The authors report that extensive reading had for several years led to gains in students' L2 proficiency as measured on cloze tests and that students were enthusiastic about reading. However, because some students and some teachers felt a need to incorporate language learning exercises into the extensive reading program, the authors decided to study whether the use of cloze exercises in addition to extensive reading would be more effective than extensive reading alone, as measured by gain scores on cloze tests and a questionnaire to students about reading instruction. The same group of students did extensive reading and cloze tests the first semester and extensive reading only the second semester. Results suggest that although students viewed extensive reading as more important than cloze exercises for improving their English reading proficiency, they preferred the combination of extensive reading and cloze. Further, as measured by gains in cloze test scores, the combination program was more effective to a statistically significant degree than the extensive reading only approach. The authors warn that care should be taken in the selection of the exercise materials to be used in an extensive reading program.
This paper reports a series of longtitudinal case studies designed to address the question of how language learners build their vocabularies. Students who were enrolled in an anthropology class were asked to record the words that caused them difficulty as they read their anthropology texts, and to write down, if they could, what they thought the words meant. The resulting lists are analyzed in terms of the kinds of words listed, the accuracy of the glosses, and the probable reasons for misinterpretation; the analysis is considered in relation to data collected in protocols and a translation task. The conclusions are that a range of strategies may be used for learning vocabulary, each involving liabilities as well as assets. Students need to be aware of the range so as to develop flexibility in their responses to unfamiliar words. ["The figures...suggest that there is, as we have always suspected, a strong correlation between how much people read and how many words they know.... To establish a firm foundation for the vocabulary building to be done in academic courses, we should encourage our students to read as much as they can before they leave our classes" (p. 649).]
1992Azabdaftari, B. (1992, March). The concept of extensive reading in the light of the L1=L2 hypothesis. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Vancouver. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED350864.
Bamford, J. (1992). Beyond grammar translation: Teaching students to really read. In P. Wadden (Ed.), A handbook for teaching English at Japanese colleges and universities (pp. 63-72). New York: Oxford University Press.
***A review of the literature of second language teaching suggests that a significant gap exists between linguistic theory and language teaching practice. However, psycholinguistics has influenced development of language teaching policies to the extent that many language teachers have advanced a more semantic, social, and communicative view of language. An extension of this approach suggests that reading for pleasure from appropriate second language (L2) texts provides subconscious and progressively more difficult L2 input much like that essential for native language (L1) acquisition. The process is enhanced, it is proposed, by the interest and pleasure engendered by the texts. This hypothesis is supported by psychological principles of learning. The L1=L2 hypothesis suggests that L2 learning, like L1 acquisition, follows a highly predictable pattern. It is concluded that if the conditions of L1 acquisition are approximated by extensive L2 reading (i.e., substantial unconscious, comprehensible input), the L2 learner can achieve a native -like communicative competence in a formal instructional setting.
Barrett, M. E., & Datesman, M. K. (1992). Reading on Your Own: An Extensive Reading Course. Boston: Heinle & Heinle
****This chapter offers ideas for teaching a reading course at a Japanese university. Suggestions include setting up a class library so that students can do self-selected extensive reading for homework, with follow-up in class.
Davis, J. N., Carbon Gorell, L, Kline, R. R., & Hsieh, G. (1992). Readers and foreign languages: A survey of undergraduate attitudes toward the study of literature. Modern Language Journal, 76, 320-332.
**[This] is [a class textbook] designed for high-intermediate to advanced learners of English as a second language. It is not, however, a traditional reading text. Rather, it is a design for a course in which students choose their own reading material--from newspapers, magazines, books, and even academic journals and textbooks--and read on their own. By using the approach presented in this text, students become empowered to read with more ease and confidence materials written for native speakers of English.
Edinburgh Project on Extensive Reading. (1992). EPER guide to organising programmes of extensive reading. Edinburgh: Institute for Applied Language Studies, University of Edinburgh.
*This article reports a questionnaire study of 175 U.S. undergraduates' attitudes toward studying L2 literature. These students were enrolled in sixth-semester introductory foreign language literature courses. About two-thirds of respondents reported a positive attitude toward literature study. Variables found to be significantly related to attitude toward literature study were amount of leisure reading done in the L2, role of literature in the home, and preferred learning style. The authors recommend that reading instruction allow students to give their own interpretations of what they read and that Sustained Silent Reading in which students select what they read be done once or twice a week.
Elmaliach, J. (1992, December). Extensive reading: in the intermediate school: A choice of readers. English Teachers' Journal: Israel, 45, 75-77.
*This book consists of 15 chapters divided into four parts. Part 1 begins with a discussion of what extensive reading is and its benefits to students. Other topics in Part 1 include finding suitable materials for extensive reading and descriptions of programmes in a variety of countries. Part 2 is the book's longest section. It goes into detail on programme management, including class readers and library readers, storage and security of books, official endorsement, training of staff, monitoring, and evaluation. Part 3 concerns the classroom teacher's role in extensive reading, and Part 4 describes what EPER can offer educators wishing to implement extensive reading.
Hedgcock, J., & Atkinson, D. (1993). Differing reading writing relationships in L1 and L2 literacy development? TESOL Quarterly, 27, 329-333.
*** Includes a brief description of the English-language proficiency level expected of ninth-grade Israeli students and introduces a tabular guide to various English readers, along with their basic vocabulary ranges.
Hirsh, D., & Nation, P. (1992). What vocabulary size is needed to read unsimplified texts for pleasure? Reading in a Foreign Language, 8, 689-696.
*This article contrasts two studies of academic writing proficiency, one involving L1 learners and the other involving L2 learners. The independent variables were frequencies of overall and genre-specific extensive reading. The researchers report that extensive reading was significantly related to writing proficiency for L1 learners but not for L2 learners.
Klapper, J. (1992a). Reading in a foreign language: Theoretical issues. Language Learning Journal, 5, 27-30.
The types of vocabulary in three short novels were analyzed to determine the text coverage of the most frequent 2,000 words of English, and the vocabulary needed to gain 97-98% coverage of the running words in each text. It was found that the most frequent 2,000 words do not provide adequate coverage for pleasurable reading and that a vocabulary size of around 5,000 word families would be needed to do this. The study also showed a need for graded readers at the 2,600- and 5,000-word level and unsimplified texts. The feasibility of preteaching vocabulary and intensive reading of unsimplified texts were also examined.
Klapper, J. (1992b). Preliminary considerations for the teaching of FL reading. Language Learning Journal, 6, 53-56.
*This article, the first in a series of three, looks at theoretical insights into foreign language reading, including top-down, bottom-up, and interactive perspectives, and the legacy of audio-lingualism.
Klapper, J. (1992c). Practicable skills and practical constraints in FL reading. Language Learning Journal, 7, 50-54.
*This article, the second in a series of three, surveys the literature
and reaches basic (and very quotable) conclusions about the teaching of
reading. The first two sections relate directly to extensive reading.
"Authenticity and simplification of texts" surveys studies that warn
against simplification, concluding, "In spite of these research
findings, experience and common sense suggest that learners at a very
basic level of FL competence are simply not able to cope with the
syntactical complexities of reading material which has not been altered
in any way" (p. 53). The following section, "Extensive Reading," makes
the point that "Learners can only become independent readers by
regularly tackling new texts on their own" (p. 53), and concludes that
"extended [sic] reading must seek to be so pleasurable and/or
informative on a subject of interest that there is no conscious focus
on the act of reading" (p. 54).
Nash, T., & Yuan, Y.-P. (1992/93). Extensive reading for learning and enjoyment. TESOL Journal 2(2), 27-31.
*Like the first two parts of the series, this final article surveys
research and stresses the need for a balance of intensive and extensive
reading. The "Reading and lexis" section looks at guessing unknown
words, with mention that lexical repetition in graded readers makes
learning new words easier. The article concludes, "To become a
proficient performer in a FL a learner needs varied, repeated and
extensive exposure to the language…. This goal is still most readily
achieved through extensive reading" (p. 53), and "far more extensive
reading needs to take place outside our language classes" (p. 53).
Pino-Silva, J. (1992). Extensive reading: No pain, no gain?English Teaching Forum, 30(2), 48-49.
*This article describes an extensive reading course at a university in Taiwan. The course goal was for students to "improve their reading by reading, rather than through classroom instruction." To encourage students to read for meaning and not worry about understanding every word, on the first day of the course, students were asked to read a difficult text in their L1 and to reflect on their reading process. Activities used to accompany extensive reading included a record of books read, teacher conferences, journal entries about each book read, oral reading, video watching, and group discussion. The key element of grades was number of pages read, but students also did an individualized final exam. The article discusses how books were chosen for the course. The authors found that not only was the extensive reading course at least as useful as a reading skills course for enhancing student reading ability, but extensive reading also encouraged students to develop a habit of reading in the L2 and to see L2 reading as enjoyable.
Rees, P. (1992). Reading in French-GCSE to A Level. Perspectives on reading. CLE Working Papers 2. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED392242
****This article describes the Extensive Reading Activity (ERA), an in-class procedure used with beginning and intermediate L2 learners at a university in Venezuela. During weekly, one-hour sessions, students read a large number of texts (100 to 800 words) for the gist and then complete a brief worksheet. The worksheet includes: how long students took to read the text; whether they used a dictionary; self-rating on the degree of students' comprehension of the text; rating of the text's difficulty; rating of the degree of enjoyment and learning received from the text and familiarity with the topic of the text; whether students recommend the text be used with others, and a three-line statement of the text's main idea. Student feedback is presented which suggests that students find the procedure enjoyable and beneficial.
***This paper reports on the reading habits of a group of students who moved from GCSE French to A Level French in the British school system; they were the second intake of A Level students with a GCSE background. Data was gathered using questionnaires and group interviews at three points during the students learning. Eleven students participated in the group discussions. Findings suggest that students need a wide variety of text types during the very early stages of A-Level course, with a staged progression in text length, and that reading skills strategies should be covered early in the A-Level course. Readers were preferred by the students over snippets and full-length books. Overall findings indicate a need for extensive reading over intensive, select text study and increased early emphasis on the learning of reading skills.
1993Bamford, J., & Welch R.A. (1993). EPER: A valuable resource for extensive reading. The Language Teacher, 17(8), 29, 39.
Day, R. R. (Ed.). (1993). New ways in teaching reading. Alexandria, VA: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.
*This article describes the materials and services provided by the Edinburgh Project on Extensive Reading (EPER). EPER is recommended to administrators and teachers who wish to set up extensive reading programs
Dupuy, B., & Krashen, S. D. (1993). Incidental vocabulary acquisition in French as a foreign language. Applied Language Learning, 4(1 & 2), 55-63.
*This book is a collection of activities for teaching second language reading, including activities on reading for main ideas, scanning, assessment and evaluation, and reading rate. Part 1 consists of 13 activities for extensive reading, including ones by authors of other works in this bibliography, such as Bamford and Mason.
Dupuy, B., & McQuillan, J. (1997). Handcrafted books: Check this out! Canadian Modern Language Review, 53, 743-747.
Third semester college students of French in one intact class saw the first five scenes of Trois homes et un couffin and read the next five scenes in class. They were then surprised with a vocabulary test that contained highly colloquial words that were in the texts. Subjects performed significantly better than control subjects who were enrolled in another 3rd-semester French class as well as controls enrolled in a more advanced class, confirming that incidental vocabulary acquisition is possible in a foreign language situation. A conservative estimate of their rate of vocabulary acquisition was about .075 words per minute, which included the film and the reading. Rate of incidental vocabulary acquisition may have been underestimated, however, because the text was difficult, only 30 words were tested, and only eight of the 30 words appeared in the film.
Evans, M. (1993). Nicolas: Using Hypercard with intermediate-level French learners, System, 21(2), 213-229
*This articles describes how 3rd-semester students of French as a Second Language at a U.S. university wrote and illustrated their own books for extensive reading. These stories could be original or retellings. Students were advised not to use dictionaries in order that the texts they created would not be too difficult for their peers. These books were organized into a library.
Kembo, J. (1993). Reading: Encouraging and maintaining individual extensive reading. English Teaching Forum, 31(2), 36-38
**This paper explores the potential of hypermedia for foreign language learning at intermediate level. It focuses on the results and experiences of a research project which led to the trialling of a HyperCard program entitled Nicolas incorporating text, graphics and sound, for use mainly with 14-16 year-old students of French. The aim of the research was to investigate the extent to which extensive reading skills might be supported and developed by the use of such applications. Can hypermedia provide a useful bridge between the communicative diet of the early stages of foreign language learning and the interpretive skills required at advanced level? The discussion tackles the issue of the apparent contradiction between the serial nature of the reading process and the non-sequential navigational structure of hypertexts, and looks in particular at the role of glossaries, and interactive tasks which are interspersed throughout the program.
Krashen, S. (1993a). The case for free voluntary reading. Canadian Modern Language Review, 50(1), 72-82.
*This article, based on work in Kenya, discusses reasons for doing extensive reading, sources of reading material, teachers’ roles in building student interest in reading, monitoring of extensive reading, ways to continue building student motivation to read, and the relation between extensive reading and other skills and subjects. The article concludes with further suggestions, for instance, even after an extensive reading programme has been running for a while, the author emphasizes that teachers still have an important role in motivating students to read, a role which can be played by sharing with pupils about teachers’ own reading.
Krashen, S. (1993b). The power of reading. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.
*This paper reviews evidence supporting the use of free voluntary reading in and out of school, defined as "reading that is selected by the reader, that is read for it own sake." Suggested benefits of free voluntary reading include: enhanced language acquisition and literacy development, more ideas and information, greater success in life, slower loss of verbal memory, and more fun. Rival hypotheses on language acquisition are discussed.
Lai, E. F. K. (1993). Effect of extensive reading on English learning in Hong Kong. CUHK Education Journal, 21(1), 23-36.
*This book begins with a review of the L1 and L2 research on free voluntary reading (FVR) and contrasts this with the research on direct instruction. The author's conclusion is, "Reading is the only way, the only way we become good readers, develop a good writing style, an adequate vocabulary, advanced grammar, and the only way we become good spellers" (p. 23). The book's longest section addresses the implementation of FVR, including the following questions: How does a print-rich environment affect FVR? What is the role of public and school libraries? How does reading aloud affect literacy? Do direct encouragement and rewards increase reading? What is the effect of light reading of comic books and teen romances? The book's third and final section concerns: the limits of FVR in language development, when direct instruction can be used effectively, the link between reading and writing, and the relationship of television and literacy.
Lai, E. F. K. (1993). The effect of a summer reading course on reading and writing skills. System, 21, 87-100.
The present study examines Krashen's theory of second language acquisition through the implementation of an extensive reading scheme. By allowing learners to choose books at their level of language proficiency, by giving them time to read on their own, it was assumed that comprehensible input was provided in a low affective filter environment, thus satisfying the two essential factors in Krashen's Input Hypothesis. 1351 secondary students were used as subjects either in a year-long reading scheme or in a summer reading program. Results indicated that Krashen's theory was only partially supported. There were significant gains in the experimental group in vocabulary recognition, listening comprehension and reading speed, but no superior comparison over the control group in reading comprehension and writing. firstname.lastname@example.org
Marshall, S., & Gilmour, M. (1993). Lexical knowledge and reading comprehension in Papua New Guinea. English for Specific Purposes, 12, 69-81.
This article reports the effects of a 4-week summer reading program on learners' reading comprehension, reading speed and writing development. Graded readers and short passages were used to supply comprehensible input to 226 subject (grades 7-9) from Hong Kong secondary schools. Results show that there was improvement in all three areas tested for those subjects who had reached a certain level of proficiency. Depending on teacher's emphasis, the quantity of reading done had a significant relationship with reading comprehension gains in one course and with reading speed in another course. These results are discussed in the context of the local sociolinguistic environment. email@example.com
Mason, B., & Krashen, S. D. (ms). Can we increase the power of reading by adding more output and/or correction.
***This study shows that Papua New Guinean students are deficient in their knowledge of subtechnical vocabulary. It is suggested that prereading exercises and extensive reading are suitable ways in which to address the problem.
Pilgreen, J., & Krashen, S. (1993). Sustained silent reading with English as a second language high school students: impact on reading comprehension, reading frequency, and reading enjoyment. School Library Media Quarterly, 22, 21-23.
*Based on the premise that free reading leads to increased second language competence (Krashen, 1993; Elley, 1991, Mason and Krashen, 1997), this study seeks to determine whether output practice, with and without correction, enhances the effect of comprehensible input (as suggested by Swain, 1995; Schmidt, 1995). The participants, three classes of first year English majors in a Japanese college, read about 1500 pages of English. The classes had different follow up treatments. The null hypothesis class wrote short native-language summaries after reading, one class wrote English-language summaries, and the third class wrote English-language summaries which, after correction for content and grammar, were rewritten by the students. L2 competence was measured by pre- and post- (a) cloze test and (b) English-language summary writing, scored for length and error-free clauses and words. There was no obvious effect of adding additional output in English or output with correction. Reading alone produced the same results, and was more time-efficient: The null-hypothesis group got approximately the same results for about one-half the investment in time. This result is consistent with the input hypothesis, but inconsistent with output and instruction hypotheses. [This paper is posted on the Internet on the following website in the "Research Online" section (http://www.extensivereading.net/er/research.html)]
Reid Thomas, H. C., & Hill, D. R. (1993). Seventeen series of graded readers. ELT Journal, 47, 250-267.
****One hundred and twenty-five high school ESL students who participated in a 16 week sustained silent reading program showed remarkable gains in reading comprehension, reported greater frequency and enjoyment of reading, and utilized more sources of books after the program. Because of the lack of a control group, results are only suggestive, but the large gains suggest that free reading is an effective means of promoting literacy development with ESL students.
Wong, L. (1993). A study of extensive reading in secondary 1 English classes. Unpublished master’s thesis, The University of Hong Kong.
*This article updates the authors' previous (1988, 1989) surveys of graded readers series.
Yu, V. (1993). Extensive reading programs--How can they best benefit the teaching and learning of English. TESL Reporter, 26(1), 1-9.
Compulsory education grows out of the respect to the individual's right to be educated. If the individual is to be respected, his or her needs and interests should be well cared for. In the hope of understanding S[econdary] 1 students’ reading interests, this study investigates the cognitive, psychological and social factors which may affect S. 1 boys’ and girls’ Efl reading interests: this study also explores the types of books and the features embodied in the books which interest the subjects.
45 boys and 45 girls from different S. 1 Efl groups of the target school were gathered by random sampling and 139 books by 24 publishers were assembled and categorised into 11 types of fiction and 3 types of non-fiction (i.e. about 10 titles/copies for each type) for the study.
In the study, the subjects were divided into 3 groups, 15 boys and 15 girls each. Each group attended a Personal Data Session and a Reading Activity Session. In the Personal Data Session, the subjects filled in Part 1 of an Attitude questionnaire on their socio-economic background, reading experience, habit and interest. In the Reading Activity Session, the subjects were invited to choose freely to read what they liked from among the 139 simplified readers which were randomly arranged on long tables in the Choosing Corner in the spacious school hall. Once they had chosen a book, they got Part 2 of the Attitude Questionnaire and put down the reasons why they chose the book. Then they moved to the Reading Corner to do their reading. They were free to choose their seats, relax and read comfortably in the corner. They could decide how much of the book they wanted to cover. Before they returned the book and chose another one, they put down in the questionnaire the reasons why they liked or disliked a certain book. The subjects were encouraged to borrow books to read at home and give comments on the books later by filling in the relevant part of the Attitude Questionnaire or through interview.
During the Reading Activity Session, the average attention span of the subjects was recorded and the tendency of shared reading was observed. I also tried to see whether the subjects were eager to choose the books and enjoyed reading and their autonomy of making choices.
*The author discusses her experience with extensive reading programs in Hong Kong, reporting that many teachers see extensive reading as a useful but optional extra to be implemented only if time allows. Yu explains why extensive reading should be a regular part of the curriculum and how this can be achieved. Her list of key ingredients of successful extensive reading programs includes: a wide variety of materials to meet all students' interests and reading levels; post-reading tasks that are short and easy; coordination among teachers to build the program; and changing roles among teachers who become facilitators, enthusiasts, and administrators for the program.
1994Brown, D. S. (1994). Books for a small planet: A multicultural-intercultural bibliography from young English learners. Alexandria, VA: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.
Caruso, J. M. (1994). The effects of extensive reading on reading comprehension and writing proficiency in foreign language learning. Unpublished dissertation. UMI AAT 9543412
*This book is a sequel to Brown (1988). Types of books included in the annotated bibliography include picture books, word books, legends, fables, folktales, fairy tales, and non-fiction. Books are cross referenced by location and ethnic background, and by topic.
Cho, K-S, & Krashen, S. (1994). Acquisition of vocabulary from the Sweet Valley Kids series: Adult ESL acquisition. Journal of Reading, 37, 662-667.
The present study has these objectives: (1) to determine the effects of extensive reading on reading comprehension, (2) on writing complexity, (3) to assess subjects' views of extensive reading, (4) and to determine if demography affected pre and posttest reading and writing. During the 1992-93 academic year at West Virginia University, eight classes of Spanish 4 students (four classes per semester) were involved in the study. Experimental group students were tested to see if reading extensively for main meaning would affect reading and writing skills. Experimental and control groups contained subjects of various ages, with varying degrees of experience in Spanish (N = 177). Two different graduate assistants taught each semester; each assistant taught one experimental and control group. Of all the classes involved, six met three times a week for 50 minutes, and two of the control groups met two times a week for an hour and 15 minutes. For the nine week treatment period experimental students read and summarized a variety of interesting material (see Appendix A) during the first 15 minutes of each class. Control groups spent the first 15 minutes of class practicing productive skills involving speaking or writing. Reading comprehension was measured using the 1984 Advanced Placement Spanish Language exam, which has a twenty-six item multiple-choice format. After evaluation of posttest means by way of a repeated measures analysis of covariance, it was found that one teacher's experimental group showed significant progress (Alpha =.05), and that there was a significant difference between total experimental and total control groups (Alpha =.10). Writing complexity was evaluated by comparing pre and posttest mean T-Unit lengths. A repeated measures analysis of covariance revealed no significant differences in writing scores. A seventeen-item Likert questionnaire, evaluated by means of a Chi-square test, showed that students thought reading helped reading and grammar skills. A one-way analysis of variance showed that age, sex, education, and language background did not affect subjects' scores. There were no significant differences. More research is need to determine if a prolonged treatment period would yield better results in favor of extensive reading.
Constantino, R. (1994). Pleasure reading helps, even if readers don’t believe it. Journal of Reading, 37(6), 504-05.
*This article begins by discussing why L2 many acquirers do little reading in their L2: lack of confidence that reading will help; incorrect views of how to go about L2 reading; and difficulty in obtaining suitable books . Next, four female Korean immigrants to the U.S. participated in a study in which the researchers found that providing learners with the right texts (the Sweet Valley Kids series) boosted the quantity of their reading and increased their L2 proficiency.
Gaudart, H. (1994). Selecting readers: Children's choice. In M. L. Tickoo. (Ed.), Research in reading and writing: A Southeast Asian collection (pp. 63-78). Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
*The article consists of a narrative describing how academically-oriented ESL students at a U.S. university were persuaded to use pleasure reading, rather than academic texts, to increase their language competence. Those students who switched to pleasure reading seemed to make rapid improvement, whereas those who refused to switch to pleasure reading reportedly experienced little improvement.
Hsui, V. Y. (1994). A modified sustained silent reading programme for secondary classrooms. In S. E. A. Lim, M. Siripathy, & V. Saravan (Eds.), Literacy: Understanding the learners needs (pp. 165-174). Singapore: Singapore Society for Reading and Literacy.
*This paper opens by emphasizing the need for students, who have a wide variety of interests, to find books that interest them if their reading is to progress. Twenty-eight writers produced 64 English language books for Malaysian students in the third and fourth years of primary school. Students were then asked to rate these books. The 20 top-rated books were published and distributed to schools in various parts of the country for further rating by pupils. Results of this second rating exercise showed no evidence of differences in the rating of students related to whether they lived in urban or rural areas, were of different ages, or according to the book's difficulty level. Further, females and males rated the books about the same, except for one book about choosing dresses that was more popular with females. Very brief summaries are provided of the twenty books that students especially liked.
Ikeda, M., & Mason, B. (1994). The practices and effect of an extensive reading program at university. Bulletin of the Chubu English Language Education Society, 24, 229-234.
**The author discusses SSR (Sustained Silent Reading) programmes for secondary school students. "For an SSR programme to be viable, it needs to offer guidance for individual reading ability and interests, as well as provide opportunities for readers to explore, appreciate, and think through their readings, while simultaneously affording choice and pleasurable experiences in reading. This paper discusses a modified SSR programme (MSSR) that I have developed and used successfully in the secondary classroom. ... The programme can also be modified and adapted for use in primary classrooms."
Krashen, S. (1994). The pleasure hypothesis. In J. E. Alatis (Ed.), Georgetown University Round Table on Language and Linguistics 1994 (pp. 299-322). Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.
****This study compares the ER programs at two universities in Osaka, Japan. One ER program was less successful than the other. The results on a reading comprehension test between the intensive reading and extensive reading classes were reported, and the ways to a successful ER program are discussed.
McQuillan, J. (1994). Reading versus grammar: What students think is pleasurable for language acquisition. Applied Language Learning, 5(2), 95-100.
**The hypothesis explored in this paper is that those activities that are good for language acquisition [such as free voluntary reading] are usually perceived by acquirers as pleasant, while those activities that are not good for language acquisition are not consistently perceived as pleasant, and are, in fact, often perceived to be painful.
Mok, R. (1994). Reading and English Acquisition Programme (REAP). In M. L. Tickoo (Ed.), Research in reading and writing: A Southeast Asian collection (pp. 30-40). Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
Most second language (L2) acquisition theorists assign an important role to the learner's attitudes and affect in the acquisition process. This study examines the attitudes of 49 L2 students toward two language acquisition activities: grammar exercises and the extensive reading of popular literature. Students who had participated in courses based on both approaches were asked which activity was most beneficial for language acquisition, and which was more pleasurable. By a significant margin, students favored reading over grammar in both respects. Implications for L2 instructions are discussed.
Ng, S. M. (1994). Improving English language learning in the Upper Primary levels in Brunei Darussalam. In M. L. Tickoo, (Ed.), Research in reading and writing: A Southeast Asian collection (pp. 41-54). Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
*This chapter describes the Reading and English Acquisition Programme (REAP) initiated in Singapore primary schools in the 1980s. Key components of REAP were the Shared Book Approach and the Language Experience Approach. The establishment and monitoring of REAP are described. Evaluation results were positive.
Ramaiah, M. (1994). Reading initiatives in Malaysia. In M. L. Tickoo. (Ed.), Research in reading and writing: A Southeast Asian collection (pp. 79-89). Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
*The RELA (Reading and Language Acquisition) program was implemented in Brunei Darussalam schools at the lower primary level in 1989. In Bruneian schools a bilingual policy is followed in which the national language, Malay, and English are both used at medium of instruction. This chapter describes the development of the RELA project for upper primary students. Among the activities included was Sustained Silent Reading. Preliminary results indicated that the upper RELA program was associated with superior results on a number of outcome measures.
Ronnqvist, L., & Sell, R. D. (1994). Teenage books for teenagers: Reflections on literature in language education. ELT Journal, 48, 125-132.
*This paper looks at research and programmes in the teaching of reading in Malaysia from the 1980s when a shift began from bottom-up to more top-down or interactive views of the reading process. To illustrate this shift, research and publications are reviewed, and activities of the Ministry of Education, the Malaysian Reading Association, the National Book Council, and the National Library are described.
Schackne, S. (1994, December). Extensive reading and language acquisition: Is there a correlation? A two-part study. Paper presented at the Annual International Conference of the Institute of Language in Education, Hong Kong. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED388110.
Foreign language learners benefit from reading target-language literature because it gives practice in the pragmatic contextualization of linguistic expression, and strengthens integrative motivation. For young teenage learners, however, the literary texts used are often simplified abridgements of canonical classics. It is better to use real teenage books. Teenage pupils positively like and want to understand these books, not least because they give access to the colloquial language used by native-speaker teenagers. This preference should be recognized and satisfied for both linguistic and educational lessons. Teenage books also meet teenagers' requirements in matters of genre, theme, and plot, and are a great asset in teaching which centres less on the text itself than on what the young reader is doing with it. A careful selection of teenage books can offer a broader and deeper understanding of target cultures than do traditional textbooks.
Wesche, M., & Paribakht, T. S. (1994, March). Enhancing vocabulary acquisition through reading: A hierarchy of text-related exercise types. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Applied Linguistics, Baltimore. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED369291.
***A 1986 study concerning the effectiveness of extensive reading in improving second language learning, and its replication in 1994-95, are reported. In the original study, four classes of English as a Second Language in a Taiwan university were used as experimental and control groups, the only difference in instruction being the use of extensive reading for pleasure in one. All experimental classes showed greater gains in reading skills. A study using both the same and additional measurement instruments and a much larger sample was undertaken at that university and another in Macau; results at the latter institution are reported here. Again, experimental group gains were greater than control group gains, but at a lower level of significance. Possible explanations for this discrepancy in results are discussed. A 29-item list of student readers is included.
Yano, Y., Long, M. H., & Ross, S. (1994). The effects of simplified and elaborated texts on foreign language reading comprehension. Language Learning, 44(2), 189-219.
*** This paper describes a classification scheme developed to examine the effects of extensive reading on primary and second language vocabulary acquisition and reports on an experiment undertaken to test the model scheme. The classification scheme represents a hypothesized hierarchy of the degree and type of mental processing required by various kinds of vocabulary exercises. These categories include: (1) selective attention; 2) recognition; (3) manipulation; (4) interpretation; and (5) production. This hierarchy was tested in an English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) classroom by comparing the vocabulary gains of learners in a thematic reading program with those in the same reading program in which some readings were replaced by vocabulary enhancement activities. Results indicated that although both groups in the reading program experienced substantial gains in word knowledge, those performing vocabulary enhancement techniques along with reading activities learned more words and achieved greater depth in their knowledge of these words than those students exposed to extensive reading alone. Three appendixes provide copies of a vocabulary exercise analysis sheet, examples of vocabulary exercises, and vocabulary scoring categories.
Yu, V., Chiu, E., Siu, W., & Yau, R. (1994). Extensive reading in the primary curriculum: Current practices and new initiatives. In N. Bird, P. Falvey, A. B. M. Tsui, D. M. Alison, & A. McNeill (Eds.), Language and learning: Papers presented at the International Language in Education conference (Hong Kong) (pp. 258-273). Hong Kong: Institute of Language in Education. (ERIC Reproduction Service No. ED386053).
Linguistic simplification of written texts can increase their comprehensibility for nonnative speakers but reduce their utility for language learning in other ways, for example, through the removal of linguistic items that learners do not know but need to learn. This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that elaborative modification observed in oral foreigner talk discourse, where redundancy and explicitness compensate for unknown linguistic items, offers a potential alternative approach to written text modification. We randomly presented 13 reading passages to 483 Japanese college students in one of three forms: (a) native baseline, (b) simplified, or (c) elaborated. Comprehension, assessed by 30 multiple-choice test items, was highest among learners reading the simplified version, but not significantly different from those reading the elaborated version. The type of modifications to the texts interacted significantly with the kind of test item used to assess comprehension – replication, synthesis or inference – suggesting that different kinds of text modification facilitate different levels of comprehension.
A Hong Kong survey, part of a primary school English-as-a-Second-Language curriculum development effort, investigated the extent to which extensive reading materials and activities are used at the upper elementary level, identified learner difficulties with English reading, and solicited teachers' opinions of the role of extensive reading in the curriculum. Questionnaire responses were received from 294 schools.
Results indicate that most schools used class readers, and the most frequently used class activities were questions and answers, reading aloud, and silent reading. Among five instructional aims, respondents were most interested in developing students' interest in reading. Most respondents had class libraries with a range of English-language book types. However, students were given little classroom support in reading these books. Over one-quarter of the schools did not allow students to select their own English reading materials. Seven frequently-observed reading problems were identified including: inability to interpret ideas in the text, tackling words, sustaining reading, and following main text ideas. Respondents also ranked criteria used to select reading materials. A large majority of schools supported the idea of extensive reading, but only about 40 percent expressed interest in a proposed elementary school reading program.
1995Cho, K-S., & Krashen, S. (1995, Fall). From Sweet Valley Kids to Harlequins in one year: A case study. California English, 18-19.
Constantino, R. (1995). Learning to read in a second language doesn't have to hurt: The effect of pleasure reading. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 39, 68-69.
*This article reports a case study building on previous work on the English language development of Koreans who came to the U.S. as adults (Cho & Krashen, 1994; Krashen & Cho, 1995). The participant in the study had lived in the U.S. for five years but had little interaction in English and, though an avid reader in Korean had never read a book in English. She was introduced to the Sweet Valley Kids series and told her reading would be voluntary, i.e., she could read as much as she liked, and if she did not like a book she was not obliged to finish it. Within one year, the participant did an impressive amount of reading - more than one million words - of that series and of more difficult material. At the same time, her L2 competence increased, based on the level of the books she read and on her estimation of her own proficiency level.
Davis, C. (1995). Extensive reading: an expensive extravagance? ELT Journal, 49, 329-336.
*This paper describes a one semester reading class of adult, lower intermediate level, ESL students in the U.S. The class emphasized student-selected pleasure reading, supplemented with teacher-supplied magazine articles. Students began the course wishing to use traditional methods to improve their reading, such as looking up unknown words and asking about grammar. However, with the author's guidance, such practices decreased dramatically or vanished. Students were not tested on their reading nor were they asked to write book reports. Instead, students wrote and responded to questions about the texts they had read, or, optionally wrote journal entries. As the course progressed, more and more students wrote journal entries and the length of these entries increased. The author concludes, "Pleasure reading gave the results that we, as reading and language teachers, want: language development in terms of reading, writing, and comprehension, and confidence. The goal was accomplished in an environment that was fun, relaxing, and interesting for all involved."
Hess, N., & Jasper, S. P. (1995). A blending of media for extensive reading. TESOL Journal, 4, 7-11.
During the last fifteen years, extensive reading programmes (ERPs) have been growing in popularity worldwide as a significant support to the teaching of English, whether in L1, ESL, or EFL. The Edinburgh Project in Extensive Reading (EPER) has done much to promote the aims and methods of extensive reading, and has successfully developed programmes in countries with such varied learning contexts as Malaysia, Tanzania, Hong Kong, and the Maldives. And yet, it seems that ERPs have not been adopted as readily as they might have been. This article considers the benefits of extensive reading, examines some of the reasons for its failure to 'take off', describes two programmes with which the writer has been intimately involved, and offers teachers some leading questions to help them develop their own programmes.
Krashen, S. (1995). Free Voluntary Reading: Linguistic and affective arguments and some new applications. In F. R. Eckman, D. Highland, P. W. Lee, J. Mileham, & R. Rutkowski Weber (Eds.), Second language acquisition: Theory and pedagogy (pp.187-202). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
*This article describes how film was used to generate enthusiasm for extensive reading in an high intermediate/low advanced ESL course at a U.S. university. Criteria are provided for choosing appropriate books and films. A number of activities are illustrated. These include students writing discussion questions, comparison of book and film versions, acting out scenes, and assigning members of the class to write out what given characters say in the film. Another activity involved turning off the sound and having students work in pairs in which one could not see the screen. Their partner was to watch and describe the action to them.
Krashen, S., & Cho, K-S. (1995). Becoming a dragon: Progress in English as a second language through narrow free voluntary reading. California Reader, 29, 9-10.
** [In this chapter] Krashen argues for the Reading Hypothesis, that free, voluntary reading is the major source of literacy development. He argues against two alternatives: the Instruction Hypothesis, that literacy can be taught directly, and the Writing Hypothesis, that literacy comes from writing. He suggests that reading also helps people to understand spoken language, and he makes some specific proposals about what kinds of reading help people understand what kinds of discourse.
MacGillivray, L, Tse, L., & McQuillan, J. (1995). Second language and literacy teachers considering literature circles: A play. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 39, 36-44.
*This article follows up on one of the participants in Cho and Krashen's (1994) study that found major gains in L2 competence for adult L1 Korean speakers who took part in narrow free voluntary reading using the Sweet Valley series. The participant continued to read actively, expanding, by her own choice, her range of reading materials. Informal measures indicate that she continued to make substantial progress in her overall L2 proficiency. She also changed her personal theory of language acquisition, recognizing that for a person at her level reading could be a good substitute for attending classes. In regard to the participant's progress in English, the authors conclude:
Pleasure reading was the only change in her behavior; before beginning the reading program, she had been in the United States for five years, and had made very little progress in English. The reading itself was a valuable source of comprehensible input, and it also made the aural input of television and conversation more comprehensible; it thus had both direct and indirect effects on her competence.
McQuillan, J., & Rodrigo, V. (1995). A reading "Din in the head": Evidence of involuntary mental rehearsal in second language readers. Foreign Language Annals, 28, 330-336.
*This article takes the form of a discussion between three educators. First, they discuss their experiences as participants in literature circles, including benefits received and the importance of finding the right mix of personalities to form the circle. The larger part of the paper deals with the authors' experiences using literature circles with their students (two of the three authors teach classes for L2 acquirers). Topics discussed include: benefits for students, such as development in the L2, building of relationships with others, seeing the L2 reading as a potentially pleasurable experience, and the natural emergence in the context of reading and discussing of areas in which students need help with the L2; helping students feel comfortable using literature circles; what is to be discussed in the circles; how evaluation is conducted; and advice for teachers just starting circles.
Romney, J. C., Romney, D. M., & Menzies, H. M. (1995). Reading for pleasure in French: A study of the reading habits and interests of French immersion children. Canadian Modern Language Review, 51, 474-511.
The phenomenon of involuntary mental rehearsal of language, or the "Din in the head," has been considered by researchers as an indicator of second language (L2) acquisition among acquirers. Previous studies have noted that the Din occurs primarily among beginning and intermediate L2 students after the reception of oral input that is comprehensible, but not after reading. It has been argued that this lack of a reported Din is due to the fact that such students typically do very little reading, and that acquirers who did read would experience a "reading Din." This study provides evidence for an L2 Din after reading from a survey of two classes of intermediate Spanish students: a "Reading Only" group (N=20), whose only source of L2 input was reading; and a "Reading and Conversation" group (N=15), who received both printed and oral input. Both groups reported a Din after L2 reading. The findings lend support to claims made by Krashen concerning the importance of comprehensible input in L2 acquisition. Implications for the use of reading in beginning and intermediate L2 classrooms are discussed.
Samway, K. D., Whang, G., & Pippitt, M. (1995). Buddy reading: Cross-age tutoring in a multicultural school. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
This study of 127 French immersion students examines how much reading they did for pleasure in both French and English and what factors influenced those amounts. More than two-thirds never read at all in French for pleasure outside school. Time spent reading books voluntarily in French was not affected by gender, reading achievement in French, or attitude towards reading in French. On the other hand, students benefited from some methods used by the French teacher to stimulate reading. The students’ reading interests were also investigated. Recommendations to stimulate pleasure reading in the children’s second language are formulated.
Yu, V. (1995). Organising an extensive reading book programme. In M. Ingham & N. Bird (Eds.), Learning how to learn (pp. 101-117). Hong Kong: Hong Kong Institute of Education.
*This book describes a program used in a primary school in the U.S. in which upper primary ESL students served as tutors to ESL students in lower grades. A unique feature of the program is that even students of less than average proficiency were included among the tutors. Tutor preparation, coordination among teachers, and lessons learned during the course of the program are discussed.
****This chapter provides practical guidelines to help teachers organise an extensive reading book programme in the form of an independent learning package. The paper begins by discussing the characteristics, value, and aims of extensive reading. This is followed by a step-by-step introduction to ways of organising a reading programme. The last section of the paper is devoted to a discussion of the changing roles of the teacher and the students in such a programme. Although the focus of the chapter is on a book-based programme, many of the principles can be applied if other materials, such as newspapers, magazines, brochures, or leaflets are used.
1996Anderson, R. C. (1996). Research foundations to support wide reading. In V. Greaney. (Ed.), Promoting reading in developing countries (pp. 55-77). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Ben-Yacov, H. (1996, April). A guide to guided reading: An extensive reading project in Beersheva. English Teachers' Journal, 49, 20.
**(The first two paragraphs of the chapter) In chapters 1 and 2, Greaney and Elley emphasize that an increased supply of books to promote reading is necessary to raise literacy levels in developing countries. In this chapter I will review the evidence now available on whether literature-based instruction and wide reading actually have a positive influence on children's growth as readers. I will consider several areas of research: (1) vocabulary acquisition while reading as compared to direct vocabulary instruction, (2) the relation between amount of reading and growth in reading competence, (3) the influence of book floods, (4) the effects of whole language, and (5) available evidence on wide reading and literature-based instruction in the non-English-speaking developing world.
This review will focus primarily on empirical studies that have included measures of word recognition, basic comprehension of simple passages, and, especially, knowledge of word meanings. Although these facets of reading do not directly reflect the major goals of many advocates of literature-based instruction and wide reading, it is well established that measures of word recognition, passage comprehension, and vocabulary are powerful predictors of most aspects of literate behavior. As compared to children who perform well on these measures, children who perform poorly also will perform less well on almost any other measure of literacy; and it is a distressing fact that they are likely to continue to do poorly. Therefore, it is important to determine whether literature-based instruction and wide reading lead to improvements in basic literacy. Literature-based instruction and wide reading often are placed in opposition to direct instruction on specific aspects of literacy. It seems necessary to say, therefore, that I do not suppose that a finding in favor of literature-based instruction and wide reading would count against direct instruction. Except in extreme cases, in which direct instruction in specific skills is the predominate or even exclusive form of instruction, such a conclusion would be neither logical nor empirically supportable.
Cheah, Y. M. (1996). Innovation, survival and processes of change in the bilingual classroom in Brunei Darussalam. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 17, 163-168.
*This article discusses some of the features of an extensive reading project. Among the components of the project were class sets of graded readers, worksheets based on the books, an enlarged picture photocopied from each book, flash cards for individual, pair, and class work. Some of the post-reading activities included:
1. reconstructing the story, with the key words used in earlier prediction activities
2. reconstructing the story using pictures
3. arranging random sentences in the order in which events occurred in the books
4. thinking up different titles for the books
5. inventing monologues and dialogues between characters and acting out scenes
6. encouraging short discussions of the book’s main points or ideas
7. identifying words mentioned or not mentioned in the book
8. “wh” questions
DiMarzio, D. M., & Coustan, T. (1996). The book bag project for emerging literacy. TESOL Journal, 5(4), 36-38.
*This piece is a response to Ng (1996), which appeared in the same issue of this journal. The author connects Ng's discussion of the changes inherent in Brunei's RELA project with those involved in Singapore's REAP project (see Mok, 1994), on which RELA was somewhat based, and stresses the need to investigate socio-cultural factors for their effect on second language acquisition. She also emphasizes learning from and building upon current literacy practices in a given context, rather than seeking to eliminate them and begin from scratch.
Douglas, C. B. (1996). Helping students create their own stories. TESOL Journal, 5(4), 39.
* This article describes a technique for increasing literacy skills of L2 children and their families. Teachers put together book bags, each of which contained a story appropriate to the children's reading level, a toy that matched the story, and a blank journal with a question related to story written on the opening page. Children took the bags home to read the book with their family, play with the toy, and write in the journal. The bags circulated among the class, with each new borrower adding an entry to the journal.
Dupuy, B., Tse, L., & Cook, T. (1996). Bringing books into the classroom: First steps in turning college-level ESL students into readers. TESOL Journal, 5, 10-15.
* This article describes how students first read one or two myths and legends before working in groups to write stories, legends, and myths either from their own culture or which they had invented. These texts then were shared with fellow students.
Elley, W. B. (1996). Lifting literacy levels in developing countries: Some implications from an IEA study. In V. Greaney (Ed.), Promoting Reading in Developing Countries (pp. 39-54). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
*The authors begin by giving reasons why ESL students are reluctant to read for pleasure in English: students believe reading is not an effective way of learning; they believe L2 reading should focus on form, not meaning; and students do not know how to choose appropriate reading material. The article describes an extensive reading program that tried to overcome student reluctance to read for pleasure. First, students were informed of research that suggests extensive reading can greatly enhance SLA. Next, the authors helped students understand the difference between intensive and extensive reading. The authors also assisted students in choosing books by such means as surveys of student interests, booktalks, book displays, and book lists. Students participated in a number of activities: SSR (sustained silent reading) in class, literature circles, reading logs, book reviews, and critic's corner. The authors recommend that in keeping with the link between extensive reading and learner initiative, students negotiate how they will be graded for their extensive reading course.
Kita, B., Eshel, M., Marom, A, Mazor, E., & Kornfeld, G.. (1996, April). Reading aloud to students: Effects on reading comprehension and pleasure. English Teachers' Journal, 49, 23-25.
*This chapter reports findings from a study organized by the IEA (International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement). Data were collected in 1990 and 1991, involving 210,000 students and 10,000 teachers from 32 education systems from all over the world. The chapter focuses on those findings of particular relevance to developing countries, where the language of school is not the native language of many of the students. Among the author's conclusions "is that instructional programs that stress teacher-directed drills and skills are less beneficial in raising literacy levels than programs that try to capture students' interest and encourage them to read independently."
Lee, S.-Y., & Krashen, S, (1996). Free voluntary reading and writing competence in Taiwanese high school students. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 83(2), 687-690.
*This article reports a pilot study of the effects of reading aloud by teachers involving an unspecified number of sixth grade students of English as a Foreign Language in Israel. The researchers report an interaction between socio-economic status and variables related to reading, with pupils from a low socio-economic background showing significant increases in reading comprehension and reading for pleasure after being read aloud to by their teachers. The researchers state that a larger study was being concluded.
Lee, Y. O., Krashen, S., & Gribbons, B. (1996). The effect of reading on the acquisition of English relative clauses. I.T.L. Review of Applied Linguistics, 113-114, 263-273.
****A positive but very modest relationship was found between measures of free voluntary reading and a measure of writing ability for 318 high school students in Taiwan.
Marom, A. (1996, April). A niche of independent reading: Managing a library of English readers. English Teachers' Journal, 49, 21-22
49 adult acquirers of English as a second language took two tests probing restrictive relative clause competence. The amount of reported pleasure reading done by subjects were the only significant predictor of both measures. Neither years of formal study nor length of residence in the United States was a significant predictor. These results are consistent with the input hypothesis.
Masuhara, H., Kimura, T., Fukada, A., & Takeuchi, M. (1996). Strategy Training or/and Extensive Reading? in Language, Education and Society in a Changing World, Hickey, Tina, & Williams, Jenny [Eds], Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters Ltd, 1996, pp 263-274.
*This article describes the setting up of an L2 library for primary school students in Israel. Topics covered include selecting books - ask pupils, seek variety, choose new, thin, colorful reading with many illustrations; library procedures - make reading voluntary, make books easily available, guide pupils to select appropriate book, teach the “five fingers rule,” (i.e., students open a book to a random page and put a finger on each unknown word they encounter; if they use up al five fingers of one hand before reaching the end of the page, they book may be too difficult); stimulating pupils to read – peer discussion and teacher read aloud sessions including oral cloze.
McQuillan, J. (1996). How should heritage languages be taught?: The effects of a free voluntary reading program. Foreign Language Annals, 29, 56-72.
The relative effectiveness of strategy training & extensive reading in second-language comprehension was investigated. Two classes of first-year English majors (N = 91) in a Japanese women's university were taught by different methods for eight weeks. One group was taught four reading strategies, whereas the other had opportunity for about twice as much reading; strategies, materials, & procedures for the classes are contrasted. Both groups received as pre- & posttests the vocabulary & reading comprehension sections of a version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language. The strategy training group showed a significantly higher mean than the reading experience group on the pretest, but on the posttest the difference was not significant. Both approaches were found effective for improving comprehension, but extensive reading seemed more effective. Factors that may have influenced the outcome are detailed in two categories: learners' attributes (including readiness, previous training, & affective filter) & treatment factors (including mode & duration). 1 Table, 28 References. Abstract by E. Taylor
McQuillan, J., & Conde, G. (1996). The conditions of flow in reading: Two studies of optimal
experience. Reading Psychology, 17, 109–135. doi: 10.1080/0270271960170201
The United States has experienced a sharp rise in recent years in the number of heritage language (HL) bilinguals, students who speak a language other than English at home. Due to a lack of advanced language development in other settings, many of these students enroll in foreign language courses in their respective home languages. This paper reports on a program designed to promote heritage language and literacy development in one university-level HL course, Spanish for Native Speakers (SNS). The ten-week program involved two classes of mostly English-dominant SNS students participating in an experimental course that included a combination of the following elements: free voluntary reading (FVR) outside the classroom, in-class literature circles (small group book discussions), a survey of popular literature in Spanish, and individual inquiry learning projects. Three measures of the course were used to evaluate its success in terms of vocabulary acquisition, attitudes toward Spanish literacy development, and reading habits. The experimental group made significant gains in word knowledge, read more than a comparison group of SNS students, and exhibited positive attitudes toward Spanish literacy at the end of the ten-week course. The evidence in favor of FVR, theoretical justifications for the approach in SNS courses, and implications for redesigning heritage language curricula at the secondary and university levels are discussed.
Ng, S. M. (1996). Innovation, survival and processes of change in the bilingual classroom in Brunei Darussalam. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 17, 149-162.
This paper examines the conditions under which readers experience intense engagement in a text, what Csikszentmihalyi has termed “optimal experience,” or “flow.” 1
Two studies of optimal experience are reported here. The first consisted of interviews with eleven children and adult pleasure readers concerning their experiences with flow during reading; the second examined reading flow by surveying 76 university students and professionals. Among the major findings of the studies were: (a) the large majority of the texts which provided the informants with flow were those which they had read for pleasure; (b) when informants were assigned texts in school, flow was more likely to occur when they had an interest in the text; (c) texts which provided flow were perceived as giving the reader personal or intellectual benefits; and (d) fiction was significantly more likely to produce flow than non‐fiction texts. Future research directions are discussed.
Nuttall, C. (1996). Teaching reading skills in a foreign language (New Edition).ERIC Accession No. -- ED399531
While scientific methods of research can suggest ideas for improving the effectiveness of the bilingual classroom, field trials force academics to realise the complexity of variables in the applied context, which differs markedly from the experimental situation. Bilingual education is not only affected by differences between individual children and teachers but also by the beliefs and practices of the educational system and of the socio-cultural environment of the country. This paper describes a Bruneian project aimed at improving the English language learning of children in a bilingual education system. It is a project which attempts to come to grips with the complex and difficult nature of implementation of research ideas. The paper discusses the implementation among different sectors of the educational community for sustaining and improving on change. This study shows language planners that it is important not only to work on what needs to change, but also on how that change is to be achieved and sustained in a particular context.
Raemer, A. (1996, April). Literature review: Extensive reading in the EFL classroom. English Teachers' Journal (Israel), 49, 29-31.
*** This book is divided into three parts. It begins with fundamental principles about reading, texts, and teaching which underlie the way the book approaches its subject; the second part looks more closely at some of the theoretical issues and how they affect reading teaching. The third focuses on the importance of extensive reading, the choice of materials, and the way courses and lessons are planned, taught, and assessed. The book examines the skills required to read effectively; focuses on getting the message from the text; suggests classroom strategies for developing reading skills; and looks at both linguistic and non-linguistic features of texts. Chapters in the book are (1) What Is Reading?; (2) Text and Discourse; (3) Approaching Reading in the Foreign Language Classroom; (4) Efficient Reading; (5) Word Attack Skills; (6) Reading for Plain Sense; (7) Understanding Discourse; (8) An Extensive Reading Programme; (9) Planning Reading Lessons; (10) Selecting Texts; (11) Questioning; (12) Other Kinds of Reading Task; (13) The Testing of Reading (by J. Charles Alderson); and (14) The Teacher as Reader. Appendixes present texts, extracts from reading courses, lesson plans, and useful addresses, a key to activities, and a 273-item select bibliography.
Rodriguez-Trujillo, N. (1996). Promoting independent reading: Venezuelan and Columbian experience. In V. Greaney (Ed.), Promoting reading in developing countries (pp. 109-129). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
*** Focuses on the merit of extensive reading in English as a tool for advancing the reading comprehension of non-English-speaking students. The article emphasizes that students who read more will eventually surpass their classmates who have not developed the reading habit.
Rowe, L. (1996). Let the children Read: Early extensive exposure to reading using a school library. The Language Teacher, 20(5), 23-27, 45.
Nelson Rodriguez-Trujillo discusses specific independent reading programs in Venezuela and Colombia. Evaluations of these programs focus on their impact on reading achievement and highlight the importance of teacher training, the need for access to a wide variety of reading materials, and the need for strong financial and administrative support.
Schmidt, K. (1996). Extensive reading in English: Rationale and possibilities for a program at Shirayuri Gakuen. Sendai Shirayuri Gakuen Journal of General Research, 24, (2) 81-92. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED394277.
*This article describes the rationale, origins, and transformation of an L2 extensive reading program designed for elementary school students at a private language school in Japan.
Shemesh, R. (1996, April). Library books for the non-reader. English Teachers' Journal (Israel), 49, 33-34.
*** Reasons for establishing an extensive reading approach to teaching reading in English as a Second Language at a Japanese high school are enumerated, and some recommendations for implementing such a program are offered. Research on comprehensible input in language learning, particularly input from reading as an effective and efficient source, is reviewed. A distinction is made between extensive reading and intensive reading, and the advantages of the former in providing practice in decoding skills, reading success, and comprehensible input are noted. The discussion then turns to selection of appropriate reading materials, including graded readers, authentic texts, and children's literature. It is concluded that for a high school program, short novels, biographies, and story collections are practical and appealing to students, and graded readers accompanied by audiotapes are also useful. Three basic formats for extensive reading programs are described: students' simultaneous reading of class readers; use of class libraries; and use of reading materials from the school library. Quantity of reading to be assigned at different ability levels, and the means used to measure the reading actually accomplished, are also considered. Sample book report forms are provided.
Shlayer, J. (1996, April). Extensive reading. English Teachers' Journal (Israel), 49, 32-33.
*** Discusses an extensive reading program in English that uses a talking book library to assist and motivate students with limited reading abilities to participate in enjoying works of literature in English.
Sims, J. M. (1996) A comparative study of improvements in reading comprehension of skill-based instruction and extensive reading for pleasure with Taiwanese freshman university students. Unpublished dissertation. UMI AAT 9700193.
***Discusses an extensive reading program in English designed to improve the reading achievement of junior high school students in an Israeli school. Results of the program indicate that many of the students are readers in English by the time they graduate.
Strong, G. (1996). Using literature for language teaching in ESOL. Thought Currents in English Literature, 69, 291-305. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED407860
This study examines and compares the improvement of Taiwanese university freshmen taught by either a skill-based or extensive reading for pleasure approach. While skill-based reading instruction remains the dominant approach in an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom, reading researchers have found positive results in using extensive reading and, to a lesser degree, pleasure reading to improve reading comprehension. However, little research has been done to actually compare the differences in reading comprehension improvement using either a skill-based approach and the combination of both extensive and pleasure reading. Four classes of Freshmen English students (N = 120) identified as mid-level proficient in English were involved in this study. Two classes were instructed using a skill-based approach and the other two classes were exposed to an extensive reading for pleasure approach. Achievements in reading comprehension were measured via written recall protocols and multiple-choice tests. A two-way ANOVA design allowed the comparison of mean scores of reading comprehension across the four groups. The results of pre-test measurements of reading comprehension indicated that there were no significant differences in reading comprehension between the four groups at the onset of the experiment. However, there were significant differences in both the multiple-choice and recall protocol measurements after the treatment period. Subjects in the pleasure reading groups scored significantly higher than students in the skill-based groups. Only one question on the attitude questionnaire yielded a significant difference with students in the extensive reading for pleasure groups indicating more interest in their in-class reading approach. Students in both treatment groups reported approximately the same amount of time spent reading required texts written in English. However, the subjects in the pleasure groups reported spending more time outside of class reading English materials for pleasure. The study concludes with discussion and implications of extensive reading for pleasure in the classroom.
Tsang, W-K. (1996). Comparing the effects of reading and writing on writing performance. Applied Linguistics, 17, 210-233.
***In English for speakers of other languages (ESOL), there is renewed interest in use of literature in the communicative classroom. Literature may be part of a communicative pedagogy in three ways: (1) by providing a context in which to develop students' reading strategies and knowledge of non-fiction and literary texts; (2) by being the basis of an extensive reading program, with attendant acquisition of new vocabulary and grammatical forms; and (3) by offering the opportunity to explore cross-cultural values. One reading strategy found useful for encouraging reading is the exploration of story grammar, which provides common terms of reference and a direction for group discussion. As students learn about story grammar and understand how to apply it to stories they are reading, an extensive reading program should be undertaken, with students selecting their own reading materials from a classroom shelf or from a self-access area in the library. Related classroom activities include discussions, book reports, teacher book presentations, small-group book sharing, and sustained silent reading periods. Book content, including cultural and thematic information, can be used for a variety of language and cultural learning activities (such as cloze procedures), timeline construction, and response to specific passages or events.
Tse, L. (1996). If you lead horses to water, they will drink: Introducing second language adults to books in English. The California Reader, 29, 14-17.
The study compares the effects of an enriched syllabus which included extensive reading and frequent writing assignments on English descriptive writing performance at different form levels. It examines a group of Cantonese-speaking students at four form levels in Hong Kong who participated in three English programs: (A) regular plus unrelated (mathematics) enrichment program, (B) regular plus extensive reading, and (C) regular plus frequent writing practice. Results demonstrated significant main effects due to the nature of program and form level with no significant interaction of these factors. The regular plus extensive reading program was overall significantly effective, while both the regular plus mathematics program and the regular plus frequent writing practice were not. In the area of content, the reading program was the only one which showed a significant positive effect. Similarly, in the area of language use, the reading program was the only one of the three shown significantly effective.
Tse, L. (1996). When an ESL adult becomes a reader. Reading Horizons, 37, 16-29.
*Although research strongly suggests extensive reading can boost L2 acquisition, few L2 learners engage in voluntary extensive reading. This article describes an approach used to encourage more extensive reading by adult intermediate and high level ESL students in a community language course in the U.S. The approach consists of helping students appreciate the power of extensive reading, introducing them to popular novels, and assisting them to develop their reading efficacy by avoiding dictionary use, reading at a quick, steady pace, appreciating that the first part of the book will be the most difficult, and establishing a daily reading habit. Student reaction, collected from their writings about their reading experiences, suggests they reacted favorably to the approach.
Ujiie, J., & Krashen, S. D. (1996). Comic book reading, reading enjoyment, and pleasure reading among middle class and Chapter I middle school students. Reading Improvement, 33(1), 51-54. Available at http://www.sdkrashen.com.
*This article reports a case study of a 36-year-old female Indonesian studying English at a U.S. university, prior to which she had never read an English language book, except for textbooks. Even in her L1, she gave low priority to reading books. The study focuses on the person's participation in a course in which the entire class read and discussed a set of books. Using a qualitative research framework, the author reports the student reacted very positively to this approach to extensive reading in terms of three areas: beliefs about reading and second language development; feelings about reading in the L2; and knowledge of the L2, the world around her, and herself.
Yamazaki, A. (1996) Vocabulary acquisition through extensive reading.. Unpublished dissertation.UMI AAT 9623819.
****Seventh grade boys in two schools, one middle class and one in which 82% of the students were eligible for Chapter I funding were asked about comic book reading. Those who reported more comic book reading also reported more pleasure reading in general, greater reading enjoyment, and tended to do more book reading. There was no difference in frequency of comic book reading between the two schools.
Yu, V. W-S. (1996/1997, Winter). The impact of a self-access reading scheme on students' reading habits, attitudes and second language development. Independence, 18, 35-39.
This study investigated incidental vocabulary acquisition through extensive reading. Eighty-six third-year Japanese high school students participated in the experiment. Half of them belonged to an extensive reading group and the rest of them belonged to a translation group. The former group did faster reading activities in class and read two graded readers a week outside class. They focused on the comprehension of stories, but they did not attend to vocabulary items. The latter group translated passages taken from graded readers, memorized vocabulary items in class, and were provided with assignments for translating other passages. The duration of the treatment was nine weeks. After the treatment, a questionnaire asking for impressions on extensive reading was administered to the extensive reading group. All of the subjects took a pretest on target vocabulary items before the treatment, a posttest one week after the last treatment, and a follow-up test one and a half months later. A counterbalanced design was employed to minimize any practice effect. The data were collected and an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted because there was an initial significant difference between the two groups. The results indicated that after the treatment there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups. Both groups of learners had measurably improved their vocabulary. This result was unexpected, because the translation group had focused explicitly on the words tested whereas the extensive reading group had not attended to specific words, but instead had focused on comprehending the texts. Both groups attained equally large increases in vocabulary. The questionnaires indicated that extensive reading also benefited most of the Japanese high school learners in other ways. Some learners stopped word-by-word translation in their regular reading, some found pleasure from reading in English, and most learners appeared to attack new English paragraphs more confidently. It is felt that this study has made some important contributions to promoting extensive reading in Japanese high schools.
This article reports a questionnaire study involving approximately 1000 Hong Kong Form 2 (ages 12-14), half of whom had taken part in an English language extensive reading scheme. Those who had participated in the scheme (the experimental condition) reported borrowing more English books, spending more hours reading English books, finishing more of the books, and finding reading English books easier and more enjoyable. No differences between the two groups were found in terms of reported reading speed or the positive attitudes toward extensive reading held by about 90% of students in each condition. About 10% of students in the experimental group did not believe that extensive reading helped improve their L2 proficiency.
1997Aebersold, J. A., & Field, M. L. (1997). From reader to reading teacher: Issues and strategies for second language classrooms. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bamford, J., & Day, R. R. (1997). Extensive reading: What is it? Why bother? The Language Teacher, 21(5), 6-8.
*While most of this book is not about extensive reading, the following parts are relevant. The beginning of chapter 1 asks teachers to think about the role of reading in their life, past and present, and on the influence of family, community, school, culture, and individual characteristics in defining the role of reading for them. Pages 43-44 discuss an approach to reading instruction based on extensive reading. Included is an account by a teacher who taught a reading course based on extensive reading. One of her reasons was that she wanted to give students more responsibility. Pages 181-183 explain what a reading journal is and include two entries from students' journals.
Carrell, P. L., & Carson, J. G. (1997). Extensive and intensive reading in an EAP setting. English for Specific Purposes, 16, 47-60.
*This article argues that all students must engage in extensive reading if they are to become skillful and fluent. "Automaticity of 'bottom-up' (word recognition) processes upon which comprehension depends is a consequence of practice." The authors list characteristics of successful extensive reading programs, including "Reading is its own reward. There are few or no follow-up exercises to be completed after reading." They also argue that simplified materials are an appropriate choice for students whose level of L2 proficiency makes it very difficult to read texts written for native speakers.
Cheah, Y. M. (1997). Shaping the classrooms of tomorrow: Lessons from the past. In G. M. Jacobs (Ed.), Language classrooms of tomorrow: Issues and responses (pp. 16-35). Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
This article argues for the need for both intensive and extensive reading in an EAP reading curriculum, and further argues that a principled curricular approach to combining both is through Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT). Given the need for academic preparation programs that focus on college and university requirements so that students are taught literacy skills which are transferable to academic contexts, this paper argues that both intensive and extensive reading are necessary to prepare students for the task and texts they encounter in college. Intensive reading with a focus on skills/strategies instruction has been shown to yield positive effects on second language reading. At the same time, students need the practice of extensive reading in order to orchestrate, coordinate and apply intensively acquired skills/'strategies over the larger texts and multiple reading sources that are required in all academic course work. TBLT, which focuses on specific tasks, such as evaluated products in academic contexts (e.g. test-taking, report writing), allow students to acquire relevant skills and strategies in the context of tasks they will eventually encounter in academic courses. Furthermore, TBLT provides a principled approach to the determination of relevant content.
Coady, J. (1997). L2 vocabulary acquisition through extensive reading. In J. Coady, & T. Huckin (Eds.), Second language vocabulary acquisition (pp. 225-237). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
*This chapter takes a socio-cultural perspective in examining the history of the change, begun in the 1980s, to a more Whole Language approach to English language instruction in lower primary schools in Singapore. Extensive reading was an important part of this approach. Returning to these classrooms in 1996, the author found that some of the positive changes of the 1980s were now less visible. For instance, library corners did not always have the variety of books that once existed. The author cautions that the increasing introduction of technology, well on its way in Singapore schools, should build on what is worthy from the past, rather than wiping it out and starting over.
Constantino, R., Lee, S. Y., Cho, K. S., & Krashen, S. (1997). Free voluntary reading as a predictor of TOEFL scores. Applied Language Learning, 8(1), 111-118.
**This chapter argues that proficient second language users acquire most of their vocabulary knowledge through extensive reading. For beginners, however, this presents a problem: How can they learn words through extensive reading if they don't have enough words to read extensively? Coady proposes that this dilemma can be overcome in two stages. First, learners should be given explicit instruction and practice in the 3,000 most common words in the language, to the point of automaticity. Second, they should then be allowed to engage in reading tasks they find enjoyable. Of critical importance is the careful selection of reading materials: Drawing on Krashen's Input Hypothesis, Coady urges curriculum designers to adopt an approach in which there is comprehensible input, adequate and supportive feedback, and, above all, material that the learner finds interesting.
Davidson, C., Ogle, D, Ross, D., Tuhaka, J. & Ng, S. M. (1997). Student-Created Reading Materials for Extensive Reading.
In Jacobs, G. M., Davis, C., & Renandya, W. A. (Eds.). Successful strategies for extensive reading. (pp. 144-160) Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
Forty-three international university students, currently living in the United States, filled out a questionnaire probing years of English study, length of residence (LOR) in the US, free reading habits in the first and second language, and TV watching. Despite the fact that subjects reported little reading in English, this variable was a significant predictor of TOEFL test performance. In addition, English study in the home country and length of residence in the US were also related to TOEFL scores.
Derewianka, B.. (1997). Using the Internet for Extensive Reading.
In Jacobs, G. M., Davis, C., & Renandya, W. A. (Eds.). Successful strategies for extensive reading. (pp. 128-143) Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
**In Chapter 14, Colin Davidson, Dianne Ogle, Denise Ross, Jakki Tuhaka, and Ng Seok Moi describe a wide range of strategies they use for helping students in a New Zealand primary school to generate materials for themselves, their teachers, and their fellow students to read. Such student-generated materials help achieve the teachers' goal of encouraging their students to "write like readers and read like writers", because once you have written a book or other text of your own for a real audience, your whole view of the reading-writing process changes.
Dupuy, B. & McQuillan, J. (1997). Handcrafted Books: Two for the Price of One.
In Jacobs, G. M., Davis, C., & Renandya, W. A. (Eds.). Successful strategies for extensive reading. (pp. 171-180) Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
**In Chapter 13, Beverly Derewianka from Australia describes a wide range of techniques and resources for using the vast reaches of the Internet to find and generate materials for extensive reading. Among the many techniques and places on the Internet which Derewianka advises students and teachers to explore are: Keypals, the Internet equivalent of penpals; Chatrooms, where the fingers do the talking and the eyes do the listening; Learning Networks, which link students and teachers working together on a particular task or project; and Discussion Lists and Newsgroups, global forums for people with like interests to share ideas.
Dupuy, B. (1997). Lecture-cadeau, lecture-plaisir: Des Étudiants en FLE et les bénéfices dérivés de la lecture libre. [Reading as gift, Reading as pleasure: Students of French as a foreign language and the benefits derived from free reading] The French Review, 71, 182-191.
**In Chapter 16, Beatrice Dupuy and Jeff McQuillan explain how US students of French as a foreign language create extensive reading materials by writing and illustrating texts. A key advantage of these materials is that because they are created by students' own classmates, the texts are likely to meet two criteria for extensive reading materials: comprehensibility and interest. Dupuy and McQuillan provide guidelines for the writing, illustrating, and publishing of the Handcrafted Books, as well as an example book.
Dupuy, B. (1997). Literature Circles: An alternative framework for increasing intermediate FL students' comprehension of texts in the target language. Mosaic, 5(1) 13-16.
****This article focuses on the use of a different approach to reading in the intermediate foreign language classroom. It is an approach which exposes students to a great variety of texts which they self-select and read during their free time. After briefly reviewing the literature on free reading, and outlining the rationale for its use, the author reports the reactions of two intermediate foreign language classes to the free reading approach, as well as their opinions regarding the impact of this approach on developing the language they study. A majority of students (87%) reported that the free reading program had helped them develop their overall language competence and indicated that it had been most beneficial in expanding their vocabulary and increasing their reading comprehension. Students (94%) also reported that the free reading program had helped them become confident readers in French, and 82% of them indicated that they were more likely to read for pleasure in French after participating in this program.
Dupuy, B. (1997). Voices from the classroom: Students favor extensive reading over grammar instruction and practice, and give their reasons. Applied Language Learning, 8, 253-261.
Looking for a way to bring students to read voluntarily in their second language and enjoy it? This article discusses a reading approach through which students are exposed to many books which they self-select and discuss in their literature circles, and reports the reactions of 49 French students towards this approach.
Grabe, W. & Stoller, F. L. (1997). Reading and vocabulary development in a second language: A case study. In J. Coady, & T. Huckin (Eds.), Second language vocabulary acquisition (pp. 98-122). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
By examining the preferences of 49 intermediate-level students of French as a foreign language concerning two classroom activities (grammar instruction and practice, and extensive reading) this study replicates and expands a previous study (McQuillan,1994) by surveying students studying a different language, and presenting the reasons behind their choice. Similar to McQuillan (1994), students in this study overwhelmingly found extensive reading to be not only more pleasurable but also more beneficial for language acquisition than grammar instruction and practice. Students explained that while reading was fun, interesting, and beneficial for language acquisition, grammar instruction and practice was dull and boring, and its effects small and short-lived.
Helgesen, M. (1997). Bringing those books back to the classroom: Tasks for extensive reading. The Language Teacher, 21(5), 53-54.
**[This] description of a five-month case study... explored the extent to which extensive newspaper reading, without formal instruction but with the aid of a bilingual dictionary, would allow the first author to develop his vocabulary and his reading ability in Portuguese as a second language.... Results indicated that the learner (Grabe) made dramatic progress in vocabulary knowledge, reading comprehension, and listening comprehension.... The authors conclude that extensive reading is a very effective way to develop vocabulary knowledge and other language abilities over time. (written by the volume editors, p. 54)
Helgesen, M. (1997). What one extensive reading program looks like. The Language Teacher, 21(5), 31-33.
*This article presents four quick activities to accompany extensive reading. The first, Instant Book Report, is done in pairs. Students use teacher-supplied questions to tell their partner a bit about a book they have read. Draw a Picture involves students in first working alone to draw something from a book they have read. Then, students take turns to explain their drawing and book to partners. How Many Questions is a technique in which students show and explain to partners an illustration in a book they have read. Partners try to ask as many questions as possible within a given time. Story Telling Sticks involves students in using toothpicks to represent various characters and objects in a book that they are retelling to peers.
Hill, D. R. (1997a). Graded (Basal) readers--choosing the best. The Language Teacher, 21(5), 21-26.
*In this paper the author reports the successful experience of using extensive reading as a major component of a required course on English Reading for first-year students at a Japanese Junior College. Included in the report are: how extensive reading was introduced to students ("We're going to read. And read. And read. and read. And by July, you'll have read over 500 pages of English"), how students obtained books to read (mostly from the graded reader collection in the college's library), follow-up assignments (short reaction reports with no marking for grammar), teacher feedback on the reports (usually with a rubber stamp that says "OK" or with a short note, and how teachers went about getting new books for the collection.
Hill, D. R. (1997b). Graded readers. ELT Journal, 51, 57-79.
*The first part of this paper contains one-paragraph reviews of many major graded readers series for learners of English, based on the work of the author and his colleagues at the Edinburgh Project on Extensive Reading. The second part of the article provides guidelines on choosing graded readers. These guidelines include: setting up a system for measuring the difficulty level of the books, as different publishers use different systems; judging the quality of the titles in terms of the appearance of the printed page and the quality of the writing; seeking variety as to genre, setting, and sex of protagonists; and obtaining student feedback on teachers' initial choices.
Hill, D. R. (1997c). Setting up an extensive reading programme: Practical tips. The Language Teacher, 21(5), 17-20.
*This survey bring up-to-date and expands on previous surveys of graded readers in 1988, 1989, and 1993 by Hill and Reid Thomas.
Hill, M. & Van Horn, L. (1997). Extensive Reading through Book Clubs: How Book Clubs Have Changed Lives.
In Jacobs, G. M., Davis, C., & Renandya, W. A. (Eds.). Successful strategies for extensive reading. (pp. 98-108) Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
*The author's advice on setting up extensive reading programmes is to "think big and start small". Unless educators think big, programmes are likely to die within a few years, resulting in "sad piles of worm-eaten books". Planners must:
Set up systems for selecting, ordering, classifying, cataloguing, storing, lending, returning, checking, repairing, and replacing books: ... . You must work out a methodology that teachers can employ to raise not only the quantity of books your students read but also the quality of their comprehension and appreciation. You must fix targets of attainment and establish the keeping of records that enable you to monitor and evaluate the success of the programme.
This is indeed a big task, but the author concludes that, "The books are there waiting to be used. The students are there waiting to read them. The work of bringing them together is very worthwhile."
Jacobs, G. M., Davis, C., & Renandya, W. A. (Eds.). (1997). Successful strategies for extensive reading. Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
**In Chapter 10, Margaret H Hill and Leigh Van Horn discuss how students in a US juvenile detention center became hooked on books via their teacher's use of a strategy which brought groups of students together to talk about high interest books. According to Hill and Van Horn, a key ingredient of the Book Club strategy lies in the group discussions. These are real discussions which relate reading to students' lives and values, not exercises where students try to find the right answer defined in advance by the teacher. The authors report that as a result of this meaningful interaction, Book Club helps students bond with one another in a pro-social way.
Jurkovac, J. (1997). Organizing School Wide Reading Campaigns.
In Jacobs, G. M., Davis, C., & Renandya, W. A. (Eds.). Successful strategies for extensive reading. (pp. 44-54) Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
**This book contains 17 chapters. A few look at extensive reading for all learners, but most chapters focus in on extensive reading for second language learners. The titles of the individual chapters are listed below. Click on the chapter number to view the abstract for that particular chapter or
view all chapters here.
Chapter 1 Yu, V. W-S. (1997). Encouraging Students to Read More in an Extensive Reading Programme.
Chapter 2 Tup, F. & Shu, L. (1997). "First World - Third World": Two Extensive Reading Programmes at Secondary Level.
Chapter 3 Lituanas, P. M. (1997) Collecting Materials for Extensive Reading.
Chapter 4 Smith, R. (1997). Transforming a Non-Reading Culture.
Chapter 5 Jurkovac, J. (1997). Organizing School Wide Reading Campaigns.
Chapter 6 Kuan, H. S. (1997). Promoting Active Reading Strategies to Help Slow Readers.
Chapter 7 Cockburn, L., Isbister, S., & Sim-Goh, M. L. (1997). Buddy Reading.
Chapter 8 Tan, A. L. & Kan, G. Y. (1997). Reading Across the Curriculum.
Chapter 9 McQuillan, J. & Tse, L. (1997). Let's Talk about Books: Using Literature Circles in Second Language Classrooms
Chapter 10 Hill, M. & Van Horn, L. (1997). Extensive Reading through Book Clubs: How Book Clubs Have Changed Lives.
Chapter 11 Tiey, H. Y., Idamban, S. & Jacobs, G.M. (1997). Reading Aloud to Students as part of Extensive Reading.
Chapter 12 Rodgers, T. (1997). Partnerships in Reading and Writing.
Chapter 13 Derewianka, B.. (1997). Using the Internet for Extensive Reading.
Chapter 14 Davidson, C., Ogle, D., Ross, D., Tuhaka, J., & Ng, S. M. (1997). Student-Created Reading Materials for Extensive Reading.
Chapter 15 Lie, A. (1997). The Reading and Writing Connection: Community Journal.
Chapter 16 Dupuy, B. & McQuillan, J. (1997). Handcrafted Books: Two for the Price of One.
Chapter 17 Rane-Szostak, D. (1997). Extensive Reading and Loneliness in Later Life.
Kim, H., & Krashen, S. (1997). Why don't language acquirers take advantage of the power of reading? TESOL Journal, 6(3), 26-29.
**In Chapter 5, Jeffrey Jurkovac explains the strategies his school in Colombia uses to organize an annual campaign to encourage extensive reading of multi-cultural literature. Jurkovac provides a detailed time line of the various tasks to be performed before and during the campaign. Additionally, there are calendars of various events planned to excite students and their family members to actively participate. Jurkovac also includes a list of books that describe other fun activities to promote extensive reading.
Krashen, S. (1997). The comprehension hypothesis: Recent evidence. English Teachers' Journal (Israel), 51, 17-29.
*This study investigated why some second language acquirers do not use reading to develop their second language proficiency. Data came from interviews of five adult female native speakers of Korean living in the U.S. All were dedicated readers in Korean but did not use extensive reading to improve their English for several reasons: English courses in Korea had emphasized grammar and drills; reading instruction in Korea had focused on word-by-word reading, emphasizing the need to understand every word, and utilizing materials that were often difficult and boring; and their EFL teachers had not told them of the benefits of extensive reading. Based on the interviews and attempts at encouraging the study's participants to engage in extensive reading, the authors recommend that such reluctant L2 readers need easy access to a wide variety of books, guidance as to what books to choose, information on the benefits of extensive reading, and help in overcoming ineffective reading strategies they may have learned at school.
Kuan, H. S. (1997). Promoting Active Reading Strategies to Help Slow Readers.
In Jacobs, G. M., Davis, C., & Renandya, W. A. (Eds.). Successful strategies for extensive reading. (pp. 55-64) Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
**In this paper I survey some of the work published in the past few years that deals with the Comprehension Hypothesis. This work is from several areas: literacy development, second language acquisition and foreign language acquisition and it confirms Goodman's claim that the development of language and literacy operate in much the same way.
Lee, S.-Y., Cho, K.-S., & Krashen, S. (1997). Free voluntary reading as a predictor of TOEFL scores. Applied Language Learning, 8, 65-69.
**In Chapter 6, HONG Sau Kuan addresses one of the key obstacles to successful extensive reading programmes. Good readers already enjoy reading. Thus, it is not difficult to motivate them to become active participants in extensive reading. Indeed, many of them do extensive reading on their own, regardless of what is happening at school. In contrast, slow readers may dislike reading. Thus, even a well-organized extensive reading programme with large quantities of appropriate materials may not succeed in enticing these reluctant readers to participate. To remedy this concern, Hong describes how she has used various strategies to increase the proficiency of slow readers in a Singapore primary school and, thereby, enhance their interest in reading.
Lie, A. (1997). The Reading and Writing Connection: Community Journal.
In Jacobs, G. M., Davis, C., & Renandya, W. A. (Eds.). Successful strategies for extensive reading. (pp. 161-170) Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
Forty-three international university students, currently living in the United States, filled out a questionnaire probing years of English study, length of residence (LOR) in the US, free reading habits in the first and second language, and TV watching. Despite the fact that subjects reported little reading in English, this variable was a significant predictor of TOEFL test performance. In addition, English study in the home country and length of residence in the US were also related to TOEFL scores. Available: http://pom-www.army.mil/atfl/ap/aj/ALLissues/all8_1.pdf
Lituanas, P. M. (1997) Collecting Materials for Extensive Reading.
In Jacobs, G. M., Davis, C., & Renandya, W. A. (Eds.). Successful strategies for extensive reading. (pp. 25-29) Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
**In Chapter 15, Anita Lie describes an extensive reading programme in Indonesia which encourages students to read literature by use of a community journal, an adaptation on dialogue journals. After students have read a literary work of their choice, they write a journal entry summarizing the work and giving a personal reflection on it. Peers then write responses on the entries. Many experts on extensive reading believe that a key element of successful programmes is the participation of teachers as active readers. In keeping with this concept, Lie participates in the community journal in the same way as her students.
Mason, B., & Krashen, S. (1997). Can extensive reading help unmotivated students of EFL improve? I.T.L. Review of Applied Linguistics, 117-118, 79-84.
**In Chapter 3, Propitas M Lituanas shares some of the strategies she has used to find materials for a classroom extensive reading programme in the Philippines. In developing countries finding adequate materials is very often a major difficulty. Faced with this difficulty, Lituanas did not give up. Based on her experience, she suggests turning for help to former and current students, libraries, fellow teachers, parents, businesses, foundations, community organizations, and government officials.
Mason, B., & Krashen, S. (1997). Extensive reading in English as a foreign language. System, 25, 91-102.
University level students of English as a Foreign Language in Japan, enrolled in a special class for students who had failed English, did a semester of extensive reading in place of the traditional curriculum. Their gains in reading comprehension were significantly greater than a comparison group of traditionally taught regular students, and they clearly enjoyed the class.
Mason, B., & Pendergast, T. (1997). Shitennoji Kokusai Bukkyou Daigaku (IBU) Eigo-ka ni okeru tadoku jugyou no naiyou (Tadoku Program at International Buddhist University). The Language Teacher, 21(5), 27-29, 49.
Three experiments confirm the value of extensive reading in English as a foreign language (EFL). In extensive reading, students do self-selected reading with only minimal accountability, writing brief summaries or comments on what they have read. In Experiment 1, "reluctant" EFL students at the university level in Japan did extensive reading for one semester. They began the semester far behind traditionally taught comparison students on a cloze test, but nearly caught up to them by the end of the semester. In Experiment 2, extensive readers outperformed traditionally taught students at both a prestigious university and a two-year college. In Experiment 3, extensive readers who wrote summaries in English made significantly better gains on a cloze test than a comparison class that devoted a great deal of time to cloze exercises. Gains made by extensive readers who wrote in Japanese were greater than comparisons, but the difference was not significant. Those who wrote in Japanese, however, made gains superior to both groups on a measure of writing and in reading speed.
McQuillan, J. & Tse, L. (1997). Let's Talk about Books: Using Literature Circles in Second Language Classrooms
In Jacobs, G. M., Davis, C., & Renandya, W. A. (Eds.). Successful strategies for extensive reading. (pp. 90-97) Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
This paper outlines the 13-year old Tadoku or Self-Selected Extensive Reading Program at International Buddhist University's Junior College. The program's classroom approach to Low Frequency Word vocabulary acquisition utilizes storytelling to complement at-home reading (goal: 1,000 pp./semester; Actual 700+pp). The paper sets forth the goals of the program, introduces a specially-designed 30-page "Orientation to Tadoku" booklet, describes the home-reading and classroom storytelling elements, explains evaluation procedures and results, and defines the conditions for a successful Tadoku program.
Nation, P. (1997). The language learning benefits of extensive reading. The Language Teacher, 21(5), 13-16.
**In Chapter 9, Jeff McQuillan and Lucy Tse describe how they encourage international students studying at a US university to read for pleasure by the use of small, self-selected, student groups which meet regularly to discuss books which students themselves have selected. Although students are working in their Literature Circles without direct instruction from teachers, McQuillan and Tse believe that teachers still have valuable roles. These roles include helping students form groups, advising students on which books to read, assisting with comprehension problems, unobtrusively observing group progress, and assuring students that pleasure reading can indeed promote language acquisition.
Rane-Szostak, D. (1997). Extensive Reading and Loneliness in Later Life.
In Jacobs, G. M., Davis, C., & Renandya, W. A. (Eds.). Successful strategies for extensive reading. (pp. 181-186) Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
*This paper reviews research on extensive reading for language learning. The author concludes:
The research on extensive reading shows that there is a wide range of learning benefits from such activity. Experimental studies have shown that not only is there improvement in reading, but that there are improvements in a range of language uses and areas of language knowledge. Although studies have focused on language improvement, it is clear that there are affective benefits as well.... However, the figures on repetition indicate that teachers need to be serious about extensive reading programs particularly in ensuring that learners do large amounts of reading. The benefits of extensive reading do not come in the short term. Nevertheless, the substantial long-term benefits justify the high degree of commitment needed.
Raptis, H. (1997). Is second language reading vocabulary best learned by reading? Canadian Modern Language Review, 53, 566-580.
**In Chapter 17, Donna Rane-Szostak explores the reasons why studies show that older people in the US who read extensively do not appear to suffer the loneliness often associated with our later years. She believes that extensive reading provides them with a feeling of competence, purpose, and enhanced self-esteem. While the other chapters in this book discuss extensive reading for children and young adults, this final chapter points out that extensive reading provides benefits for one's entire life. Thus, Rane-Szostak further motivates those of us working with the young to guide them to become life-long readers, and reminds us not to neglect our own reading habits.
Rodgers, T. (1997). Partnerships in Reading and Writing.
In Jacobs, G. M., Davis, C., & Renandya, W. A. (Eds.). Successful strategies for extensive reading. (pp. 120-127) Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
The role of vocabulary learning in reading has not received as much attention in second language research as other aspects of reading. Indeed, many reading textbooks currently on the market promote the view that vocabulary is best learned incidentally from the context while reading. This paper surveys both first-language and second language literature in order to show that, while theoretically sound, the notion that reading vocabulary may best be learned by reading is not supported empirically. As a result of these findings, increased research in vocabulary acquisition on the effectiveness of a variety of different levels is needed. With regard to practice, teachers need to focus on the specific needs of their learners rather than follow the approaches advocated by various textbooks Ð approaches which may not be empirically substantiated.
Rodrigo, V. (1997). Are students in intermediate Spanish courses aware of the benefits of reading? Hispania, 80, 255-264.
**In Chapter 12, Ted Rodgers describes a peer tutoring programme in Malaysia in which older students first read along with their younger partners. Later, the older student leads their partner to write a book in which the younger student is the main character. After a teacher edits the book, the older partner then illustrates it. Finally, the book is presented to the younger student, to be read again and again. Rodgers explains how the programme was set up and includes a sample of how two students worked together to create a book.
Sim-Goh M. L., Cockburn, L. & Isbister, S. (1997). Buddy Reading.
In Jacobs, G. M., Davis, C., & Renandya, W. A. (Eds.). Successful strategies for extensive reading. (pp. 65-80) Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
****In this article, the relationship between target language reading and target language acquisition is reviewed by focusing on the effect of reading as perceived by university level students of Spanish as a Second Language whose L1 is English. Based on questionnaire data, students' reactions to reading tasks are analyzed in relation to previous reading experience in the target language and the value students assign to diverse reading material - fairy tales, short stories, novels, etc. - as basic tools for work in their Spanish language class setting. This study concludes that students are indeed aware of the benefits of reading in the target language: helps develop linguistic competence, is a pleasant activity, and promotes interest in the target language as well as self-confidence as language users. Practical considerations for implementation of reading programs are introduced. Issues such as text selection criteria and popular reading topics are reviewed as well as factors that play a role in the reading comprehension process.
Smith, R. (1997). Transforming a Non-Reading Culture.
In Jacobs, G. M., Davis, C., & Renandya, W. A. (Eds.). Successful strategies for extensive reading. (pp. 30-43) Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
**In Chapter 7, "Buddy Reading" Sim-Goh Moye Luan, Laura Cockburn, and Shona Isbister describe a peer tutoring programme used to promote reading in Singapore primary schools. Some students and parents worry that peer tutoring benefits only the tutees. However, Sim-Goh, Cockburn, and Isbister explain that the tutors benefit also both cognitively and affectively by the application of their knowledge and skills. The chapter illustrates various aspects of Buddy Reading, including: a pair reading script; a guide, a checklist, and a programme for the training of tutors; and instruments for monitoring and evaluating the programme. The chapter concludes with the authors' plans for future development of the programme.
Tan, A. L. & Kan, G. Y. (1997). Reading Across the Curriculum.
In Jacobs, G. M., Davis, C., & Renandya, W. A. (Eds.). Successful strategies for extensive reading. (pp. 81-89) Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
**In Chapter 4, Robin Smith describes how an extensive reading programme in Brunei Darussalam helped to bring about a change in the whole way secondary students thought about reading. Whereas previously students read to memorize without necessarily understanding, extensive reading helped them read for meaning and to read for pleasure, not just for classwork. Smith explains the various strategies that he and his colleagues used. These strategies included reading aloud, setting up a self-access room, obtaining appropriate materials, and communicating with fellow teachers, parents, and with educators at the primary schools from which the students came.
Tiey, H. Y., Idamban, S. & Jacobs, G.M. (1997). Reading Aloud to Students as part of Extensive Reading.
In Jacobs, G. M., Davis, C., & Renandya, W. A. (Eds.). Successful strategies for extensive reading. (pp. 109-119) Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
**In Chapter 8, TAN Aik Ling and KAN Geok Yan share their experiences in guiding a bilingual, Singapore secondary school extensive reading programme. While extensive reading is often thought of as involving strictly the reading of fiction, this schoolwide programme has students reading materials from across the curriculum, with all the content areas contributing. In this way, the programme attempts to broaden students' reading interests. Pupils track their own reading, with teachers following up by such means as thinking questions.
Toh, G., & Raja, M. (1997). ELT materials: Some perceptions on the question of cultural relevance. Guidelines, 19(2), 45-72.
**In Chapter 11, TIEY Huay Yong, Saraswathy Idamban, and George M Jacobs writing from Singapore describe how reading aloud can be integrated into an extensive reading programme. Reading aloud, the authors believe, can help students develop a love for reading, introduce them to new books and genres, increase their language proficiency, improve their listening comprehension, and teach students how to read aloud. Yong, Idamban, and Jacobs provide suggestions on how to choose material for reading aloud and on how to read aloud.
Tsang, W-K. (1997). A model of extensive reading to improve ESL/EFL proficiency. Guidelines, 19(1), 22-33.
*This article begins with a discussion of the need to make English language teaching materials relevant to the cultures of L2 students. A project is described in which such materials were written for an extensive reading programme for students in a rural secondary school in Malaysia. To capture students' attention, the stories were kept to 150-200 words, a large font was used, and illustrations were included. Twenty-one of the stories are included.
Tup, F. & Shu, L. (1997). "First World - Third World": Two Extensive Reading Programmes at Secondary Level.
In Jacobs, G. M., Davis, C., & Renandya, W. A. (Eds.). Successful strategies for extensive reading. (pp. 10-24) Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
Intralanguage transfer (across modalities within the same language) is a source of acquisition of L2 proficiency. Reading is often considered relevant input in the acquisition of writing as well as general proficiency. This paper first reviews the literature on the role of input in ESL/EFL proficiency, establishing a prima facie case for reading as a source of relevant input. It also highlights a major problem with extensive reading schemes in Hong Kong which is competition for class time and teacher resources. The paper then presents a model of extensive reading field-tested in a Hong Kong secondary school in the format of an after-school work achievement contest, focusing on how it may avoid this major fault with existing extensive reading schemes and how it may be varied for use in other school systems. It finally concludes with a list of characteristics and benefits the model features.
Walker, C. (1997). A self access extensive reading project using graded readers (with particular reference to students of English for academic purposes). Reading in a Foreign Language, 11(1), 121-149.
**In Chapter 2, Faridah Tup and Lydia Shu describe extensive reading programmes at their schools in Singapore and Cameroon, respectively. While the income levels of their countries differ greatly, their extensive reading programmes share common elements. These include a system for grading the books, tests to diagnose students' reading levels, regularly scheduled time for uninterrupted sustained silent reading, strategies for helping students to read, and means of monitoring of students' reading. How these elements are implemented differs with the particularities of the school and the country.
Waring, R. (1997). Graded and extensive reading -- questions and answers. The Language Teacher, 21(5), 9-12.
In the context of a university English Language Centre, where students were preparing for tertiary level study through English, development of an adequate reading ability was perceived to be a problem. As a response to this perception, a self-access extensive reading project using graded readers was set up with the help of the Edinburgh Project in Extensive Reading (EPER). Feedback on the project was sought from students, who were also tested over three university terms. The results showed not only that progress as measured by test scores correlated positively with the amount of reading done, but also that students rated the project favourably.
Yamanaka, J. (1997). Extensive reading programs: One successful case. Trident Kiyo, 5, 110-128.
*The article begins by defining graded reading, "Graded Reading therefore involves the reading of material which has been made easy to read." A key link between graded and extensive reading is that, "Graded Reading uses specially prepared materials while Extensive Reading can, but need not do so." Next, reasons are given for the importance of graded reading: "building reading speed, lexical speed access, reading fluency, and the ability when reading to move from working with words to working with ideas." Motivation can also increase. The rest of the article deals with a number of questions about the use of graded reading, including how to help learners choose materials at a level appropriate for them, how to organize and assess the materials, and the link between intensive and extensive reading.
Yu, V. W-S. (1997). Encouraging Students to Read More in an Extensive Reading Programme.
In Jacobs, G. M., Davis, C., & Renandya, W. A. (Eds.). Successful strategies for extensive reading. (pp. 1-10) Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
It has been ten years since Trident School of Languages [Japan] started incorporating extensive reading into the reading program, where it has been a critical element in our reading curriculum. This paper explains why extensive reading is important for improving students' reading ability, how we integrate it into our reading program, how effective it has been, and problems and difficulties yet to [be] overcome.
Zhang, Z. (1997). Intensive reading: Getting your students to see the forest as well as the trees. English Teaching Forum, 35(1). Available online at http://exchanges.state.gov/forum/vols/vol35/no1/p40.htm
**In Chapter 1, Vivienne Wai-Sze Yu provides us with insights into the design of a large-scale extensive reading programme involving 149 Hong Kong secondary schools. Key components of this design include the full integration of extensive reading into the curriculum, an adequate supply of books that match students' reading levels and interests, an easy-to-use, quick feedback system which lets students check their own comprehension, teachers who act as facilitators and enthusiasts for the programme (including reading at the same time as students), and the creation of an overall reading culture in the schools.
Zimmerman, C. B. (1997). Do reading and interactive vocabulary instruction make a difference? An empirical study. TESOL Quarterly, 31, 121-140.
***Discusses two compulsory reading courses offered simultaneously for English language majors in China: Intensive reading (IR) and extensive reading (ER). Discusses how the role of IR has been challenged over the last two decades. Suggests that IR is still a valuable approach but that teachers need to revise their methods and procedures.
Many teachers give little or no classroom attention to vocabulary, assuming students will learn words incidentally. Although research demonstrates that vocabulary can be acquired indirectly through reading, the question remains: Does vocabulary instruction make a difference? This article reports on a pilot study of the combined effects of reading and interactive vocabulary instruction for U.S. postsecondary L2 students preparing for university entrance. A 10-week classroom-based study tested the hypothesis that L2 students exposed to a combination of regular periods of reading and interactive vocabulary instruction will show significant increases in their knowledge of the nontechnical terms that are used widely across academic fields. L2 students attending university-preparatory intensive English programs were divided into two groups: one received 3 hours a week of interactive vocabulary instruction plus an assignment to read self-selected materials; the other received the self-selected reading assignment only. The results of this study suggest that interactive vocabulary instruction accompanied by moderate amounts of self-selected and course-related reading led to gains in vocabulary knowledge; students' perceptions of how best to learn words corroborated these results. It is argued that teachers should give consideration to the effects of combining reading and interactive vocabulary instruction.
1998Bamford, J., & Day, R. R. (1998). Teaching reading. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 18, 124-41.
Barfield, A. W. (1998). Motivating reading fluency. W. In A. W. Barfield, (Ed.), University-based perspectives on English curriculum development(pp. 28-47). Tsukuba, Japan: University of Tsukuba, Foreign Language Center.
***Four approaches to the teaching of second language (L2) reading are described (grammar-translation, comprehension questions/exercises, skills and strategies, and extensive reading) and their status in the reading classroom is examined, and important issues in L2 reading are then discussed, including word recognition, affective and sociocultural factors influencing reading, vocabulary development, general language learning, and reading outside the classroom.
Bell, T. (1998). Extensive reading: Why? and How? The Internet TESL Journal, 4, (12). Available: http://iteslj.org/Articles/Bell-Reading.html.
This paper looks at how graded reader libraries can be used for first-year English reading classes as one important form of content-based learning. A basic rationale for graded reading is given, and a pilot extensive reading placement test is presented and reviewed. Various options are then set out for organizing a one-term term course of graded reading, before student feedback and wider questions of reading development are considered.
Cheah, Y.M. (1998). Nurturing the Singaporean reader. Reading, 32, 1, pp. 33-35.
An extensive reading program was established for elementary level language learners at the British Council Language Center in Sanaa, Yemen. Research evidence for the use of such programs in EFL/ESL contexts is presented, emphasizing the benefits of this type of input for students' English language learning and skill development. Practical advice is then offered to teachers worldwide on ways to encourage learners to engage in a focused and motivating reading program with the potential to lead students along a path to independence and resourcefulness in their reading and language learning.
Day, R. R., & Bamford, J. (1998). Extensive reading in the second language classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
*This article describes the efforts by the Singaporean Government at encouraging extensive reading for pleasure among the school children. It first describes what is known about the Singaporean reader. Then it discusses some of the Ministry of Education's initiatives to nurture the reading habit in students by describing some of the extensive reading programmes that have been introduced into schools.
Dupuy, B. (1998).Cercles de lecture: Une autre approche de la lecture dans la classe intermédiaire de français langue Étrangère. [Literature Circles: A different reading approach in the intermediate French classroom] The Canadian Modern Language Review, 54, 579-585.
*The book, comprising 15 chapters, is divided into three main parts. The first part is the more theoretical, beginning with an explanation of what extensive reading (ER) and various related terms, such as free voluntary reading, mean. The next chapters in this part situate ER in light of theories of the reading process, discuss the importance of affect and how ER can improve learners' attitudes toward reading, review research on ER, and consider the place of ER in the second language curriculum. The book's second part discusses a crucial issue regarding materials for use in ER programmes. The authors argue for the use of what they call language learner literature, works written or rewritten especially for language learners, e.g., simplified versions of well-known works. Day and Bamford go on to illustrate what is involved in creating good language learner literature. Further, the book's appendix provides a 49-page bibliography of recommended works of this type. The last and longest part of the book describes the nuts and bolts of running ER programmes, including setting up the programme, finding and organising the materials, orienting the students to the programme, creating an on-going community of readers, evaluating the programme, and, last but not least, the role of the teacher. They conclude by emphasising that although successful ER programmes differ in many regards, they all have one element in common: teachers who put their heart, soul, and mind into making the programme a success.
Reviews of this volume
Heal, L. (1998). Motivating large reading classes. Internet TESL Journal. retrieved 4 June, 1999.
In this paper, the author reports on an alternative reading approach for the intermediate foreign language class. It is an approach through which students are exposed to a great variety of books that they self select and discuss in their literature circles. After discussing the general principles of literature circles, the author will proceed to discuss how this approach can be implemented in the classroom.
Horst, M., Cobb, T., & Meara, P. (1998). Beyond A Clockwork Orange: Acquiring second language vocabulary through reading. Reading in a Foreign Language, 11, 207-223.
This article describes how group rewards were used to increase motivation in a reading class of 50 second-year students at a women's junior college in Japan. The class was built around the reading of a novel during the semester, with students reading a certain number of chapters per week as homework and discussing those chapters in class. Early in the semester, many students did not seem to be reading the assigned chapters, absenteeism was high, and when asked to discuss the chapters in groups, many students did not participate. In hopes of improving the situation, the teacher organized students into permanent groups of about five. At first, groups were given questions to answer about the chapters and were rewarded based on the order in which groups correctly completed all the questions. Later in the semester, groups wrote questions for other groups to answer and were rewarded on the quality of their questions, their ability to answer other groups' questions, and other groups' inability to answer their questions. Grades for the course were assigned by totaling groups' weekly scores, with some minor individual adjustment if a student was particularly diligent or particularly unparticipatory. The author reports that while some students continued to lack motivation, overall the reward system was a success as the class "became a scene of active group cooperation and communication".
Ji, Y. (1998). Sandwich stories for Chinese children. IATEFL Newsletter, 142, 9-10.
This replication study demonstrates that second language learners recognised the meanings of new words and built associations between them as a result of comprehension-focused extensive reading. A carefully controlled book-length reading treatment resulted in more incidental word learning and a higher pick-up rate than previous studies with shorter tasks. The longer text also made it possible to explain incidental learning growth in terms of frequency of occurrence of words in the text. But the general frequency of a word was not found to make the word more learnable. Findings also suggested that subjects with larger L2 vocabulary sizes had greater incidental word learning gains. Implications for incidental acquisition as a strategy for vocabulary growth are discussed.
Kim, H., & Krashen, S. (1998). The author recognition and magazine recognition tests, and free voluntary reading as predictors of vocabulary development in English as a foreign language for Korean high school students. System 26, 515-523.
*This article emphasizes the power of stories for promoting L2 acquisition, but points out that learners with low levels of proficiency in the L2 will have difficulty comprehending most available stories. Sandwich stories Ð ones that combine L1 and L2 vocabulary Ð are proposed as a solution for children ages five to seventeen learning English in China. The article describes how to make and use sandwich stories, and how to design a sandwich story syllabus that fits students' developmental level, interests, and needs.
McQuillan, J. (1998). The use of self-selected and free voluntary reading in heritage language programs: A review of research. In S. D. Krashen, L. Tse, and J. McQuillan (Eds.), Heritage language development (pp. 73-88). Culver City, CA: Language Education Associates.
In Author and Magazine Recognition Tests, subjects are asked to indicate whether they recognize authors and magazines. Stanovich, West and associates have demonstrated that performance on these measures is a consistent predictor of first language literacy development. In this study, these measures were also found to predict second language vocabulary among high school EFL students in Korea. Reported free reading in English was also related to vocabulary development, replicating previous research, but the effect of the author and magazine recognition tests was independent of free reading. Alone, the author recognition test accounted for 38% of the variance in the vocabulary test.
McQuillan, J., & Tse, L. (1998). What's the story? Using the Narrative Approach in beginning language classrooms. TESOL Journal, 7, 18-23.
The number of secondary schools and universities offering courses designed especially for heritage language (HL) speakers has increased dramatically in recent years (Collisten, 1994). Despite the appearance of a number of theoretical frameworks on how to approach HL instruction (Valdes, 1995; Merino, Trueba, and Sanmaniego, 1993) and the publication of several textbooks and proposed curricula ranging from traditional grammar instruction (Gonzales and Gonzales, 1991; Blanco, 1994; Sole, 1994) to communicative approaches (Roca, 1994), there has been little formal evaluation of the effectiveness of any of these methods. One exception is a small body of research on the promotion of self-selected, pleasure reading--what Krashen (1993) calls "free voluntary reading" (FVR)--in HL classes. This chapter reviews the literature on the use of FVR and self-selected reading with HL students, and discusses at what age and under what conditions HL courses may be most effective.
Mukundan, J., Ting, S. H., & Ali, A. G. (1998). Class readers. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia: Longman.
**The primary purpose of beginning-level L2 courses is to provide students with interesting and comprehensible language input in a low anxiety setting (Krashen, 1982). This article introduces an approach to language teaching that incorporates the best of existing comprehension-based methods, such as the natural approach, and is at the same time a radically different way of envisioning second and foreign language instruction. The narrative approach does not focus the syllabus on grammatical structures or thematically organized vocabulary but on a simple yet powerful medium that provides students input: interesting and comprehensible stories. We will outline the theoretical rationale and research support for the narrative approach and suggest how to implement it in beginning-level second and foreign language classrooms.
Pucci, S. L. (1998). What predicts second language reading success? A study of home and school vairables. I.T.L. Review of Applied Linguistics, 121-122, 1-18.
**This book provides readers with background knowledge on the Class Reader Programme which was implemented in Malaysia in 1990. It also serves as the teacher's guide for making full use of class readers for language development. It explores the use of different kinds of activities in greater depth than the Teaching Files which accompany class readers. Crucial issues associated with the use of class readers such as the importance of a cultural schemata and the use of cooperative learning are also included to equip teachers to make class reader lessons a pleasurable reading and learning experience.
Chapter 1 describes the historical background of the Class Reader Programme. Chapter 2 provides a variety of reading activities which can be carried out based on the class reader. Chapter 3 encompasses activities which develop the listening skill, speaking skill and writing skill in the context of class readers. Chapter 4 focusses on the development of language content in the context of class readers. Chapter 5 is aimed as a guide for teachers who are new in the area of teaching poetry. Chapter 6 is a collection of innovative ideas in material production which is interesting, yet effortless. Chapter 7 highlights the importance of cultural knowledge in comprehension of class readers. Chapter 8 includes a complete selection of lesson plans for teaching a class read, "King Solomon's Mines". Chapter 9 is an overview of emerging issues in the implementation of the Class Reader Programme. It deals with issues like the minimal use of cooperative group work and unproductive use of class readers.
Stokes, J., Krashen, S., & Kartchner, J. (1998). Factors in the acquisition of the present subjective in Spanish: The role of reading and study. I.T.L. Review of Applied Linguistics, 121-122, 19-25.
*This article reports a study of the correlations between L2 reading proficiency and a number of home and school variables, data for which were collected via self-report. Participants in the study were 23 fourth grade U.S. elementary school students who had Spanish as their primary language. Twelve were rated as proficient English readers, and 11 were rated as less proficient. Multiple t-tests found no differences between the two groups on many variables, such as time spent reading at home, time spent at school on self-selected reading, and time being read aloud to at home. However, the more proficient group were reportedly higher to a statistically significant degree on books in the home, recognition of book titles, positive attitude toward reading, and self-evaluation of reading ability. Based on these findings, the author recommends that school libraries be given greater emphasis as a source of reading materials.
Tomlinson, B. (1998). Letter to the editor. Reading in a Foreign Language, 12, 299.
University level students of Spanish were tested on their (acquired) competence in the subjunctive. Free reading in Spanish was a significant predictor of subjunctive competence, but length of residence in a Spanish-speaking country, formal study, and specific study of the subjunctive were not significant predictors. These results are consistent with previous research on free reading in English as a first and second language.
Tweissi, A. I. (1998). The effects of the amount and type of simplification on foreign language reading comprehension. Reading in a Foreign Language. 11(2), 191-206.
*This letter comments on two previous articles in the same journal. Two of the points that the letter makes are: (1) the relatively frequent encounters with vocabulary items that can occur in extensive reading may make the items more readily acquired without the use of explicit vocabulary instruction; (2) instead of replacing difficult vocabulary items in order to make extensive reading materials more comprehensible, an alternative would be to use repetition of these items. The author also comments on the design of research on extensive reading.
Wolkinson, D., & Burchfield, L. (1998). How one school made extensive reading work. English Teachers' Journal (Israel), 52, 69-72.
*** Analyzed whether variations in amount and type of linguistic simplification would create differences in the comprehension levels of Jordanian college students studying English. Students read different versions of a text and completed an achievement test. Simplification positively affected students’ reading comprehension. The type, not amount, of simplification affected comprehension. Too much simplification was not necessarily helpful.
*This article describes an English language extensive reading program at an Israeli junior high school. The program's initiation, guidelines and problems are discussed. Student surveys indicated an overall favorable response to the program. The authors make the following suggestions: provide incentives to encourage students to bring their books to class; hold meetings at which teachers work on criteria for evaluating students' book tasks, encourage teachers to conduct sustained silent reading (SSR) at conducive times and to maintain discipline during SSR; and involve students in deciding which books to purchase for the school library.
1999Gee, R. W. (1999). Encouraging ESL students to read. TESOL Journal, 8(1), 3-7.
Hayashi, K. (1999). Reading strategies and extensive reading in EFL classes. RELC Journal, 30(2), 114-132.
*This article presents ideas for encouraging a love of reading among ESL students at elementary and middle school level. The author begins by emphasizing the crucial nature of affective variables in reading, not only in determining attitude toward reading but also for increasing comprehension. In addition to attitude, these affective variables include motivation, beliefs, perceived task control, and perceived competence. Suggestions for enhancing affect include: open tasks in which students have opportunities for choice, challenge, control in organizing and planning, collaboration, connecting to the world beyond the classroom, understanding of why they are doing the task, and self-evaluation; ways of making easy books acceptable and difficult books accessible; allowing students to choose what they read and helping them to learn how to choose wisely; and a low-risk environment in which teachers act as facilitators and role models rather than evaluators, classmates are supportive, and time and space is provided for students to read and to share with one another about their reading.
Huckin, T & Coady, J. (1999). Incidental vocabulary acquisition in a second language. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 21(2), 181-192.
*This article reports a study in which 100 Japanese university students participated. The researcher investigated the effects of extensive reading on students' proficiency in English. Pre- and post-tests were used, but there was no control group. The extensive reading programme involved students in reading self-selected books and writing reports on these books. The teacher provided feedback on these reports. The researcher states that those students who read more experienced significantly greater improvement in reading ability and vocabulary knowledge, although apparently not in text reading comprehension. Questionnaire data suggest that the students believed the extensive reading programme had helped improve their English and that the teacher's comments on their book reports were useful. The study also investigated reading strategy use among students of varying proficiencies.
Jacobs, G. M., Renandya, W. A., & Bamford, J. (1999). Annotated bibliography of works on extensive reading in a second language. Reading in a Foreign Language, 12, 381-388.
**It is widely agreed that much second language vocabulary learning occurs incidentally while the learner is engaged in extensive reading. After a decade of intensive research, however, the incidental learning of vocabulary is still not fully understood, and many questions remain unsettled. Key unresolved issues include the actual mechanism of incidental acquisition, the type and size of vocabulary needed for accurate guessing, the degree of exposure to a word needed for successful acquisition, the efficacy of different word-guessing strategies, the value of teaching explicit guessing strategies, the influence of different kinds of reading texts, the effects of input modification, and, more generally, the problems with incidental learning. This article briefly surveys the empirical research that has been done on these issues in recent years.
Ji, Y. (1999). Communicative language-teaching through sandwich stories for EFL children in China. TESL Canada Journal, 17, 103-113.
*This is the first part of a two-part print version of the bibliography, the on-line version of which you are now reading. It contains an introduction to the bibliography, the subject index, and two sample entries. Part two, to appear in the next issue of the journal, contains the full bibliography.
Latha, R. H. (1999). A reading programme for elementary schools.English Teaching Forum, 37(4), 12-15, 20.
With more than 3.6 million presecondary schoolchildren (below 13 years of age) learning English as a foreign language (EFL) in mainland China, publishers have acted quickly to reap profits from this sector of the school market. Drop into any average-size bookstore and you will have no trouble at all collecting 20 to 30 kinds of EFL textbooks for children, almost all of which are advertised as being the latest in communicative language-teaching (CLT) and having "communication" as their main aim. Today, almost 20 years after CLT was first introduced into China, EFL practitioners in the Chinese mainland have generally come to agree with the idea of teaching English as communication. However, CLT textbooks are problematic in the primary EFL classroom. Communicative techniques fail to work and information gaps are found to be not "worth filling" at all. This article presents a discussion of two problems with current CLT textbooks for EFL children in China, followed by an explanation of the rationale for the use of stories and sandwich stories, as well as a demonstration of sandwich stories being used in the classroom.
Lituanas, P. M., Jacobs, G. M., & Renandya, W. A. (1999). A study of extensive reading with remedial reading students. In Y. M. Cheah & S. M. Ng (Eds.) Language instructional issues in Asian classrooms (pp. 89-104). Newark, DE: International Development in Asia Committee, International Reading Association. Available: http://extensivereading.net/er/bibdocs/lituanas_et_al.doc
*This article describes an extensive reading programme used with underpriviledged elementary school students in South Africa. Means of collecting reading materials and activities to use with them are described. Among the activities are: reading teams, poster displays, reciprocal teaching, and choral poems. Other features of the programme include parental involvement, reading/writing areas, a period of time in which everyone in the school reads silently, books given as prizes, and emphasis of critical literacy.
Malgwi, G. J. (1999). Building a class library using local folktales. English Teaching Forum, 37(3), 31-32.
****This book chapter reports a study designed to examine the effectiveness of an English-language ER program for remedial students at a public secondary school in the southern Philippines. Sixty first-year students at the school, 30 females and 30 males, who were to be assigned to remedial reading classes constituted the participants in this study. Using a matched-pairs design, each student was first matched with another of similar IQ, sex, socio-economic status, reading level, and past achievement. Then, one member of each pair was randomly assigned to the experimental remedial reading class, and the other member was assigned to the control class, so as to achieve balance on the variables in the two remedial reading classes.
A Pre-test - Post-test Control Group design was used. The dependent variable, reading proficiency, was assessed via two instruments: the Informal Reading Inventory (IRI) (Johnson, Kress, & Pikulski, 1987), which yields scores from 0-100 on reading comprehension, and the Gray Standardized Oral Reading Test (GSORT) (Gray, 1967), which measures reading speed and accuracy, and indicates the grade level at which the student is reading. Both instruments were administered twice, once two months before the six-month treatment began and again after the treatment had been carried out. During the six months, both the control and experimental groups received 40 minutes of regular English class daily, plus an additional 40-minute remedial reading class. In their remedial reading class, the control group was taught in the conventional way from a textbook which included lessons on vowel and consonant sounds, minimal pairs, reading and reciting poems, and reading short selections. The only silent reading the control group did--and this infrequently--was of these short selections from their textbook. In contrast, the experimental remedial reading group took part in an ER program, the core of which consisted of students reading texts of their choice and doing a variety of post-reading activities. Post-test scores showed that the treatment group outperformed their control group peers to a statistically significant extent.
Maxim, H. (1999). The Effects of Extensive Authentic Reading on First-Semester German Students' Reading Comprehension, Cultural Horizon, and Language Proficiency. Unpublished dissertation, University of Texas-Austin. UMI #99-47311
*This article describes how the lack of reading materials in Nigerian schools and the lack of a reading culture in students' homes is addressed by having students work in groups to tell each other and then write out local folktales. To help students with their writing, they read other storybooks. Illustrations and book covers are added after the teacher has given feedback on the writing. These books become part of a class library and can be exchanged with other classes.
Nation, P., & Wang, K. M.-T. (1999). Graded readers and vocabulary. Reading in a Foreign Language, 12, 355-380.
This dissertation investigates the effects of reading a longer, authentic text on the language proficiency, reading comprehension, and cultural awareness of beginning foreign language students. The introductory chapter places this project within the context of a profession that has witnessed a shift toward a student-centered approach that emphasizes verbal production over reading comprehension. Reading, despite capitalizing on the cognitive abilities adult learners literate in their native language bring with them to the foreign language classroom, typically appears only on the periphery of beginning instruction. Extensive reading, defined as the reading of unedited texts of several thousand words or more, is outcast to an even greater degree, barely even considered an option for the elementary level.
Chapter 2 reviews the research on foreign language reading in order to identify the rationale for extensive reading. Of central importance are the numerous text-extrinsic, reader-driven components of the foreign language reading process that allow adult students to overcome deficiencies in language proficiency. In addition, the fact that almost all of the reading research that informs current foreign language reading pedagogy has been conducted using short texts indicates a need for the profession to assess the feasibility of reading longer texts.
Chapter 3 presents the procedures for reading a longer, authentic text in the first-semester foreign language class. Two central premises guide the methodology. First, the majority of the extensive reading is done in class in pair and group work under the supervision of the instructor. Second, the reading is guided by a series of tasks designed to draw on students' existing cognitive skills for the purpose of (1) recognizing major events and the textual language used to convey these events, (2) reproducing textual language both orally and in writing, and (3) ultimately analyzing the events and textual language for cultural implications.
Chapter 4 describes the research design. During the course of the first semester, a treatment group (N = 27) followed the same grammatical syllabus as a comparison group (N = 32), but replaced all standard reading assignments in the textbook with daily readings of a 142-page German romance novel. The effects of the treatment were measured by the two groups' results on three assessment tools: 1) two standardized departmental exams; 2) a pre- and post-test consisting of written recall protocols of four texts, questions about readers' horizon of cultural expectations, and vocabulary-related questions; and 3) a pre- and post-treatment attitude survey.
In Chapter 5 the results on these three measures were statistically analyzed for significant differences between the two groups. Within-group recall scores and between-group attitude surveys were significant. In other words, each group's treatment was effective in increasing their respective recall scores while the treatment group indicated a significant change in reading behavior over the course of the semester as compared with the comparison group.
Chapter 6 presents conclusions and implications based on these data. First, students who followed an in-class, guided approach to reading were able to read a longer, authentic text in the first semester, thus opening the possibilities for increasing reading's role and broadening the options for instruction in the early semesters. Second, the lack of statistical significance between the two groups' performance on the two department tests and the post-test suggests that recycling authentic language through reading an extended discourse about a single set of characters provides an alternative approach to developing language proficiency in beginning language students. Moreover, such findings counter the argument that time spent in class reading will adversely affect beginning language learners' L2 development. Finally, post-treatment attitude survey results that indicated the treatment group perceived a significant change in their reading behavior suggest that increasing reading's role in beginning instruction potentially provides students with more appropriate skills for making the transition to upper-level language study.
Prowse, P. (1999). The secret of reading. English Teaching Professional, 13, 10-11.
This study looks at the potential for vocabulary learning using a corpus of forty-two graded readers from one series of graded readers (seven at each of the six levels in the series). It was found that in order to have 95% coverage of the running words at a level in the series, it was necessary to already know the vocabulary of the current level in the scheme. Most of the words in the scheme would be met often, particularly if learners systematically read several readers at each of the various levels in the scheme. Words which were introduced in the early levels of the scheme occur often in books written for the later levels of the scheme. Learners need to read about one graded reader per week in order to meet repetitions of the new words soon enough to reinforce the previous meeting. Graded reader schemes need to go up to the 5,000 word level in order to make the transition from graded readers to unsimplified texts easier.
Renandya, W. A., Rajan, B. R. S., & Jacobs, G. M. (1999). Extensive reading with adult learners of English as a second language. RELC Journal, 30, 39-61.
*This article briefly summarizes research that suggests that extensive reading is effective vehicle for second language learning. The research is divided into sections on primary, secondary, and adult learners. The 'Clockwork Orange Study' (Saragi, Nation, & Meister, 1978) and the mixed results of various follow-up studies are discussed. An article by the same author will appear in the next issue of the same journal. In that article, the author promises to provide practical answers to the question posed by a teacher of English as an Additional Language who worried about motivating students to do extensive reading, "They don't read in their own language. How on earth can I get them to read in English?"
Rodrigo, V., & McQuillan, J. (1999). Personal reading: An effective means to Spanish language acquisition by U.S. bilingual Hispanics. Lectura y Vida (Reading and Life), 20(1), 33-44
This paper reports on a study of the impact of extensive reading (ER) on the language proficiency of a group of Vietnamese government officials studying English. Two questions were of interest. First, we wanted to examine if ER could be successfully implemented with adult second language learners beyond traditional student age. Secondly, we were interested in the relationship between learning gain and a set of ER variables, such as amount of ER materials read, the extent to which this material was perceived to be a useful and enjoyable activity. The results indicated that older adult second language learners could indeed benefit from a carefully planned and systematically implemented ER program. Further, a regression analysis showed that amount of ER was the only significant predictor of participants' gain scores.
Rott, S. (1999). The effect of exposure frequency on intermediate language learners' incidental vocabulary acquisition and retention through reading. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 21, 589-619,
In this study, the effectiveness of using extensive reading to teach Spanish as a heritage language to U.S. Hispanic students was empirically assessed using vocabulary measures and student questionnaires. Results suggest that free or voluntary reading programs, in which students are allowed to choose their own reading material, read at their own pace, and in which reading is done for content provide two key advantages: Spanish language proficiency is greatly facilitated and reading habits are successfully promoted. The authors provide guidelines for teaching and propose implications for language acquisition models.
Seow, A. (1999). What do we really want out of USSR? Teaching of English Language and Literature (TELL) 15(2), 22-24.
Research has been investigating the role of reading, as one source of input, in language learners' vocabulary development. The present study was designed to examine whether intermediate learners incidentally (a) acquire and (b) retain unknown vocabulary as a result of reading. The study further assessed (c) the effect of the text variable of exposure frequency. Learners were exposed to unfamiliar words either two, four, or six times during reading. Vocabulary acquisition and retention measured productive and receptive knowledge gain. Results indicated that only two encounters with unfamiliar words during reading significantly affected learners' vocabulary growth. Moreover, two or four exposure frequencies resulted in fairly similar word gain, but six exposures produced significantly more vocabulary knowledge. Retention measures showed mixed results: On productive vocabulary knowledge only half of the subjects displayed a significant rate of retention. On receptive knowledge all but one experimental group retained vocabulary over 4 weeks.
Young, D. J. (1999). Linguistic Simplification of SL Reading Material: Effective Instructional Practice? Modern Language Journal, 83, 350-366
Uninterrupted Sustained Silent Reading (USSR) is a common reading strategy which many schools in Singapore have used to promote reading, albeit with varying degrees of success in implementation. Some schools are more successful in getting their pupils to appreciate and enjoy reading the USSR materials, while some other schools are less successful in carrying out the reading activity for various reasons. This article describes some significant similarities and differences between the USSR programme and another reading programme, the Extensive Reading Programme (ERP). According to the writer, USSR is best used as a prelude to ERP. Once pupils have formed the habit of sustained silent reading, they would then be ready for the more independent extensive reading programme.
Yu, V. W. S. (1999). Promoting second language development and reading habit through an extensive reading scheme. In Y. M. Cheah & S. M. Ng (Eds.) Language instructional issues in Asian classrooms (pp. 59-74). Newark, DE: International Development in Asia Committee, International Reading Association.
Linguistic simplification of authentic texts is a common practice in second language (SL) reading material but research results on whether it actually increases comprehension are inconsistent. This study examined the types of simplifications made to 4 authentic texts and investigated whether there were differences in recall scores based on whether students read simplified or authentic versions. Four different recall scoring methods were used to assess reading comprehension. Findings indicated that a high percentage of the modifications made were lexical in nature and that recall scores for the simplified texts were not superior to the authentic ones. Moreover, 1 scoring method in particular, scoring based on the number and weight of misunderstandings, led to significant insights into the relationship between text processing and reading comprehension.
****This chapter describes a territory-wide English extensive reading scheme implemented at upper primary and junior secondary levels in Hong Kong schools. The paper discusses the rationale for extensive reading and outlines the aims and features of the reading scheme. It also reports on an empirical study to evaluate the effectiveness of the scheme. The study investigated whether the scheme helped students acquire a reading habit in English and improve their English proficiency. Participants in the study were an experimental group (492 students), a control group (490 students), and 45 teachers from schools taking part in the scheme. All three groups completed questionnaires. Results suggested that students in the experimental group were more regular readers. However, only 27% included extensive reading in English as a favourite pastime, showing that a reading habit takes a long time to develop and continual structural support is necessary. As for language development, the experimental students were more confident of their reading ability, and evaluation of the scheme by teachers and students suggested that they perceived the programme as useful in developing such aspects of English as vocabulary, reading, and writing and in expanding students' knowledge of the world.
2000Barfield, A. (2000). The promise and practice of extensive reading: An interview with George Jacobs and Willy Renandya. Literacy Across Cultures, 3(2), 25-30.
Chow, P-H, & Chou, C-T. (2000). Evaluating sustained silent reading in reading classes. The Internet TESL Journal, 6(11), (November 2000). Retrieved January 5, 2013, from http://iteslj.org/Articles/Chow-SSR.html
Two Southeast Asia-based educators and a Japan-based educator discuss their experiences with and views on extensive reading. Among topics covered are their own reading development, influences from theory and research, what they have learned from their own students and fellow teachers, and practical issues, such as finding materials for extensive reading and encouraging student-student interaction as a way to promote extensive reading. Available: http://www.literacyacrosscultures.org
Day, R. R., & Bamford, J. (2000). Reaching reluctant readers. English Teaching Forum, 38(3), 12-17.
A literature review on the effects of incorporating sustained silent reading (SSR) in class was given and the key features of successful SSR were examined. A general assumption about reading is that students improve their reading ability by reading a lot. Research on native speakers of English and students of English as a second language has shown that the amount of time spent reading is related to students' reading comprehension and vocabulary growth. Students also develop more positive attitudes towards reading after the SSR programs. The effects are more prominent when the students are allowed to select their own reading materials and the SSR programs are run for 6 months or more.
Elley, W. B. (2000). The potential of book floods for raising literacy levels. International Review of Education, 46, 233–255. doi: 10.1023/A:1004086618679
*This article addresses the problem of how to encourage students to read extensively in an L2. The article begins with an explanation of what extensive reading is, the materials to be used, and the benefits that can derived from incorporating extensive reading in L2 instruction. The authors also discuss such matters as selecting reading materials, considering the impact of culture on reading, orienting students to read extensively, integrating extensive reading into the curriculum, following up on students’ reading, and role modeling by teachers.
Horst, M. (2000). Text encounters of the frequent kind: Learning L2 vocabulary through reading. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Wales, Swansea, UK.
The problem of raising literacy levels in developing countries is particularly challenging when pupils have their schooling in a non-native language. One promising strategy which has been tried and evaluated in the schools of several developing countries is the Book Flood approach. This article summarises the findings of Book Flood studies in Niue, Fiji, Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Solomon Islands, and several other countries.
The evidence is now strong that it is possible to double the rate of reading acquisition of Third World primary school pupils with a "Book Flood" of about 100 high-interest books, per class, and short teacher training sessions. The benefits for reading skill and enthusiasm are consistent across diverse cultures, mother tongues and age levels, and they appear to generate corresponding improvements in children's writing, listening comprehension, and related language skills. Such skills are typically found to develop very slowly under traditional textbook styles of teaching.
The problems of cost per school and cultural suitability of imported books are addressed. Several countries have adopted Book Flood programmes on a national scale, and others are currently planning to do so.
Hsui, V. Y. (2000). Guided independent reading (GIR): A programme to nurture lifelong readers. Teaching & Learning, 20(2), 31-39.
It is generally believed that reading in a second language is one of the main ways learners acquire vocabulary. Increased exposure to new words in context is assumed to result in increased vocabulary knowledge. However, good experimental evidence supporting this connection is hard to come by. Most available studies report only tiny gains in vocabulary knowledge as a result of reading. We believe this problem arises because experiments typically use insensitive methodologies and study the acquisition of only a few words.
Our research addresses these design issues. When we carefully controlled the conditions in which L2 learners read a text, we found clear evidence of a role for frequent exposures to new words. Although this experiment made a stronger case for the benefits of frequent encounters than previous studies, we felt results were limited by two factors: constraints on learning opportunities in natural texts and insensitive testing. Repeated readings of the same text proved to be a way of offering learners more frequent exposures to new words than are normally available, and a ratings scale allowed us to test word knowledge more sensitively. We implemented these innovations in two case studies that tracked the acquisition of hundreds of target words over many weeks.
Reporting learning results as matrices allowed us to identify growth patterns not picked up by more standard methodologies. The data showed that repeated reading of a single long text does result in substantial learning, but learning is unstable and non-linear. Matrix modelling predicted patterns of growth surprisingly well. Results also indicated that word knowledge gains were achieved over the course of repeated text exposures regardless of the overt informativeness of contexts surrounding unfamiliar items. Thus, the research confirmed that frequent text encounters with new words play a crucial role in the incidental acquisition of L2 vocabulary
Ji, Y. (2000, February-March). Sandwich stories as a bridge to authentic material: A developmental approach to teaching EFL reading to young learners in China. IATEFL Issues, 153, 12-15.
*This article describes a program designed to help primary and secondary school students who have yet to develop a love for reading. The program combines self-selected silent reading with reading aloud by the teacher, sharing with partners, and monitoring of individual and class reading. Among the sharing activities presented are: retelling all or part of the book, reading aloud favorite parts, and answering thinking questions about the book. It is stressed that these sharing sessions should be conducted in a non-judgmental, relaxed setting. Among the proposed benefits of such sharing is that students "need to be given an opportunity to express what excites or impresses them, to question what they have read, and to think individually and as a corporate body about their reading".
Lao, C. Y., & Krashen, S. (2000). The impact of popular literature study on literacy development in EFL; more evidence for the power of reading. System, 28, 261-270.
*This article discusses a technique for creating extensive reading materials for low proficiency level second language learners that addresses a key concern: how to create engaging materials given such learners' very restricted vocabulary size. Sandwich stories combine L1 and L2 vocabulary, using the L1 vocabulary for items thought to be beyond the current level of students' knowledge. Thus, sandwich stories allow for a balance, resulting in materials that are both interesting and comprehensible. The author discusses the history of and rationale for sandwich stories, how to make them, and how to move beyond them.
Lau, M. H. S. (2000). An investigation and comparison of the use of learner strategies: a case study of two secondary six students with different exposure to extensive reading in English. Unpublished master’s thesis, The University of Hong Kong.
University level EFL students in Hong Kong who participated in a popular literature class that emphasized reading for content and enjoyment, including some self-selected reading, made superior gains on measures of vocabulary and reading rate, when compared to students enrolled in a traditional academic skills class. Eighty-eight percent of the literature students felt that what they learned from the course would help them in other university courses, but only 12% of the traditional academic skills students had this opinion about their class. These results are consistent with previous studies showing that meaningful reading is an important source of literacy competence.
Moses, A. (2000). Quenching the thirst for narrative. Folio (Journal of MATSDA [Materials Development Association]), 6(1), 26-28.
The primary purposes of this study were to (1) identify the range and frequency of use of learner strategies employed by two secondary six students with different exposure to extensive reading of English in writing and reading tasks; (2) compare if there is a difference in the use of learner strategies between the students in the two language tasks and (3) explore whether, if there is a difference in the use of learner strategies, the difference is attributable to the difference in the two students' metacognitive knowledge.
The study first outlined the close relationship between extensive reading in English and learners' language development particularly in reading and writing, the taxonomies of learner strategies and types of metacognitive knowledge, the relationship between the use of learner strategies and language proficiency and between the use of learner strategies and metacognitive knowledge and verbal report methodology. Then, the background to the study was introduced. Following this was the main study which investigated the use of learner strategies between two Form six students in writing and reading tasks and its relation to metacognitive knowledge. In the main study, there were two student participants, one of high English proficiency and the other of low English proficiency. Students' language proficiency was determined by their exposure to extensive reading in English. Writing and reading tasks were given to the students to perform and they were invited to think-aloud their mental processing when attempting the tasks. At the end of the study, a semistructured interview was conducted with the students to explore their metacognitive knowledge.
It was found that the range and frequency of use of learner strategies of the student with high English proficiency was wider and greater than those of the student with low English proficiency. The metacognitive knowledge of the student with high English proficiency was relatively more comprehensive than that of the student with low English proficiency.
Raz, A. (2000, October). The extensive reading file: Let's be honest! English Teachers' Journal (Israel), 53, 96-98.
*In this article, the award-winning author of graded readers addresses those considering writing fiction for EFL students, and explores the similarities and differences in writing for the general public and the EFL market in terms of both language and content. She concludes that EFL writers "should not be afraid to aspire to the quality of literature.... When so many young adults claim that they 'don't like reading', it becomes more important than ever to ensure that the fiction we write for learners is as good as it can be, offering them enjoyment and intellectual stimulus, as well as assisting them in the development of their English" (p. 28).
Sin, M. (2000). The evaluation of the implementation of the Chinese extensive reading scheme in a secondary school: a school based action research. Unpublished master’s thesis, The University of Hong Kong.
***To find out whether her students really read all the books in their extensive reading files, one English-as-a-foreign-language teacher in Israel developed a questionnaire that examined how much the students read, whether the reading file should remain as it is, and whether students enjoyed preparing the reading files. Overall, the results were positive.
Von Sprecken, D., Kim J.Y. & Krashen, S. (2000). The Home Run Book: Can One Positive Reading Experience Create a Reader? California School Library Journal 23(2), 8-9.
The primary purposes of this study were to (1) identify the range and frequency of use of learner strategies employed by two secondary six students with different exposure to extensive reading of English in writing and reading tasks; (2) compare if there is a difference in the use of learner strategies between the students in the two language tasks and (3) explore whether, if there is a difference in the use of learner strategies, the difference is attributable to the difference in the two students' metacognitive knowledge.
The study first outlined the close relationship between extensive reading in English and learners' language development particularly in reading and writing, the taxonomies of learner strategies and types of metacognitive knowledge, the relationship between the use of learner strategies and language proficiency and between the use of learner strategies and metacognitive knowledge and verbal report methodology. Then, the background to the study was introduced. Following this was the main study which investigated the use of learner strategies between two Form six students in writing and reading tasks and its relation to metacognitive knowledge. In the main study, there were two student participants, one of high English proficiency and the other of low English proficiency. Students' language proficiency was determined by their exposure to extensive reading in English. Writing and reading tasks were given to the students to perform and they were invited to think-aloud their mental processing when attempting the tasks. At the end of the study, a semistructured interview was conducted with the students to explore their metacognitive knowledge.
It was found that the range and frequency of use of learner strategies of the student with high English proficiency was wider and greater than those of the student with low English proficiency. The metacognitive knowledge of the student with high English proficiency was relatively more comprehensive than that of the student with low English proficiency.
****Jim Trelease has suggested that one positive reading experience, one "home run" book experience, may be enough to get a child interested in reading. To test this hypothesis, we asked 214 fourth graders (age 10) if there was one book or reading experience that interested them in reading. 53% of the sample said they had had a home run book experience. Students mentioned a wide variety of books, which suggests that we should expose children to many different kinds of books.
2001Bell, T. (2001). Extensive Reading: Speed And Comprehension. The Reading Matrix 1(1).
Bouchaal, M. (2001). Extensive reading. The Newsletter of the
Moroccan Association of Teachers of English, 22 (2). Retrieved March
1, 2006, from
Claims that extensive reading could lead to significant improvements in learner's reading speeds date back thirty years, and the role of graded readers in programs to promote such reading has an even longer history. Studies that measure reading speeds have been relatively few and far between however, and those that do exist rarely evaluate reading speed in relation to the effect of different classroom methodologies in the teaching of reading. Early work on reading speed tended to focus on the development of techniques to help learners to read faster, and failed to recognize the importance of varying the speed according to the reader's purpose in approaching a text. Such techniques as have been employed on speed reading courses also tend to cause readers to suffer lower levels of reading comprehension. The study reported in this article was conducted in the Yemen Arab Republic on young adult students working in various government ministries. It measured both reading speeds and comprehension in two groups of learners exposed to "intensive" and "extensive" reading programs respectively. The "extensive" group was exposed to a regime of graded readers while the "intensive" group studied short texts followed by comprehension questions. Results indicate that subjects exposed to "extensive" reading achieved both significantly faster reading speeds and significantly higher scores on measures of reading comprehension. Available: http://www.readingmatrix.com/articles/bell/
Cho, K.S., & Krashen, S. (2001). Sustained Silent Reading Experiences among Korean Teachers of English as a Foreign Language: The Effect of a Single Exposure to Interesting, Comprehensible Reading. Reading Improvement, 38(4), 170-175. Retrieved May 16, 2004, from Questia database, http://www.questia.com.
*This is a general survey article on extensive reading. It concludes
with the statement: "I remain fully convinced that poor resources,
financial or logistic problems are the main obstacles to implementing
an extensive reading project. Reading materials are almost non existent
or are not readily available to students, if they do exist, they are
most of the time culturally irrelevant."
Grabe, W. & Stoller, F. L. (2001). Reading for academic purposes: Guidelines for the ESL/EFL teacher. In M. Celce-Murcia (Ed.), Teaching English as a second or foreign language (3rd ed., pp. 187-203). Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle.
**A single positive experience in self-selected reading of children's books resulted in a profound change in attitudes toward recreational reading among Korean teachers of English as a foreign language. Before the experience, few teachers reported that they did recreational reading in English. After the experience, nearly all teachers reported that they were interested in using sustained silent reading in their classes, and were interested in reading more in English on their own.
A single positive experience may not always be enough to stimulate a reading habit (H. Kim and Krashen, 1997). Clearly. follow-up studies of subjects' actual reading and teaching are necessary. Nevertheless... Providing such experiences is not difficult, and the payoffs are potentially enormous, especially in foreign language situations where other sources of English input are scarce.
Hill, D.R. (2001). Survey: Graded readers. ELT Journal, 55(3), 300-324.
Grabe and Stoller's chapter focuses on reading theory and practice as they apply to academic contexts. The authors outline central concepts underlying academic reading and their implications for instruction. They then highlight issues concerning the development of reading curricula including the analysis of needs and choosing appropriate texts and materials. They describe specific practices that build coherent and effective reading curricula. [In the chapter, Grabe and Stoller argue that extensive reading should be a central component of any course with the goal of building academic reading abilities. They also offer a list of ideal conditions for extensive reading.]
Lida, K., & Smith, A. (2001). Alternative assessment for graded readers. The Language Teacher, 25(8), 26-28.
*This survey review, written four years after the previous one, examines and analyses graded readers in general terms. It concludes with an in-depth look at the qualities of series in print.
Mitchell, C. B. & Vidal, K. E. (2001). Weighing the ways of the flow: Twentieth century language instruction. The Modern Language Journal, 85(1), 26-38.
*This article offers alternatives to the book report as means of assessing extensive reading. The alternative assessment ideas are writing a letter to a friend, creating an advertisement, doing a comic strip, constructing a timeline of events in the book including the participation of an additional character not in the book, writing a one-page sequel, writing a diary describing the feelings of a particular character at various stages of the book, interviewing a characters and providing the character’s answers, taping a talk about the book, and drawing a storymap.
Nation, I. S. P., & Deweerdt, J. P. (2001). A defence of simplification. Prospect, 16(3), 55-67.
A traditional metaphor for changes in language teaching methodologies has been that of a pendulum swinging back and forth. However, this historical review of methodology articles in the MLJ suggests a new, more dynamic, metaphor--that of a river flowing. We examine first the major mainstream methods discussed in the Journal, showing how they came into being and what caused them, as opposed to other methods, to become so strong. Then we examine other historical and academic factors that caused the methods to divert and divide into several channels. Finally, we suggest potential areas of exploration that might lead to the development of new water sources or the diversion of the current stream into new channels. The new metaphor and historical review of MLJ methodology articles allow us to see how our work has progressed over the years and how it has not just swung like a pendulum between two opposing positions.
[*"The Coleman Report and the Reading Method" is one section of the article. (Coleman's theses were that reading proficiency was the most realistic and relevant goal in secondary and tertiary foreign language instruction, and that reading was best taught through reading.) The article positions the Reading Method in the history of language teaching, from its appearance in opposition to both Grammar Translation and the Direct Method to its demise, supplanted by a new focus on oral proficiency during and after World War II. The section describes some of the debate and controversy that the Coleman Reading Method aroused in the fifteen years after it was put forward in 1929. The article does not mention post-war manifestations of extensive or graded reading, nor does it include "authentic vs. simplified" in its discussion of "diversion points" (i.e., dichotomies) in language teaching.]
Ng, S.M. & Sullivan, C. (2001). The Singapore reading and English acquisition program. International Journal of Educational Research, 35, 2, pp. 157-167.
This paper argues that simplified or graded readers are an essential part of a language learning program if learners of all proficiency levels are to have the opportunity to do incidental language learning through reading, and to develop fluency in reading. Unsimplified texts do not allow for this kind of learning at beginning and intermediate levels because they contain too great a density of unknown words and too many different unknown words. Evidence is provided to support this from a corpus study of versions of Dracula. Many criticisms of simplified texts apply only to poorly simplified texts and to the poor use of such texts in curriculum planning.
Robb, T. (2001). Extensive reading in an EFL environment. In J. Murphy & P. Byrd (Eds.), Understanding the courses we teach (pp. 218-235). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
English is an important language for multi-racial Singaporeans, and is the medium of instruction in Singapore schools from Year 1. During an extensive research study commissioned by the Ministry of Education, the Reading and English Acquisition Program (REAP), was introduced in 1985 to Year 1 classes in 30 primary schools. REAP was an integrated book-based program aimed at improving language learning, and fostering positive attitudes. It involved elements of Shared Book and Language Experience Approaches, suitably adapted to Singapore, and a Book Flood of high interest storybooks. Teacher workshops and advisory classroom visits were used to support Singapore teachers' classroom use of the project methodology. Numerous evaluation studies comparing REAP and NON-REAP children were conducted over several years, using individual and group tests of reading, listening, grammar, vocabulary, speaking and writing. REAP pupils consistently showed stronger performance in all language skills in Years 1–3, and the Ministry of Education resolved to extend the program to all schools in Singapore. Follow-up studies showed sustained effects, and the methodology is now integrated into the national syllabus.
Tinker Sachs, G. (2001, May-Nov). Transforming extensive reading lessons. New Horizons in Education, 43-44, 78-90. Retrieved October 25, 2008 from http://eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED463670&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED463670
**The Extensive Reading (ER) course is one of a series of seven courses for freshman English majors in the Faculty of Foreign Languages of Kyoto Sangyo University (KSU) in Japan. While many of the courses require little preparation outside of class, the ER course is one of the most demanding courses English majors take requiring up to five hours a week of outside preparation. In addition to the overall goal of increasing the students' reading abilities (their levels of comprehension, speed, increased reading vocabulary, and reinforcement of basic grammatical structure through reading), a more specific objective of the ER course is to foster more efficient reading habits, particularly to decrease the students' reliance on dictionaries and to develop increased levels of tolerance for ambiguity. An incidental benefit of the ER course is the considerable practice in summary writing required of students as proof of their having completed required reading tasks.
The course uses two distinct types of materials, the SRA Reading Laboratory Kit for in-class work, and an outside reading library containing American "youth literature." The titles held include old standbys such as The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, as well as such favorites as the many books by such authors as Judy Blume, Eve Bunting, Beverly Cleary and Gordon Korman. Only books for which no Japanese translation is available have been chosen to remove the temptation to do their reading in Japanese. The basic goal of the outside reading component is to read 1,100 pages for a passing grade of 60, or up to 2,000 pages for the maximum grade of 100 over the span of the course, from April to the following January with a total of approximately 25 class meetings. A 'factor' is assigned to each text in order to compensate for variations in text density. The target goal is therefore calculated in terms of 'adjusted pages' which are calculated by multiplying the actual pages read by this factor. Students summarize their reading in a notebook kept for this purpose. The notebooks are reviewed weekly in class by their instructor while the students are attending to the SRA material. Preliminary training is given in summary writing. Before starting to read books of their own choice, all students read and summarize two graded readers. Their resulting summaries are compared with a model summary as an initial in-class activity. Students are assessed on the total pages read (60%), the number of SRA sets read in class (20%) and their final SRA color (reading) level.
U, A. (2001). Opening up the minds of ESL learners to read the minds of English writers.
English Teacher: An International Journal, 4, 206-216. Available: http://repository.au.edu/bitstream/handle/6623004553/14089/au-netij-v4-n3-3.pdf
Extensive Reading (also known as ERS or the Extensive Reading Scheme) in many Hong Kong schools is viewed, organised and promoted in very narrow and limiting terms. Traditionally, ERS is enacted in the selection and reading of a book followed by the completion of the relevant book card. This paper challenges the prevailing paradigm and encourages teachers to transform their ERS lessons by adopting approaches that will activate and enhance pupils' engagement with the ERS books and ultimately reap long term benefits in EFL/ESL learning. These approaches include making the aesthetic and affective dimension integral to ERS as well as the promotion and adoption of a Vygotskyian social interaction framework in the structure and design of the activities. A description, examples and illustrations of the activities to promote the two approaches are provided for classroom practitioners.
Wong, C. K. (2001). What We Know after a Decade of Hong Kong Extensive Reading Scheme. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED458806.
***Examines English-as-a-Second-or-Other-Language learners preparing for further academic studies with a focus on their reading abilities at both the pedagogical and real-world level. Discusses how use of reading journals in extensive reading and post-reading activities open up their minds to read the minds of English writers in different contexts.
Wood, K. D., Roser, N. L., & Martinez, M. (2001). The Reading Teacher, 55(2), 102-111. [email: firstname.lastname@example.org]
***If literacy is defined as the ability to read and write, in the context of Hong Kong, literacy is more commonly known as language proficiency. The introduction of the Hong Kong Extensive Reading Scheme in English (HKERS) in 1991 aimed to motivate the students to read and thus enhance their English proficiency. Yet, as of 2001, after a decade since its introduction, motivating students to read more English is still a daunting job. The attitude towards English reading among the students of Hong Kong remains negative, and the motivation to read stays at the same low level. Concern about declining English proficiency among the students is still widespread. If biliteracy (mastered written Chinese and English) and trilingualism (speak fluent Cantonese, Putonghua, and English) are the ultimate aims of Hong Kong is education policy on language proficiency, then that policy is a long way from realizing its goals. This paper attempts to look into the reasons why the English proficiency level has not changed much since the introduction of the HKERS and suggest what can be done further to make HKERS work best for the students of Hong Kong. It is suggested that general reading skills be strengthened, a favorable environment for reading be created, labeling be eliminated, the connection between reading and writing be more effectively understood, and a wide selection of authentic and relevant reading materials be made available.
Yang, A. (2001). Reading and the non-academic learner: a mystery solved, System, 29(4), 451-466.
*This article introduces the term collaborative literacy which the authors define as "a multidimensional term to describe how engaging students in group activities to read discuss, and analyze literature on the theme of working together can help them learn many of life's important lessons. In turn, this engagement reinforces their ability to work collaboratively."
The authors provide a list of books at various reading levels on the theme of working together. They illustrate the discussions that ensued when these books were used in a Book Club approach. The authors also offer a discussion of the early roots of cooperation, including cooperation among other animals besides humans, as well as advice on how to help students learn to work collaboratively.
**Research indicates that language learners benefit from reading extensively in the L2. In addition to being exposed to a large amount of language input, learners have the opportunity to engage in academic discourse as a novel is discussed in class. The benefits for the academic learners seem evident, but what about the non-academic learners? This study investigates the effects of reading mystery novels on Hong Kong adult learners studying English for the purposes of pleasure and/or career development. Results of the comparison study show that novel readers made substantial proficiency gains and that there were important motivational benefits as well.
2002Bruton, A. (2002). Extensive reading is reading extensively, surely? The
Language Teacher, 26 (11), 23-25.
Crawford Camiciottoli, B. (2001). Extensive reading in English: Habits and attitudes of a group of Italian university EFL students. Journal of Research in Reading, 24(2), 135-153. [Available online by subscription.]
*In this article, Bruton argues that the term extensive reading should
really apply to amount of reading. Amount can be amount of new text read,
amount of any text read (including repeated reading), breadth of reading
(variety of text types), or time spent reading. He criticizes Day &
Bamford (e.g., 1998) for calling extensive reading an approach, as this
means extensive reading has a central rather than a properly peripheral
role. Further, Day & Bamford's extensive reading "approach" is not novel,
is flawed because vocabulary and other gains are not well supported by
research, and is contradictory in many respects (e.g., emphasizing pleasure
reading but recognizing assessment; emphasizing choice but recognizing
class readers). As an alternative, the author suggests that the most significant dimensions
for supervised foreign language reading are (a) whether or not everyone is reading the same text, and (b) whether or not the reading is supported by tasks.
Davidson, H. (2002). Post script to A Defence of simplification: Redefining "beginner". Prospect, 17(3), 69-77. Retrieved January 2, 2005 from http://www.nceltr.mq.edu.au/prospect/17/pros17_3hdav.asp.
Although extensive reading is now recognised as an important element of language instruction, it appears that EFL students specialising in business studies do little reading in English beyond course requirements. This study illustrates the findings of a survey of reading frequency and attitudes related to extensive reading in English. A questionnaire administered to 182 Italian EFL students at the University of Florence showed that even if frequency of reading in English is quite low, attitude towards it is clearly favourable. In addition, multiple regression analysis was used to determine potentially influential factors. Reading in Italian and experience abroad were significantly correlated with both reading frequency and attitude. The correlation between past access to English books and reading attitude approached the significance level. A negative correlation was found instead between the number of years of past English study and reading attitude. These findings are useful for defining appropriate instructional actions and identifying areas for further research, with the aim of more effectively promoting extensive reading in English.
[Comment:]Camiciottoli, (2001) found only a correlation approaching significance between self-reported previous reading habits and present reading attitude of 182 Italian EFL students who completed a survey on past reading practices and attitude towards reading. While a significant negative correlation was found between willingness to read and number of years of previous study. However, the cause of reported correlations are not known; past reading might be dependent upon a third unknown construct. The inferences made by the author are based on self-declared past reading frequency, and while the presence of reliability figures might assist the researcher argue that their inferences are valid, no such figures were reported. [S. McLean]
Dawson, N. (2002). Jogging to language competence. The Language Teacher, 26
This paper compares a newly published set of readers, The Great South Land (Davidson and Court 2001) for beginner ESL/EFL students with other materials which are described by their publishers as suitable for beginners, and in particular, with those analysed by Nation and Deweerdt in the December 2001 edition of Prospect.
Eskey, D.E. (2002). Reading and the teaching of L2 reading. TESOL Journal, 11, 1, pp. 5-9.
*This short discussion of extensive reading (a Longman advertising feature)
uses exercise as a metaphor for reading instruction. Extensive reading in
many ways resembles jogging. As it is under the control of the individual,
the teacher's role "is to inspire, suggest, sustain, guide, and enthuse."
In contrast, intensive reading is like weight training with a personal
trainer, requiring great effort and close supervision. The article also
summarizes the history of grading texts (Michael West's vocabulary control;
structural grading), and mentions comprehensible input, and the
Ghosn, I. K. (2002). Four good reasons to use literature in primary school ELT. ELT Journal, 56 (2), 172-179.
*In this article, Eskey proposes a three-dimensional model of reading, beginning with a psycholinguistic definition ("Reading is acquiring information from a written or printed text and relating it to what you already know to construct a meaning for the text as a whole"), and then adding sociolinguistic (joining the literacy club) and individual (each person is cognitively and affectively distinct from others) elements to the model. Eskey contends that it is necessary for an educator to understand the reader in each of these three aspects. He then addresses the question: How do people learn to read and to read better, especially in a second or foreign language? To become skillful readers, apprentice readers must read a lot; Engaging in extensive reading behavior is a prerequisite for developing reading skills. Thus, a major part of the reading teacher's job is to introduce students to appropriate (the right level; interesting; relevant) texts, and induce them to read such texts in quantity. The teacher's second important job is to teach productive reading strategies. In these ways the teacher motivates and facilitates reading.
Grabe, W. (2002). Reading in a second language. In R.B. Kaplan (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of applied linguistics (pp. 49-59). New York: Oxford University Press.
The teaching of English as a foreign language in primary schools is gaining popularity throughout the world. Many countries are also using English in the upper grades as the vehicular language for all or part of the general curriculum. It is therefore important to identify the types of materials that best prepare pupils for academic work in L2. The traditional structurally-based texts and the newer, integrated, communicative courses might not be sufficient for the demands of the academic classes. On the other hand, a syllabus that is based, or that draws heavily on authentic children's stories, provides a motivating medium for language learning while fostering the development of the thinking skills that are needed for L2 academic literacy. Literature can also act as a powerful change agent by developing pupils' intercultural awareness while at the same time nurturing empathy, a tolerance for diversity, and emotional intelligence. This is an important consideration at a time when our world is becoming smaller, yet increasingly hostile.
Hassan, F. (2002). Developing competent readers. In M.K. David, & F. Hashim, (Eds.), Developing reading skills (pp.107-139). Malaysia: Sasbadi Sdn. Bhd.
*In this chapter, Grabe discusses the following topics: (1) different purposes for reading, (2) definitional criteria for fluent reading, (3) individual processes in reading, (4) social factors that influence reading, (5) some specific L2 reading issues and (6) reading instruction. On the basis of research in both L1 and L2 reading contexts, ten implications for L2 reading instruction are established, one of which is extensive reading. Grabe contends that "[g]iven that reading efficiency is dependent on rapid and automatic word recognition and a large recognition vocabulary, extensive exposure to L2 texts through reading is the only learning option available to L2 students" (2002, p. 56).
Jacobs, G., & Gallo, P. (2002, February). Reading alone together: Enhancing extensive reading via student-student cooperation in second-language instruction. Reading Online, 5(6). Available: http://www.readingonline.org/articles/art_index.asp?HREF=jacobs/index.html
The ability to read is an important skill as 'learning, both in school and beyond, largely depends on information derived from texts' (Ulijyn and Salager-Meyer 1998:80). In many countries, such as Malaysia, a good ability to read not just in L1 but also in L2 is important for academic advancement and for professional and self-development. Therefore, designing effective reading programmes poses a challenge for curriculum planners and this is especially so in L2. This chapter seeks to provide a pedagogical framework for reading in L2 which bridges the gap between theory and practice. It provides a definition of reading which is followed by the COMPETENT reading framework. [The 'N' component of this framework (i.e. Nurture reading habit) emphasizes the importance of extensive reading. Citing Day and Bamford (1998), the author devotes a three-page discussion on the characteristics of extensive reading, its benefits and some ER programs in Malaysia.]
Karp, A. S. (2002). Modification of glosses and its effect on incidental L2 vocabulary learning in Spanish. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of California, Davis. UMI AAT 3051537.
*This article presents a rationale and practical suggestions for adding the element of cooperation among second language learners to the solitary task of silent reading. When extensive reading (ER) is supplemented with cooperative learning (CL), peers may be able enhance ER by: modeling enthusiasm for reading, acting as resources for finding existing reading materials, creating more reading materials, facilitating comprehension, and serving as an interactive audience for sharing about what has been read. A variety of CL techniques are presented with examples of how they can be combined with ER. Photos show a class of upper primary school students in Singapore using some of the CL techniques.
Krashen, S. (2002). Access to books or tests and rewards? A comment on Guastello. Available [along with the article by Guastello] athttp://www.sll.ocps.net/informed/april_26_02.htm.
Although learners may acquire L2 vocabulary incidentally through extensive reading alone, unfamiliar words are better acquired after a single exposure when the learner has been drawn to notice form-meaning relationships, such as through glossing. Which gloss type best suited for achieving this effect is still unknown. Two theoretical approaches receiving much attention on this issue are the dual-coding effect, associated with multimedia glosses, and the inferring method, which characterizes multiple-choice glosses. The goal of this research study was to examine vocabulary growth by intermediate and advanced university-level Spanish learners engaged in reading comprehension exercises as a function of the input modifications linked to target words in the texts they read. Vocabulary development was examined through the effects of input modifications in the form of textual glosses, multiple-choice glosses, multimedia cues (i.e., text + pictures), and multiple-choice multimedia glosses. While reading comprehension was assessed using recall protocols, vocabulary growth was measured in terms of depth of word knowledge combining three categories: meaning (i.e., the dictionary definition), grammatical knowledge, and word association knowledge. In addition, the retention of vocabulary knowledge over time was measured. Furthermore, this study investigated the effects that individual differences regarding vocabulary size exert on vocabulary learning in light of current research on the use of glosses, multimedia cues, and interactive tasks for language instruction. Five groups of second-year Spanish learners, 80 students total, were directed to use the web-based reading program Reading Spanish Online, developed by the author of this study. Participants completed three reading tasks, including vocabulary pre- and post-tests, as well as comprehension measures for each text, over the course of a 10-week academic quarter. The main findings of the study were that less proficient learners (with small vocabulary size) accessed glosses more often, but glossary use did not significantly predict greater depth of word knowledge. However, more proficient learners did demonstrate greater vocabulary knowledge. Glosses involving only definitions predicted the greatest glossary use, but gloss type had no effect on vocabulary knowledge. Finally, neither gloss type nor glossary use predicted reading comprehension, whereas both greater proficiency and greater vocabulary knowledge did.
Leung, C. Y. (2002). Extensive reading and language learning: A diary study of a beginning learner of Japanese. Reading in a Foreign Language, 14(1). Available online at http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/April2002/leung/leung.pdf.
****Guastello (2002) claimed that parents of children who did accelerated reader (AR) [a program in which students take computerized quizzes on books they have read] had improved in their reading. The lack of actual data and the lack of a comparison group, however, prevents us from concluding that that AR was effective. If it was effective, we do not know if the increased access to books was the causative factor or whether the tests and rewards were the cause. Previous research supports the former but not the latter.
Lightbown, P. M., Halter, R. H., White, J. L., & Horst, R. H. (2002). Comprehension-Based Learning: The Limits of 'Do it Yourself'. Canadian Modern Language Review, 58,(3), 427-464.
Motivated by the continued growth of research on extensive reading as well as the positive results from a variety of studies (e.g., Bell, 2001; Camiciottoli, 2001; Elley & Mangubhai, 1983; Mason & Krashen, 1997; Nash & Yuan, 1992; Renandya, Rajan, & Jacobs, 1999; Tse, 1996; Walker, 1997), an investigation was conducted on the impact of extensive reading on an adult's self-study of Japanese over a 20-week period. Data were collected from multiple sources, including a learner diary, audio-recordings from several private tutorial sessions, and vocabulary tests. The results of this study show that extensive reading can enhance vocabulary acquisition and reading comprehension, and promote a positive attitude toward reading. The challenges that the learner encountered during the extensive reading process and how they were dealt with are also addressed.
Maxim, H. H. (2002). A study into the feasibility and effects of reading extended authentic discourse in the beginning German language classroom. The Modern Language Journal, 86(1), 20-35.
In previous publications, the authors reported on the English skills of students who had learned ESL in an experimental comprehension-based program [consisting of a combination of extensive
reading activities and extensive listening activities]. The performance of grade 4 and 5 students with two or three years of reading and listening was compared to that of students with three years of audio-lingual instruction. On most measures, the students in the comprehension-based program performed as well as or better than the comparison group (Lightbown, 1992a; Lightbown & Halter, 1989). In the present paper, the authors report on a follow-up study carried out when students were in grade 8. After six years of an
essentially comprehension-based program in ESL [again a combination of
extensive reading activities and extensive listening activities], they
performed as well as comparison groups of students on measures of
comprehension and some measures of oral production but not on measures of
written production. This paper includes a description of some particular gaps in the written language of students in the comprehension-based program, includes a follow-up study with secondary school stduents who had been involved in an experimental program for learning English as a second language (ESL) in primary school, and concludes with a discussion of the need for pedagogical guidance for the development of writing skills.
Mori, S. (2002). The relationship between motivation and the amount of out-of-class reading. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Temple University, Tokyo. UMI AAT 3040345
Despite efforts to integrate all levels of foreign language instruction, reading remains on the periphery of beginning language study. Reading extended texts is outcast to an even greater degree. This article addresses this issue by presenting the design, results, and implications from a study involving beginning college-level language students who read a 142-page romance novel in their first semester of German. During the semester, the treatment group (N = 27) followed the same standard first-semester syllabus as the comparison group (N = 32), but replaced all standard reading assignments in the textbook with daily in-class readings of the romance novel. The effects of the treatment were assessed on the basis of the two groups' results on (a) three departmental exams and (b) a pretest and posttest consisting of written recall protocols of 4 texts and vocabulary-related questions. A statistical analysis of these two measures yielded 2 central findings. First, students were able to read a full-length authentic text in the first semester. Second, the treatment group performed as well as the comparison group on the three departmental tests and the posttest, which runs counter to arguments that time spent reading in class adversely affects beginning language learners' second language development. Curricular and pedagogical implications of these findings are discussed.
Nation, P. (2002). Managing vocabulary learning. Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
The present study deals with the roles motivation plays in EFL students' reading habits by attempting to achieve the following goals: (a) to identify the components of English learning motivation, English reading motivation, and task-specific motivation for a sample of university EFL learners in Japan, and (b) to investigate possible relationships between the identified components of motivation and the amount of independent reading in English done by the learners. The participants (N = 262) in this experiment were first and second year English/non-English major students at a four-year women's university in Japan. Data obtained for the study was derived from two major sources: a questionnaire and an extensive reading assignment. The data was analyzed using principal components analysis in order to identify motivational subcomponents and multiple regression analysis was performed in order to investigate the relationship between some subcomponents of motivation and the amount of reading. The results of the principal components analysis indicated there may be seven independent motivational subcomponents in the questionnaire pertaining to motivation to read and learn English, and five independent subcomponents in the questionnaire pertaining to motivation to work on the task. Those subcomponents were defined as Intrinsic Value of Reading and Learning English, Integrative Orientation, Expectancy for Success, Attainment Value of Reading and Learning English, Interest in Cultures, Grade-related Extrinsic Utility Value, Effort, Intrinsic Value of the Task, Attitudes Toward Procedures of the Task, Extrinsic Utility Value of the Task, Attitudes toward Stories in the Task, and Cost. The results of multiple regression analysis suggested that among these identified motivational constructs, Expectancy for Success, Cost (perceived negative consequences of engaging in the task), Intrinsic Value of the Task, and Attitudes Toward Procedures of the Task are significant predictors of the amount the students read outside of class.
Powell, S. J. (2002). Extensive Reading and its Role in the Future of English Language Teaching in Japanese High Schools Unpublished manuscript.
*This short, practical booklet in the RELC Portfolio Series looks at a number of approaches to effective vocabulary teaching. One of the seven chapters in the booklet is devoted to the discussion of extensive reading and how it can be adopted to promote vocabulary learning. A total of eight principles of extensive reading are outlined and some factors to set up an extensive reading programme are considered.
Prowse, P. (2002). Top ten principles for teaching extensive reading: A response. Reading in a Foreign Language, 14(2). Available online at http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/October2002/discussion/prowse.pdf.
**The aim of this article is to present the case for making greater
use of extensive reading in English in Japanese high schools. It begins
with a review of the current literature on extensive reading, exploring
its characteristics, the theory behind it and the evidence for its
benefits. It then goes on to contrast extensive reading with the
traditional grammar translation methodology still prevalent in Japanese
high schools. Part 5 includes a profile of an extensive reading
programme already operating in one Japanese high school that includes
both a class reader and homework reading, while Part 6 introduces a
survey of the reading habits of the students on this programme.
Finally, the results of this survey which include an apparent change in
the students' attitude to reading in English will be seen to support
the conclusion that extensive reading could and should have a
significant role to play in EFL programmes in Japanese schools.
Robb, T. (2002). Extensive reading in the Asian context -- An alternative view. Reading in a Foreign Language, 14(2). Available online at http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/October2002/discussion/robb.pdf.
*Prior to reading Day and Bamford (2002), the author formulated his own list of top ten principles for teaching extensive reading. He concludes,
My only real point of difference with the authors of this article is the stress I would lay on exploiting the recordings of readers to stimulate reading by giving 'tasters', to get them into books when reading is impossible (eg in the car, or out running), to listen while reading to improve speed and pronunciation, and indeed to listen instead of reading. There is little or no research evidence as yet, but my hunch is that listening to lots and lots of readers could have similar effects on language acquisition.
Wahjudi, A. (2002). Come to an enjoyable class: EFL extensive reading. TEFLIN Journal, 13(2). Retrieved April 23, 2011, from http://journal.teflin.org/index.php/teflin/article/viewArticle/197
****Robb argues that the principle of learners being responsible for their own learning, an underlying principle of Day and Bamford's approach to
Extensive reading, may not extend to the teaching/learning cultures of
many non-Western societies. He points out that in institutionalized
settings in many parts of Asia, where the priorities of the students favor
extracurricular activities, such as, part-time jobs, clubs and social life,
over learning, simple encouragement will not be effective with the majority
of one's students. Instructors have a responsibility to see that all
students learn despite other distractions they might have, even if this
requires cracking our pedagogical whips.
Robb also mentions that in Japan, there often is no dedicated reading
class, and the common prescription of "one book a week" might be too
demanding in such cases. Finally, he argues for the necessity of a
tracking mechanism in order to hold the students accountable for what they
have claimed to have read.
Zhang, Y.H. (2002). On the feasibility of offering an extensive reading course in senior middle school English classes. Unpublished MEd thesis, Shan’xi Normal University, Xi’an, China.
This paper argues that an Extensive Reading Class is not a place for reading only, where students read and, therefore, may become better readers. In fact, lots of interaction among students, between student(s) and teacher, can happen, and this happens in an EFL natural situation. The students have something to talk about and are ready to share with the teacher and the other students what they have read. Questions asked are real questions, not comprehension or leading questions. Higher level questions, asking for opinions and feelings, are asked without the students being told to ask these kinds of questions. Students' opinions and feelings are expressed simply because they are necessary. Because of its potential as a place where students can exercise somewhat real language with little burden, if any, the writer suggests that Extensive Reading courses be offered at all levels in the English Department, starting from the first year.
With economic reform and open policy furthered and developed, English as a major means of transcultural intercourse is playing a more and more important part in international transaction, business trade and technical cooperation. However, the present English teaching of senior middle schools can’t meet the needs of quickening advancement of social economical and cultural development. Because of the limited input channels and input amount of related knowledge, the students are weak in cultural consciousness. So it is not surprising that they can’t use English fluently and properly in practical communication. In reading classes, large quantities of time are spent in explaining new words and drilling English grammar items over and over again. As a result, these students can neither meet the requirements of the college teaching nor those of future work.
According to Chomsky’s Innatist Hypothesis (1965)，a human was born with language acquisition device and language input can activate it and make it function. Krashen (1985) holds that only when input is comprehensible, will language acquisition happen. At the same time, Krashen points out that if the learner receives enough comprehensible language input, he can get necessary grammar. Therefore, the teacher needn’t teach language forms in the next stage in a special way and as long as the students receive. large amounts of language input, he can get the- language forms automatically. That means that the teacher’s major duty is to make the students receive as much language input as possible. Krashen and Terrell (1983:131) suggest that ‘reading may also be a source of comprehensible input in a second language’. Krashen (1989) also claims that reading skills improve according to the amount of reading done. As an effective way of language input, reading can be divided into two stages: the initial stage of decoding and the second stage of comprehension. As a matter of fact, the senior middle school students have gone beyond the first stage and will be ready to obtain message through reading widely. Extensive reading can perform the supplementing function to intensive reading. If a middle school student doesn’t read much, he will be trapped in the unfavorable circle. So extensive reading ought to be paid as much attention to as intensive reading. The senior middle school students badly need to begin extensive reading to develop their synthetic reading capacity.
The senior English syllabus (2000) point..s out that reading ability is to be developed as priority and the new English course standard (2001) makes it clear that the amount of reading, except the textbook, needs to reach up to 360,000 words. A recent survey of the reading condition shows that most of senior middle school students are poor i n the amount of vocabulary, slow in reading, weak in cultural consciousness and low in interest in English lessons. Almost all of the students expect the teacher to instruct them how to read by themselves. Some students make suggestions about how to carry out extensive reading in the classroom and even describe the ideal extensive reading class in mind.
Under this circumstance, the author suggests setting up extensive reading in the classroom to help students form reading habits and acquire reading skills. Depending on the new English course standard, the goals of extensive reading course should lie in (1) enlarging the range of vocabulary, (2) developing the reading ability, (3) consolidating the results of intensive reading, (4) arousing interest in reading, (5) forming the reading habit and (6) strengthening the cultural consciousness. In order to carry out the extensive reading course, the teacher should have the modern teaching ideas, such as the quality education, the student subject and the language communicative competence. Then, he needs suitable reading material to secure a successful process of extensive reading teaching. The extensive reading material ought to be roughly-tuned in language, authentic and comprehensible, fit for the cognitive level of the students, extensive in subject matter binding.
Since extensive reading is varying designed style and elegant in classroom teaching, class-hours extensive ought to be offered to make sure the teacher can carry reading course thoroughly. In the current condition, it is feasible to spare one class-hour for extensive a week.
Reading practice is carried on mainly in extensive reading classes. To begin with, the teacher must help rid the students of bad reading habits such as the lips moving, the finger pointing and the eyes regressing. Then, he should continue by training the students repeatedly in some necessary skills so as to build up their reading speed. Finally, he should try every possible way to improve understanding on the part of his students. First, the prediction is an aid to understanding the whole text. Secondly, the students should learn to presuppose the meaning of the new words by word formation, matching up and context. Thirdly, the barrier of reading comprehension usually lies in lack of English cultural knowledge, so the teacher should expose the students to proper cultural knowledge. Lastly, the students need to be encouraged to make use of the top一down reading model to improve their synthetic reading capacity. Besides, the teachers should obey the following principles of teaching extensive reading:(1) an active skill;(2) the need to be engaged;(3) the content to be responded to;(4)一the task to be matched to the topic;(5) self-reading to be developed; (6) different keys to be put to different periods of teaching. The new English Course Standard (2001) proposes the task-based teaching model. This kind of teaching model emphasizes two-way language communication, based on Krashen’s Input Hypothesis (1985) and Long’s Interactional Hypothesis (1983).Skehan (1998) describes the task like this:meaning as the priority,
finishing the task as the main thing and evaluation depending on whether to finish the task. The task-based teaching model is helpful to achieve the goal of the extensive reading course, so it is an ideal teaching model of extensive reading. The author suggests the following three steps一 representation of the task, fulfillment of the task and analysis of the fulfilled task in the extensive reading teaching and takes an example to explain how to carry out the task一based teaching model in extensive reading class.
Since class time is always limited but the amount of reading is large, extensive reading after class is necessary as a supplement to classroom teaching. The teacher should direct the students to choose enjoyable readers, build up the class cupboard and make the book-borrowing rule. What is more, the teacher needs to regularly check how the students’ reading is going on to get the back-up information in time. Large amounts of reading will help the students form reading habits, warm up their interest in English and improve their reading ability as well.
Evaluation is a necessary part of extensive reading course. A scientific evaluation system can guarantee the goals of extensive reading course. The summative evaluation combined with the formative evaluation wi!1 achieve the unity of evaluating the process and evaluating the result. The formative evaluation helps turn the students from the evaluation object to the evaluation subject, which requires the participation of the teacher, the students and the parents. When the formative evaluation is introduced, the teacher may choose the suitable evaluation method in the light of the individual studying style. Meanwhile the teacher should keep an eye on the result of the evaluation and use it to adjust extensive reading teaching.
Moreover, the summative evaluation is also an important method to test the students’ synthetic language capacity and measure the teaching results. Different from the formative evaluation, the summative evaluation is carried out in the form of testing. To carry out this evaluation, achievement test can be designed to show the mastery of extensive reading. Since the quality of the language test depends on validity and reliability, a good test should be evaluated in face validity, content validity, construct validity and empirical validity. The teacher can better the reliability of extensive reading test by designing more task items, offering clear instruction, making detailed marking scheme, etc. The focus of the extensive reading test should be usually placed on reading skills and reading comprehension. Reading comprehension is usually recognized on five levels: (1) literal comprehension, (2) recognitive comprehension, (3) inferential comprehension, (4) evaluative comprehension and (5) appreciative comprehension. Considering the cognitive level of the senior middle school students, (2)，(3) and (4) should be the focal items of the extensive reading test. The sample of the reading passage should be similar to the type of reading material that the student deals with in reading classroom. The length of the extract should also be related to its level of difficulty. On the whole, the difficulty level of the text, however, should coincide with the level of the students’ proficiency in English. True /false judgment, multiple choice, clone test, skimming and scanning items can be used as extensive reading testing techniques.
Extensive reading course is based on the classic linguistic theory. Carrying out extensive reading in English classes, for one thing, will improve the students’ English communicative capacity, for the other it will help them develop their non-intelligent potentials. Therefore, extensive reading course will add new life to senior middle school English classes. The author hopes that extensive reading course will be carried out in senior English teaching substantively.
Key words: extensive reading, language input, English classes.
2003Al-Nujaidi, A. H. (2003). The relationship between vocabulary size, reading strategies, and reading comprehension of EFL learners in Saudi Arabia. Unpublished dissertation. UMI AAT 3094023.
Alshamrani, H. M., The attitudes and beliefs of ESL students about extensive reading of authentic texts. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. UMI #AAT 3080428
[Note: This study is significant for its finding that extensive reading was unpopular among the subjects.]
Scope and method of study. The main purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between EFL learners' perceived reading strategies, vocabulary size, and reading comprehension. In addition to providing descriptive information about each variable in this relationship, the study examined how certain learner variables such as gender, and the amount of extensive reading may impact this relationship. The participants in the study were 226 (117 females and 109 males) first-year university students enrolled in seven different higher education institutions in Saudi Arabia. Participants completed a reading strategies survey and took a vocabulary size test (Schmitt, 2000) and a reading comprehension test. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to describe the participants' performance on the two tests and their reported reading strategies use, and to assess the relationship between the study's three main variables. Analysis of variance and t-tests were also used to examine gender and proficiency differences in the participants' perceived use of reading strategies, vocabulary size, and reading comprehension. Findings and conclusions. In general, Saudi EFL first-year university students had a low reading ability and an estimated small vocabulary size (500–700 word families), which is far below the threshold level needed for reading unsimplified English texts. Except for a few strategies like critical reading, summarizing, using typographical aids, and noting text characteristics, the participants reported using most of the reading strategies with high and moderate frequencies. They also reported significantly more frequent use of problem-solving strategies. However, extensive reading was found to be an unpopular activity among EFL learners in Saudi Arabia. Significant gender differences favoring females were found in the participants' performance on the two tests and their reports of reading strategies use. A statistically significant relationship was found between the participants' vocabulary size at the 2000 word level and their performance on the reading comprehension test (r = .60, p < .001). Participants with larger vocabulary size and higher reading proficiency reported using reading strategies more frequently than lower proficiency students. The study concludes with some pedagogical implications and recommendations for further research.
Chew, L. (2003). Extensive reading in English: Hong Kong secondary one students' response to high-interest unsimplified stories. Unpublished master’s thesis, The University of Hong Kong.
This qualitative study describes the attitudes and beliefs of two groups of ESL learners regarding extensive reading of authentic texts. In particular, it aims to focus on their beliefs and attitudes regarding vocabulary development through extensive reading of authentic materials. It investigates their point of view toward their experience with extensive reading in a three-month ESL course called Reading Club in which extensive reading was the main focus of the course. The participants consist of two groups of ESL learners, one of which includes five students while the other includes four students. Using multiple qualitative methods including interviewing, document analysis, notes, and email follow-ups, this study has attempted to answer a group of research questions relevant to the following points: (1) the attitudes and beliefs of ESL students regarding extensive reading of authentic texts; (2) their attitudes and beliefs concerning vocabulary development through extensive reading of authentic texts; (3) the strategies they report they have used when handling unknown words encountered while reading; (4) the difficulties they report they have encountered when reading authentic texts; (5) the benefits they think they gain from extensive reading of authentic materials in terms of language improvement in general, and vocabulary development in particular; and (6) their attitudes and motivation regarding whether they would continue to do extensive reading and recommend it as a means of language development. The findings indicate that despite various reading difficulties they have encountered, the students of both groups have positive attitudes toward extensive reading of authentic texts and are motivated to read after the course has finished. The findings also show that extensive reading has helped students develop and improve various language skills, including vocabulary, reading for meaning, grammar, listening, speaking, and pronunciation. The most salient finding is that both approaches, incidental and intentional vocabulary learning, have been employed to develop second language vocabulary.
Laufer, B. (2003). Vocabulary acquisition in a second language: Do learners really acquire most vocabulary by reading? Some empirical evidence. Canadian Modern Language Review, 59(4): 567-587.
Promoting S[econdary] 1 students in Hong Kong to read is a challenge in view of their limited reading experience and vocabulary size and very often their low motivation to read in the context of an examination-oriented and predominantly skill-based English curriculum. It is shown in the research study that using high-interest unsimplified book series as extensive reading materials has a positive effect in motivating S1 students’ to read. Proficient readers have shown language improvement in terms of understanding and writing. The results also suggest that high-interest unsimplified series have great pedagogical value in the teaching of reading and vocabulary development if it goes with a careful plan of implementation and supporting strategies. An important implication of the study is that high-interest unsimplified series are linguistically accessible and thematically exciting to be used to promote reading for pleasure among young readers.
Maamouri Ghrib, E. 2003. University students' and teachers' attitudes towards an EFL reading program. TESL Reporter, 36:1, 41-58.
In the first part of the paper, I challenge some basic assumptions underlying the claim that reading is the major source of vocabulary acquisition in L2: the 'noticing' assumption, the 'guessing ability' assumption, the 'guessing-retention link' assumption, and the 'cumulative gain' assumption. In the second part, I report on three experiments in which vocabulary gains from reading were compared with gains from word-focused tasks: completing given sentences, writing original sentences, and incorporating words in a composition. Results showed that more words were acquired through tasks than through reading.
Mason, B. N. (2003). A study of extensive reading and the development of grammatical accuracy by Japanese university students learning English. Unpublished dissertation. UMI AAT 3116959
**This study is part of a large research on Tunisian EFL students' and teachers' attitudes towards EFL reading and writing at the secondary and tertiary levels. It investigates university students' and their teachers' attitudes towards the reading program, the instructional materials, and the teaching approach as a whole. It deals with the learners' motivation for EFL reading, and is also interested in whether there is any gap between the students' and their teachers' assessment of problems. This article concludes by recommending extensive reading as one of the ways to capitalize on the initial positive attitudes and motivation gained from the reading program.
Prowse, P. (2003). Extensive reading. English Teaching Professional, Issue 27, 40.
Proponents of the Output Hypothesis (Swain, 1985; Long & Robinson, 1998) have argued that comprehensible input (Krashen, 1985) alone is insufficient and that a combination of input and focus on form is necessary. There seems to be little convincing evidence so far that the combination approach is more effective and efficient. This study investigated whether a combination of input and focus on form was more effective and efficient than an approach that relied mainly on input. The combination approach consisted of extensive reading, summary writing, and rewriting of the corrected summaries. The participants were Japanese female college learners of English (N = 104) studying in an extensive reading program. The Japanese summary group ( n = 34) wrote summaries in Japanese, the English summary group ( n = 34) wrote summaries in English, and the Correction group ( n = 36) wrote summaries in English, received corrective feedback, and rewrote their corrected summaries. All participants read an average of 2300 pages (about 500,000 words) in three semesters, and the Correction group's summaries were corrected 25 times. The measurements used were a 100-item cloze test, the reading section of a TOEIC test, and a measure of grammatical accuracy (the number of error free clauses per 100 words OF writing). The results of three two by three 2-way repeated ANOVAs revealed that all three groups improved significantly, and there were no statistically significant differences among the groups on the three tests. The questionnaire revealed that the Japanese summary group spent 150 hours reading while the other groups spent about 300 hours reading, writing and rewriting. It was observed that the participants did not fully engage in summary writing and rewriting of the corrected summaries. Interviews revealed that the participants did not like to write a summary for each book they read. The conclusion was that the combination approach used in this study did not lead to greater accuracy and that it was inefficient. Extensive reading combined with brief summaries in Japanese appeared to be a more efficient means of developing grammatical accuracy in English for low intermediate learners at the university level in Japan.
Sheu, S. P-H. (2003). Extensive reading with EFL learners at beginning level. TESL Reporter, 36(2), 8-26.
*This one-page article consists of three main sections: What, Why (and Why not) and How. The author notes that extensive reading can be divided into two main kinds: class library and class reader (the "what"). He then points out that extensive reading improves the student's reading skills, writing skills, listening and speaking skills, vocabulary, grammar and examination results (the "why"). Finally he considers some issues and suggests a number of practical ways to implement entensive reading in the school (the "how")
Sun, Y C. (2003). Extensive reading online: an overview and evaluation. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. 19(4) 438-446.
**Despite successful research and a growing interest in extensive reading (ER) in many Asian countries, such as Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore, ER has not received as much attention as it might in the English teaching circle in Taiwan. The present study attempts to bridge this gap and considers if ER programmes can be successfully implemented with EFL beginners in Taiwan by looking at the following seven questions:
The results of the study have been generally positive and such pedagogical implications derived from the study as the adoption of ER in the school syllabus, the use of books for native English-speaking children, learner training and encouraging activities are discussed.
- Will ER help beginning EFL learners obtain gains in vocabulary, grammar and reading comprehension?
- Does ER promote reading speed?
- What impact does ER have on EFL learners’ attitudes?
- What difficulties do the students have during reading?
- How do the students feel about their achievement?
- What are their reasons for choosing which books to read?
- Are they satisfied with the books they had read?
Takase, A. (2003). The effects of extensive reading on the motivation of Japanese high school students Unpublished dissertation. UMI AAT 3097732
This study reports on the design and implementation of a reading program, "Extensive Reading Online (ERO)" that aims to offer an online reading platform featuring specific needs for EFL learners in Taiwan. The system includes both teacher and student interfaces. Several reading aids are integrated into the system, such as concordancer help, stage-by-stage reading strategy training, and text annotation functions. ERO was integrated into a college level reading class. Results show that students held a positive attitude toward the reading system. Some recommendations for future improvement are also discussed.
Waring, R. and M. Takaki (2003). At what rate do learners learn and retain new vocabulary from reading a graded reader? Reading in a Foreign Language 15, 2, 130-163.
The purpose of this study is to investigate high school EFL (English as a foreign language) students' motivation to engage in extensive reading by examining the relationship between their attitudes/motivation and the amount of reading they did. In this study, approximately 220 second-year female high school students aged 16 to 17 participated in an extensive reading program for one academic year. Questionnaires investigating students' attitudes/motivation toward reading English and reading Japanese were administered at the beginning and the end of the year. Questionnaire data were analyzed using factor analyses to determine the factors that motivated the students to read English books. A multiple regression analysis using factor scores was then performed to determine what factors best predicted students' motivation to read English books. Seven factors were found, and among them, Intrinsic Motivation toward Reading English and Intrinsic Motivation toward Reading Japanese were determined to be the best predictors of the participants' motivation to read English. The relationship between L1 reading habits and L2 reading performance was investigated through participants' self-reported reading data and subsequent interviews; however, the results indicated that there was little relationship between the two factors. In addition, participants were divided into three groups based on the amount read during the academic year. The differences among the three groups in sub-component scores and their changes were analyzed in order to determine the impact of extensive reading on the students' motivation. No significant results were found; however, strong impacts were observed in the middle and the low groups in terms of affect and increases in those learners' sense of achievement. Qualitative data were collected through interviews with 81 participants. Many of them expressed favorable attitudes toward reading English books and reported gains in self-confidence in learning English as a result of participating in the extensive reading program. The significant gains in proficiency and motivation scores after the treatment verify the usefulness of extensive reading.
**This study examined the rate at which vocabulary was learned from reading the 400 headword graded reader A Little Princess. To ascertain whether words of different frequency of occurrence rates were more likely to be learned and retained or forgotten, 25 words within five bands of differing frequency of occurrence (15 to 18 times to those appearing only once) were selected. The spelling of each word was changed to ensure that each test item was unknown to the 15 intermediate level (or above) female Japanese subjects. Three tests (word-form recognition, prompted meaning recognition and unprompted meaning recognition) were administered immediately after reading, after one week and after a three month delay.
The results show that words can be learned incidentally but that most of the words were not learned. More frequent words were more likely to be learned and were more resistant to decay. The data suggest that, on average, the meaning of only one of the 25 items will be remembered after three months, and the meaning of none of the items that were met fewer than eight times will be remembered three months later. The data thus suggest that very little new vocabulary is retained from reading one graded reader, and that a massive amount of graded reading is needed to build new vocabulary. It is suggested that the benefits of reading a graded reader should not only be assessed by researching vocabulary gains and retention, but bylooking at how graded readers help develop and enrich already known vocabulary.
2004Al-Rajhi, Ali (2004) Joining the online literacy club: Internet reading among Saudi EFL learners. Ph.D. dissertation, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, United States -- Pennsylvania. Retrieved from ProQuest Digital Dissertations database. (UMI Publication No. AAT 3149714).
Alshwairkh, Sami A. N. (2004) Learning vocabulary through Internet reading: Approaches and attitudes of ESL MBA students. Ph.D. dissertation, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, United States -- Pennsylvania. Retrieved from ProQuest Digital Dissertations database. (UMI Publication No. AAT 3149715).
Research indicates that extensive reading has been an effective approach for learning a language and therefore, more investigation in different contexts is needed. One major requirement for the success of the extensive reading approach is the availability of large amounts of materials for doing extensive reading. In many countries including Saudi Arabia, it has not been easy to gain access to such materials; however, the Internet has become as a potential solution for the lack of these materials.
This qualitative research explores the experiences of Saudi female and male EFL learners in doing extensive reading through the Internet. Five female and five male Saudi EFL learners are interviewed in this study. A skeptical group of three females and two males was adde d to the study to learn more about their attitudes towards Internet reading. Samples of the participants' writing that were written over a period of time are analyzed. Emails are used for facilitating and arranging the interviews and for follow up questions whenever needed. Using multiple qualitative methods including interviews, documents, and emails, this study attempts to answer three research questions about the attitudes and beliefs of the participants concerning the following issues: (1) the benefits, features, and problems of Internet reading; (2) the impact of Internet reading on the participants, writing styles; (3) the impact of Internet reading on the participants, cultural-awareness.
This study shows that the majority of the participants have positive attitudes and successful experiences with Internet reading. The participants stated that Internet reading has many benefits, features and some problems. Based on the responses of this study, Internet reading has a positive impact on writing styles as well as cultural awareness.
Ambatchew, Michael Daniel (2004) The effect of primary English readers on reading skills in Ethiopia: A study in African educational needs. D.Litt. dissertation, University of Pretoria (South Africa), South Africa. Retrieved , from ProQuest Digital Dissertations database. (UMI Publication No. AAT 0807900).
Vocabulary is an integral part of language. Without adequate vocabulary knowledge, a second language learner's conversational fluency and reading comprehension suffer. Today, many ESL students have access to the Internet, where they can read extensively in L2 and improve their reading skill as well as vocabulary knowledge. This dissertation project is a qualitative study that describes the approaches and attitudes of ESL business students towards learning vocabulary through Internet reading. It also examines the participants' vocabulary knowledge throughout an 8-week period.
Eighteen advanced ESL MBA students participated in the present study. They were divided into two groups of 9 students each, referred to as readers and non-readers. Both groups were asked to complete a questionnaire and take a pretest and posttest, in order to assess their receptive vocabulary size. Readers were asked to read extensively on the Internet, keep regular vocabulary logs, write journal entries, participate in interviews, and take a final vocabulary written test tha t assessed the deep knowledge of the vocabulary items they attempted to learn during the 8-week period.
The results showed that readers scored higher in the posttest, compared to their mean score in the pretest, while non-readers maintained the same mean score both in the pretest and posttest. In the vocabulary interviews, the readers' scores at the word familiarity and word meaning levels were higher than their scores at the word form and word usage levels. Similarly, in the final vocabulary written test, readers obtained relatively high scores at the word meaning level, while their scores at the word usage level were relatively low.
Based on the interviews, the journal entries, and the vocabulary logs, readers read extensively on the Internet about a wide range of topics such as business, entertainment, health, politics, and shopping, in addition to reading academic articles. They also employed some common vocabulary learning strategies including guessing the word's meaning from context, using a dictionary, and keeping a vocabulary notebook. These participants showed positive attitudes towards extensive reading and vocabulary learning on the Internet.
Appleton, J. (2004). Jungle Fever-- Visualisation and the implications for writing extensive readers. Developing Teachers.com. Retrieved January 2, 2005 from http://www.developingteachers.com/articles_tchtraining/junglefever1_jo.htm.
For years the quality of Ethiopian education has been lamented over and one of the factors in the students' inability to benefit from their lessons is their lack of reading skills. In response, many organisations, such as The British Council, are providing primary schools with readers.
This thesis examines if there is any tangible effect on the students' reading skills by conducting a comparative study between two government schools that received a donation of primary readers through the Primary Readers Scheme of the British Council and two schools that did not.
To begin with a short review of the suitability of the readers selected by the teachers after an initial pilot scheme is made. Then 454 students were tested in this evaluation to check if there had been a significant improvement in the reading skills of the students in the school that received donations of supplementary readers.
It was found that there has been no significant increase in the students' reading abilities because government schools lack the capacity to utilise supplementary readers. Most of the librarians are not qualified, while the teachers, though qualified, lack training in how to use supplementary readers and also tend to be demotivated. Moreover, the administration and running of most of the schools libraries limit the books' accessibility. It is also very likely that the country's socio-economic situation in general and the children's backgrounds do not encourage the habit of reading for pleasure.
Consequently, modifications are necessary to maximise the benefits of extensive reading in the future, such as training teachers and librarians as well as encouraging supplementary reading amongst the students.
It concludes that though extensive reading schemes produce impressive results in experimental situations, care should be taken in actual implementation of such schemes in real life.
Day, R. R. (2004). Two writing activities for extensive reading. English Teaching Forum, 42(3), 8-10.
*This article focuses on the importance of visualisation when reading extended texts, and discusses the implications for materials writers, teachers and learners. It looks at an Extensive Reader and how content, style and genre which encourage visualisation can provide greater pleasure and therefore motivation for the language learner to read in the L2. It concludes with some suggestions for materials writers of Extensive Readers and the learner.
Gardner, D. (2004). Vocabulary input through extensive reading: A comparison of words found in children's narrative and expository reading materials. Applied Linguistics, 25(1), 1-37.
**In extensive reading, students select their own books and read a great deal at their own pace. They are encouraged to read easy and interesting books and to stop reading a book if it is too hard, too easy, or boring. Generally, students do not answer comprehension questions on the books they have read. This article shows how this can be done by suggesting two writing activities that are designed to help students improve their writing and, at the same time, allow them to demonstrate their understanding of the books they have read.
Grundy, J. (2004). Extensive reading - a valuable language learning
opportunity, ESOL Online (Ministry of Education, Wellington, New
The role of extensive reading in building vocabulary continues to receive considerable attention in first and second language research and pedagogy. This study analyses the lexical differences between narrative and expository reading materials used in upper-elementary education (10- and 11-year-old children), and explores how these differences could affect children's potential vocabulary acquisition through reading. Results of a computerized analysis of nearly 1.5 million word tokens reveals marked differences between 28 narrative and 28 expository children's books in terms of overall token distribution and individual type repetitions at all levels of vocabulary analysed in the study (i.e. general high frequency words, academic high frequency words, and specialized words). Further exploration of the lexical data indicates high numbers of register-specific words at all levels of vocabulary, particularly at the more specialized levels where the potential for protracted vocabulary growth is the greatest. A subsequent discussion addresses qualitative differences in the characteristics of these exclusive narrative and expository types. These lexical findings are used to assess claims of Wide Reading and Free Reading relative to children's acquisition of vocabulary through extensive reading, especially the default claims of 'incidental' word acquisition through repetitive encounters with unknown words while reading large volumes of material for pleasure.
Hitosugi, C. I., & Day, R. R. (2004). Extensive reading in
Japanese. Reading in a Foreign Language. Volume 16, Number 1.
Retrieved April 17, 2004 from
This report explores the language learning opportunities provided by
Extensive Reading (ER) for ESOL students. It includes a literature
review which is very positive about the role such an approach can play
in both improving reading skills and developing learner language. It
explores how extensive reading contributes to language proficiency
particularly in the areas of vocabulary growth, knowledge of grammar
and text structures, and writing. In addition, it reports on an
investigation into student attitudes to ER and explores some of the
implications this has for teachers in implementing effective programmes
for ESOL students.
Ito, L. (2004). The little library that could. ETJ Journal, 5 (1), 26-7.
This article discusses how we incorporated an extensive reading (ER)
program into a second semester Japanese course at the University of
Hawai`i using Japanese children's literature. After summarizing the ten
principles of ER, we describe how we addressed six critical issues
faced while introducing ER into the course. We also discuss the
outcomes of this ten-week program, which showed that the students
improved their scores according to a traditional measure of reading
comprehension. We also found positive results in an affective
questionnaire that measured attitudes toward and motivation for
Kawate, M. (2004). Start with Simple Stories and Enjoy Reading.
Retrieved March 1, 2006, from
*This is an informal account of how the owner of a neighborhood
language school in Japan made a small library of graded readers—mainly
movie tie-ins, movie star biographies and other non-fiction rather than
rewritten classics—and turned many of her students into avid readers.
She explains the mechanics of organizing books and checking them out,
and concludes that "the library is a great selling point for new
students who are interested in coming to our school." A sidebar lists
the books in the library in order of popularity [1. Tom Cruise (Penguin
Readers); 2. The Lost Ship (Macmillan Readers); 3. The Briefcase
Lemmer, R. (2004). A brief look at one extensive reading program. On
Cue, 12 (2), 24-6.
**SSS Extensive Reading Method is a new way to learn English as a
foreign language. Professor SAKAI Kunihide at the University of
Electro-Communications has been actively exploring new and alternative
methods to improve the Teaching of English as a foreign language for
many years.He has shown that when students read multiple easy books
for pleasure, the level of input increases greatly. In 2001, FURUKAWA
Akio, KAWATE Mariko and SATO Maria created the SSS Extensive Reading
Study Group to support Prof. Sakai's findings, and in an attempt to
spread the SSS Extensive Reading Method, and hopefully to assist many
learners who are challenged by learning English as a foreign language.
The chief activities of SSS Extensive Reading Study Group are as
- To run the website
- To demonstrate the extensive reading method
- To make a book list for SSS Extensive Reading
- To show how to teach English through extensive reading
Liang, Mei-Ya (2004). Three Extensive Reading Activities for ESL/EFL
Students Using E-books. The Internet TESL Journal, X, 10.
**This article will take you through the steps we followed in
planning, implementing and supporting the ER program at Chugoku Junior
College [in Japan]. While setting up an ER program is not difficult,
it requires careful planning and sufficient time. Gaining the
cooperation of all those involved—teachers, librarians and those
controlling the budget—is essential in implementing and continuing a
successful program. In order to be effective, a long-term approach
should be taken, as improvement can come only after reading many pages.
With many departments recently facing budget restraints ERis a
relatively inexpensive way to attain student progress in acquiring
English. From my observations and student feedback I consider the time
and resources devoted to our ER program to have been well spent.
Mason, B, & Krashen, S. (2004). Is form-focused vocabulary instruction
worthwhile? RELC Journal, 35, 179-185.
**This online extensive reading lesson focuses on intermediate and advanced
ESL/EFL students. The objectives of this lesson are to guide students to
read authentic e-texts outside of the classroom and to improve their overall
reading, writing and thinking skills by synthesizing and evaluating online
materials with peers. This lesson aims at EFL high school or college
students, but can also be modified and used in both native English and
ESL/EFL reading courses for younger students.
Three activities are designed to help students choose books that meet
their interests and reading levels, read and share books both on their own
and in a group, and think critically with online texts, tools and resources.
Students are provided 10 e-books of different lengths and varying difficulty
and study guides as scaffolding for learning. Students are also encouraged
to use electronic resources.
This lesson helps students learn how to interpret, appreciate, and
respond to the texts, all of which lead students to read more and study more
outside of the classroom.
Mason, B. (2004). The effect of adding supplementary writing to an
extensive reading program. International Journal of Foreign Language
Teaching, 1(1), 2-16.
Hearing stories can result in considerable incidental vocabulary
development, for both first and second language acquisition (e.g.
Elley, 1992; Robbins and Ehri, 1994; Senechal, LeFevre, Hudson and
Lawon, 1996). It has also been claimed, however, that direct
instruction is more effective than incidental vocabulary acquisition
and that combining both approaches will be more effective than
incidental acquisition alone (Coady, 1997). In this study, we compare
vocabulary growth in English as a foreign language through hearing a
story with a combination of a story and supplementary activities
designed to focus students specifically on learning the new words in
the story. Subjects were first year Japanese female students at a
junior college in Osaka. One class was the "story-only" group and the
other was the "story-plus-study" group. The story-only group spent only
15 minutes hearing a story. The story-plus- study group spent nearly
the entire class hour (85 minutes) hearing the story and doing
supplementary activities. Calculations of words learned per minute
revealed that the story-only group learned words more efficiently. The
results suggest that additional focus on form in the form of
traditional vocabulary exercises is not as efficient as hearing words
in the context of stories. Available at: http://www.benikomason.net/articles/form_focused/index.html
Ono, L., Day, R., & Harsch, K.(2004). Tips for reading extensively. English Teaching Forum, 42 (4). Available online at http://exchanges.state.gov/forum/vols/vol42/no4/p12.htm
This study investigated whether adding supplementary writing to an
extensive reading program would increase its effectiveness for the
development of grammatical accuracy. The participants were Japanese
female college learners of English (N=104) studying in an extensive
reading program. The Japanese summary group (n=34) wrote summaries in
Japanese, the English summary group (n=34) wrote summaries in
English, and the Correction group (n=36) wrote summaries in English,
received corrective feedback, and rewrote their corrected summaries.
All participants read an average of 2300 pages (about 500,000 words) in
three semesters, and the Correction group's summaries were corrected 25
times. The results revealed that all three groups improved
significantly, and there were no statistically significant differences
among the groups on three tests. The questionnaire revealed that the
Japanese summary group spent 150 hours reading while the other groups
spent about 300 hours reading, writing and rewriting. The conclusion
was that adding supplementary writing did not lead to greater accuracy
and that it was inefficient. Available at: http://www.benikomason.net/articles/effect_of_adding/index.html
Powell, S. (2005). Extensive reading and its role in Japanese high
schools. The Reading Matrix, 5(2), 28-38.
**In this article, the authors offer ten tips that teachers can give to students when they engage in extensive reading. The title for each tip is addressed directly to learners, whereas the rationale and instructional advice are written to teachers. The rationale for each tip is discussed and ways to present these tips to learners are suggested. It is recommended in the article that all the ten tips be presented to students before they begin to read extensively. It has also been suggested that the tips be revisited periodically throughout the semester or school year.
Rausch, A.S. (2004). Extensive reading: A case study in one junior high
school. ETJ Journal, 5 (1), 21-2.
****Despite the many language acquisition benefits frequently ascribed
to Extensive Reading, it has yet to gain widespread acceptance in
Japanese high schools. This is somewhat surprising, since teachers are
constantly searching for ways to motivate and interest students, and
Extensive Reading (ER) not only improves learners' reading abilities
and aids the development of a variety of other language skills, but
also provides the basis for a whole range of speaking, writing and
listening activities. It is therefore perfectly compatible with, and a
useful complement to, a communicative-approach based language class.
This article therefore supports the view that ER has a useful role to
play in high school English teaching at all levels. It begins by
reviewing the theory behind ER and the evidence for its benefits. It
then reports on a survey carried out at a high school which already has
a functioning Extensive Reading programme, and which appears to confirm
that not only do studentscome to enjoy ER, but that it also
contributes to improvements in ability and attitude. Finally, some
suggestions are made as to how teachers might help their learners
maximize the benefits of their ER programme.
Reynolds, B. (April, 2004). Extensive reading and extensive listening:
Two holes in JSOL. Paper presented at Sensei Online's 43rd.
Benkyoukai. Retrieved March 1, 2006, from
**This article assesses an attempt to introduce an Extensive Reading
program as part of a junior high school elective English course and
offers recommendations on the practical possibilities of Extensive
Reading in Japan. I found three general themes that I must address in
future Extensive Reading programs, regardless of student age or reading
level. I must stress (a) the 'habit' of reading, stressing that
frequency of contact with the text is a key element; (b) the 'practice'
of reading, stressing that re-reading and keeping a reading log are
helpful to ensuring understanding; (c) the pleasure of reading a book
lies not in mastering its content, but rather in watching how the story
emerges to a satisfying ending which is often revealed only on the last
Rodrigo, V., Krashen, S., & Gribbons, B. (2004). The Effectiveness of Two Comprehensible-Input Approaches to Foreign Language Instruction at the Intermediate Level, System, 32(1), 53-60.
The only way to learn to do something well is to do it - not once but
thousands, even millions, of times. This is equally true whether one is
learning to play the piano, do crossword puzzles, or read and hear
Japanese. Given this truism, it's a shame that few students of Japanese
as a second or other language (JSOL) get much practice doing either.
In this paper I explain how extensive reading (ER) and extensive
listening (EL) address this problem. I explain how ER and EL differ
from the teaching of reading and listening using standard classroom
materials or materials designed for native speakers of Japanese (NSJ)
often citing research conducted and methods used with English language
learners. Finally, since appropriate materials are few and far between,
I provide teachers with some guidelines for filling these holes.
Unfortunately, it will be years before enough materials are available
to do true ER and EL and it will probably be decades before ER and EL
become widespread in the study and teaching of JSOL. But, unless
teachers like you care a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get
better. It's not. (With apologies to Dr. Seuss).
Shelton, S. (2004). Encouraging extensive reading. Retrieved January 29 2004, from http://www.developingteachers.com/articles_tchtraining/extread1_scott.htm.
Fourth semester students of Spanish as a foreign language at the university level in the US participated in two kinds of comprehensible-input based instruction, an extensive reading class that combined assigned & self-selected reading, & a reading-discussion class that consisted of assigned reading, debates, & discussions. Students in both classes outperformed those in a traditionally taught class on a check-list vocabulary test & on a grammar test. The reading-discussion group outperformed the traditional students on a cloze test (P = 0.105), but there was no difference between traditional & reading students on the cloze. The results confirm the efficacy of comprehensible-input based pedagogy at the intermediate level. 4 Tables, 19 References. (Adapted from the source document by the publisher.)
Sheu, S. P-H. (2004). Students' reflections on the physical features of EFL graded readers. TESL Reporter, 37(1), 18-33.
*This article on a website opens with a mostly L2-based rationale for extensive reading. The majority of the four pages are devoted to advice on implementing ER. One novel acronym is used to suggest criteria for ER materials: SAVE (Short, Appealing, Varied, Easy). The author reports that among his students, the most popular method of choosing ER material is a friend’s suggestion. Also on materials, Shelton reports success with the use of urban legends. A hyperlink for a detailed sample lesson plan, involving peer interaction, appears at the end of the article.
Taguchi, E., Takayasu-Maass, M., Gorsuch, G. J. (2004). Developing reading fluency in EFL: How assisted repeated reading and extensive reading affect fluency development. Reading in a Foreign Language, 16(2), 70-96.
*While much has been written about the use of graded readers as a way to encourage extensive reading, little is discussed in the literature with regard to learnersí reflections on the physical appearance of books that potentially attracts them to read. Yet as the author argues, this information is important to ensure that the selected books meet students' expectations and, to some extent, motivate them to choose and read the books of their choice. This small-scale study attempts to fill this gap by investigating the extent to which students are satisfied with the physical features of selected graded readers. A total of 33 Taiwanese junior high school students participated in the study and 23 books from seven graded reader series were used. Students' rating was made based on eight features: topic, cover page, illustrations, length, print quality, print size, book size and overall impressions. Overall the subjects were satisfied with all the series. The article concludes by offering some suggestions to teachers wishing to select graded readers for their students and pointing to potential areas of exploration for future research.
Yamashita, Junko. (2004). Reading attitudes in L1 and L2, and their influence on L2 extensive reading. Reading in a Foreign Language, 16(1).
Extensive research on reading in a first language has shown the critical role fluency plays in successful reading. Fluency alone, however, does not guarantee successful reading. Cognitive and metacognitive reading strategies and schemata that readers utilize also play important roles in constructing meaning from text. Most research, however, indicates that good reading ability is virtually impossible in the absence of fast and accurate word recognition skills and reading fluency. Therefore, efficient ways of improving fluency must be developed. In answer to this need, extensive reading programs have been implemented as an effective approach in EFL settings. Another method, repeated reading, seems equally promising. The main objective of the current study is to focus on whether and how assisted repeated reading with an auditory reading model enhances EFL readers' fluency. Some comparisons of Japanese university students' performances in repeated reading and extensive reading programs are also made in an attempt to see gains in reading fluency and comprehension, and to explore some characteristics which are unique to assisted repeated reading. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of participants' reading behaviors suggest that assisted repeated reading is equally as effective as extensive reading in increasing EFL readers' silent reading rate, and favorably affects learners' perceptions of reading activities. Furthermore, the results indicate the specific role the repetition and listening components of assisted repeated reading play to facilitate reading comprehension. Assisted repeated reading can potentially develop weak ESL/EFL readers' fluency and help them become independent readers by providing a distinct form of scaffolding.
Zhang, R. (2004). Using the principles of Exploratory Practice to guide group work in an extensive reading class in China. Language Teaching Research, 8, 331-345.
The present study examines the relationship between both first language
(L1) and second language (L2) reading attitudes, and learners' performance
in L2 extensive reading. Four reading attitude variables were identified
(Comfort, Anxiety, Value, Self-perception), both in L1 and L2, according
to learners' responses to a questionnaire. Results of analyses using these
four variables are summarised on two levels. First, the study supports the
transfer of the affective domain of reading (attitudes) from L1 to L2. But
L2 proficiency does not affect this transfer in the way in which the
linguistic threshold hypothesis would predict if this hypothesis were
applied to the affective domain. Since this hypothesis explains the
transfer of the cognitive domain of reading (i.e., reading abilities and
strategies), these findings suggest that cognitive and affective domains
of reading relate differently in L1 and L2. Although the transfer of
reading attitude is generally supported, there are different degrees of
transferability among different attitude variables: what learners think
(Value) is more likely to transfer from L1 to L2 than what they feel
(Comfort, Anxiety, Self-perception). Second, from a more pedagogical point
of view, the positive feeling towards reading, both in L1 and L2,
facilitates learners' performance in extensive reading. Merely thinking
that reading is beneficial to oneself does not represent a strong enough
motivation. The study has thus demonstrated the importance of
understanding learners' attitudes (particularly feelings) to reading both
in L1 and L2 for encouraging L2 learners' involvement in extensive
reading. Available: http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/April2004/yamashita/yamashita.html
Exploratory Practice emphasizes integrating research into pedagogy, and attaches great importance to the quality of life in the classroom. It suggests that we work primarily to understand language classroom life, to bring people together, and to develop students’ language competency in a harmonious atmosphere. By putting EP principles into my teaching practice, I explore ways of solving a problem I experienced in teaching English extensive reading to English majors in a Chinese University.
2005Brantmeier, C. (2005). Nonlinguistic variables in advanced second
language reading: Learners' self-assessment and enjoyment. Foreign
Language Annals, 38(4), 494-504.
Claridge, G. (2005). Simplification in graded readers: Measuring the authenticity of graded texts. Reading in a Foreign Language, 17(2), retrieved October 15, 2005, from http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/October2005/claridge/claridge.html.
The present study on second language (L2) reading and individual
difference variables (IDVs) examines learners' self-assessed ability
level and enjoyment and the effects of these factors on two different
measures of comprehension. The investigation controls for topic
familiarity differences by gender and the study utilizes the authentic
short story Aniversario by Luis Romero (Virgillo, Friedman, &
Valdivieso, 1998). During regular class period [sic], 88 participants from
advanced grammar courses completed the following: (a) a questionnaire
about general L2 reading abilities and enjoyment, (b) a reading
passage, (c) a written recall task, (d) multiple-choice questions, and
(e) a questionnaire concerning topic familiarity. Propositions in the
text were analyzed for pausal units and recalls were scored for such
units (Bernhardt, 1991). Results revealed that students believed they
were satisfactory readers of Spanish and they generally enjoyed reading
in Spanish. As predicted, levels of self-assessed abilities positively
correlated with levels of enjoyment. The study yielded significant
effects for both self-assessed ability and enjoyment on written recall
(an open-ended assessment task), but no such effects were found on the
multiple-choice questions (a task including retrieval cues).
revealed that at the advanced levels of language instruction learners'
self-assessment of their L2 reading ability was quite accurate, in
terms of written recall. The findings suggest that the study of the
variables self-assessment and enjoyment, in association with other L2
reading factors such as metacognition, anxiety, and motivation, may
contribute to a better understanding of L2 reading comprehension.
[*The study suggests that enjoyment has an impact on the L2 reading
process. This, together with the nature of an extensive reading
approach, in turn suggests that instructors might use extensive reading
to enhance abilities and affective responses to reading.]
Cobb, T. (2005). The case for computer-assisted extensive reading. Contact, Special Research Symposium Issue 31(2) [online], TESOL Ontario, 2005.
http://www.er.uqam.ca/nobel/r21270/cv/comp_assist_er.htm (Accessed: November 8, 2005)
This study examines the characteristics and quality of simplification in graded readers as compared to those of 'normal' authentic English. Two passages from graded readers are compared with the original passages. The comparison uses a computer programme, RANGE (Nation and Heatley, 2003) to analyse the distribution of high and low frequency words in the passages. This is supported by a comparison of the texts in terms of Swaffar's (1985) characteristics of authentic message. The present study is in part a reanalysis and extension of Honeyfield's (1977) seminal study of simplification, but it reaches different conclusions. By not making the simplified versus original text comparison in absolute terms, but in terms of the respective readers, it finds that patterns of use of structure, discourse markers, redundancy, collocations, and high and low frequency vocabulary, are similar in both original and simplification. This suggests that the writing in well-written graded readers can be, for its audience, experienced as authentic and typical of 'normal' English.
Fritze, J., & Rowan, K. (2005). Access to books and a quiet comfortable place to read: A practical guide to establishing a free voluntary reading program. The International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 1(4), 27-29. Retrieved October 21, 2007, from http://www.tprstories.com/ijflt/IJFLTFall05
Almost 10 years ago, Cobb & Stevens (1996) argued that the flood of
text about to go online should be a boon for second language learners,
and we proposed a number of ways that computers would be able to not
only deliver this expanded supply of text but also enhance the amount
of learning the text could provide by processing it in various ways
both prior to and during delivery. In 2005, it seems safe to say that
the amount, quality, diversity, and availability of such text has
exceeded expectations. And yet it is not clear that the computer for
its part is serving as more than delivery vehicle. This is a pity,
because just as the text was more than expected, so are the
opportunities for computers to do much more than simply download,
distribute and print. Computer programs, accessing large shared text
repositories, have a tremendous potential to both resolve old
questions for teachers/course designers, and provide new and unique
opportunities for large numbers of learners at low cost. I will
provide concrete instances of questions resolved and opportunities
provided in one exemplary domain, the theory and practice of extensive
reading. Some parts of this paper take the form of a response to
Krashen, a noted proponent of "buying books, not computers" if it
comes to a choice. I hope to convince the reader that books and
computers are now complements rather than choices.
Green, C. (2005). Integrating extensive reading in the task-based curriculum. ELT Journal, 59, 306-311.
*This practical paper discusses two main problems in creating classroom libraries for free voluntary reading programs: limited access to books and lack of conducive environments to read. Suggestions to overcome the problems include checking out the children’s books from the public library, downloading and printing on-line books, offering Scholastic order forms to students, contacting book companies that sell Children’s Books at low cost, mounting standard hardware store rain gutters to the wall or begging book racks from the library, asking for donations of bean bags, large pillows or comfortable chairs, and encouraging students to take the titles that are interesting to them.
Helgesen, M. (2005). Extensive reading reports - Different intelligences, different levels of processing. Asian EFL Journal, 7(3). 25-33. Retrieved February 11, 2006 from http://www.asian-efl-journal.com/September_05_mh.php
Extensive reading has for many years been seen as an important and motivating means of improving general language proficiency in a second language. This article argues that while extensive reading per se is an important medium for long-term second language acquisition, extensive reading schemes may not be the most effective means of promoting acquisition. This argument springs from the disappointing results of the implementation of the Hong Kong Extensive Reading Scheme in English, which are described in the article. The article presents the view that extensive reading is too important an activity to be confined within the hermetic bounds of a scheme. Instead, it is argued, extensive reading should be incorporated fully in the language curriculum as a vital component of a task-based approach to second language learning.
Horst, M. (2005). Learning L2 vocabulary through extensive reading: A measurement study. Canadian Modern Language Review, 61, 355-382.
**Extensive Reading (ER) is an important aspect of any English as a
Foreign/Second Language reading program. In this paper, I will consider a definition of ER and benefits of including it in a program. In the main part of the paper, I will explain four reporting forms that work with different intelligences and levels of processing.
Hunt, A. & Beglar, D. (2005). A framework for developing EFL reading vocabulary. Reading in a Foreign Language, 17(1), 23-59. Retrieved April 27, 2007, from http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/April2005/hunt/hunt.html
Many language courses now offer access to simplified materials graded
at various levels of proficiency so that learners can read at length
in their new language. An assumed benefit is the development of large
and rapidly accessed second language (L2) lexicons. Studies of such
extensive reading (ER) programs indicate general language gains, but
few examine vocabulary growth; none identify the words available for
learning in an entire ER program or measure the extent to which
participants learn them. This article describes a way of tackling this
measurement challenge using electronic scanning, lexical frequency
profiling, and individualized checklist testing. The method was pilot
tested in an ER program where 21 ESL learners freely chose books that
interested them. The innovative methodology proved to be feasible to
implement and effective in assessing word knowledge gains. Growth
rates were higher than those found in earlier studies. Research
applications of the flexible corpus-based approach are discussed.
Jackson, K. (2005). Rewarding reading. English Teaching Professional,
Issue 39, 15-18.
Effective second language vocabulary acquisition is particularly important for English as a foreign language (EFL) learners who frequently acquire impoverished lexicons despite years of formal study. This paper comprehensively reviews and critiques second language (L2) reading vocabulary research and proposes that EFL teachers and administrators adopt a systematic framework in order to speed up lexical development. This framework incorporates two approaches: 1) promoting explicit lexical instruction and learning strategies; and 2) encouraging the use of implicit lexical instruction and learning strategies. The three most crucial explicit lexical instruction and learning strategies are acquiring decontextualized lexis, using dictionaries and inferring from context. Implicit lexical instruction and learning can take many forms including the use of integrated task sets and narrow reading; however, this framework emphasizes extensive reading, which is arguably the primary way that EFL learners can build their reading vocabulary to an advanced level. The principal notion underlying this framework is that the most effective and efficient lexical development will occur in multifaceted curriculums that achieve a pedagogically sound balance between explicit and implicit activities for L2 learners at all levels of their development.
Kim, H., & Cho, K-S. (2005). The influence of first language reading on second language reading and second language acquisition. The International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 1(4), 13-16. Retrieved October 21, 2007, from http://www.tprstories.com/ijflt/IJFLTFall05
*The author explains how she influenced her non-L2-reading students by
being a role model of a reader, and by giving them an orientation in
extensive reading. Based on the results of a reading questionnaire,
she decided to try and increase the low reading motivation of some
students, while encouraging the more highly motivated but non-reading
students to read. She also noted that her students tended to read
extensively at too high a level, and lacked awareness of the reasons
for extensive reading, and how to go about it successfully. Her role
modeling included reading for pleasure in both L1 and L2 and talking to
students about books she had enjoyed (and having students do the same).
Orientation included contrasting intensive and extensive reading,
discussing the use of dictionaries while reading, and explaining how to
select books that can be read fluently. While the number of books her
students read was small, a post-course questionnaire found positive
changes in attitude and reading behaviour, for example, the number of
students who habitually looked up words while reading decreased from
31% to 16.6%.
Lee, K. K. (2005). Ways of integrating ICT in extensive reading: a case study. Unpublished master’s thesis, The University of Hong Kong.
**This study examines the reading habits of students of English as a foreign language in Korea,investigating the relationship between frequency of reading in the first and second language. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that reading habits transfer. The finding that those who report more pleasure reading in the first language also report more in the second language indicates that first language reading has a positive impact on second language development. The effect, however, is indirect, mediated through pleasure reading done in the second language.
Lee, S. (2005). Sustained silent reading using assigned reading: Is comprehensible input enough? The International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 1(4), 10-12. Retrieved October 21, 2007, from http://www.tprstories.com/ijflt/IJFLTFall05
The Extensive Reading Grant has started since 1997. Under the plan, various reading programmes are being done. The common practice is to set up a reading time. With the promotion of information technology, online reading programmes develops rapidly in schools. The technology is changing the nature of literacy and so the ways of conducting reading has to be changed accordingly. This research tries to study the strengths and weaknesses of these two kinds of reading models so as to find out the best ways to conduct the Extensive Reading Programme effectively. Computer assistant learning will be a way for independent and life-long learning. As parents and teachers are complaining students who play too much computer games and read too little, it is interesting to see how much the computer can contribute in extensive reading.
In this study, a qualitative research will be carried out to study the common practice in running the Extensive Reading Programme in schools. The specific concern is to evaluate its effectiveness and limitation of the reading schemes with Day and Bamford's characteristics of successful extensive reading programmes. By doing so, it is necessary to define the meaning of reading and extensive reading. Since most schools in Hong Kong are in band 3, and the reading culture in these schools is relatively weaker than those in band 1 and band 2 schools, appropriate reading activities are crucial to less motivated students. In viewing this, my case study will be carried out in a band 3 school.
The reading programmes in this school to be studied involve two reading modes. One is having a twenty-minute silent reading time called Morning Reading Session. The other is to ask students to do online reading exercises in the e-platform called Eng-class.com. The school made students to conduct Chinese online reading last year; and this year, English online reading initiates. Differences of these two reading modes will be evaluated. This study will focus on the ways to conduct successful extensive reading programme, particularly focusing on online reading because traditional reading mode is shifted as the development of the information technology. The study includes the resources available on computer; the involved tools, the factor affecting the usability of integrating ICT in extensive reading, the effectiveness of the online reading and the management of the extensive reading.
By doing the above, observation, questionnaires and interviews will be made to collect attitudinal data of integrating ICT in extensive reading. Consequently, the main themes of this research will be placed on ways of integrating ICT in Extensive Reading that can be effectively draw students' interest in reading and suggest ways to build up their reading habits. It should be a way that can compromise the interest of surfing a computer and simultaneously having an extensive reading at the same time. It is a recommendation of implementation of a new Extensive Reading programme.
The following are the major research questions:
- How well do the students perform in the traditional extensive reading programme and online reading programme?
- Can online reading replace the traditional silence reading method?
- How can teachers run the extensive reading programme with the help of ICT?
- How is the mode of reading change?
The major literature review and conceptual framework will be based on the
- ICT and extensive reading
- definition of reading and extensive reading
- online reading
LeLoup, J. W. & Ponterio, R. (2005). On the net: Vocabulary support for independent online reading. Language Learning & Technology, 9(2), 3-7. Retrieved from http://llt.msu.edu/vol9num2/net/default.html
**There is consistent evidence that sustained silent reading (SSR) is effective. Students in SSR classes typically gain as much in reading comprehension as traditional students, and often gain more, especially when treatments last for longer than one semester (Krashen, 2004). SSR is usually self-selected reading. In this study, the author explored if assigned reading also works. This study compared assigned reading to traditional EFL instruction at the college level. It reports a modest victory for assigned reading over traditional instruction in vocabulary growth. The author concludes by suggesting that for reading to do a reader any good, to result in language and literacy development, it needs to be more than comprehensible. It needs to be interesting, or even compelling.
Liem, D. H. (2005). Using extensive reading to enhance students'
perceptions and their reading ability. Unpublished master's thesis,
King Mongkut's University of Technology, Thonburi, Thailand.
Frequent reading practice is one of the best ways to develop vocabulary and improve reading comprehension. Extensive reading (reading large amounts of text without worrying too much about details or looking up all vocabulary) and intensive reading (closely examining meaning and structures to be sure you figure out all the details) are both highly productive vocabulary builders in their own way (Munby, 1979). The accessibility of a huge variety of authentic reading material online is a boon to all who wish to use and practice their language skills in the real world. Independent online reading is also an excellent way to encourage the motivated learner to become engaged in real interpretive communication by reading authentic texts for interesting content rather than solely for language practice. This practice also builds on the Connections and Communities standards by (a) connecting to other subject areas of particular interest to the individual learner and (b) starting them down the path of lifelong learning and showing them how they can continue to use the language long for their own purposes long after they have left school (National Standards, 1999). In a previous column, "Literacy: Reading on the Net” we examined some sites that could help teach reading. In this column, we will look at a couple of sites that can help students read on their own.
Mason, B. (2005, February). Vocabulary acquisition through
storytelling. TexTESOL III Newsletter, 3-5.
This study aims at investigating the effects of extensive reading on
subjects' perceptions about their reading ability, and the
metacognitive strategies used while doing extensive reading. The study
also looks at the use of cognitive and social-affective strategies
during subjects' extensive reading.
The subjects involved in this study were six students majoring in
Computer Science at Saigon Institute of Information Technology in
Saigon, Vietnam. The instruments used were a set of questionnaires
(pre- and post-questionnaire) for both quantitative and qualitative
data collection. All the subjects were required to write their
reflections on forms about their reading experience and performance
during the seven weeks of the study.
The result of the study revealed that extensive reading has a positive
effect to enhance the subjects' perceptions about their reading
ability, and to increase their motivation in reading English.
The data from the pre-questionnaire and the pre-interview showed that
the students had some knowledge about metacognitive and cognitive
strategies for reading, though they did not have proper or full
knowledge about how and when to use those metacognitive strategies to
plan and monitor their reading. The data from the post-questionnaire,
the post-interview and the reflection forms showed that the extensive
reading program has brought the subjects a chance to review and
understand more about the metacognitive strategies they have acquired
before, and to apply these strategies by themselves to manage their
reading. It can also be seen that metacognitive and cognitive
strategies are interrelated during subjects' extensive reading.
From this study, it can be seen that extensive reading might be a
prominent trend of reading to help students develop their reading
autonomy, and should be encouraged to be applied in Vietnam and other
Mason, B. (2005, June). Extensive Reading; Why do it, how to do it, how not to do it. ELT News. Retrieved October 10, 2005 from
**In this study, I attempt to confirm that listening to stories leads to
the acquisition of vocabulary, and also attempt to determine how
efficient this acquisition is, that is, how it compares to direct
instruction. . . . The first study showed no difference between a story
method and a list-learning method for vocabulary learning on a delayed
posttest. The second study found no difference in efficiency in
vocabulary learning between storytelling and storytelling supplemented
with vocabulary learning activities. These findings are consistent with
the results of previous studies showing that hearing stories results in
vocabulary development. The results appear to be consistent with
[Krashen's] Comprehension Hypothesis, which claims that language
development is the result of the comprehension of messages. Available at: http://www.benikomason.net/articles/storytelling/index.html
Phillips, S. (2005). The effects of an intensive reading programme on
the academic performance of post-matric English Second Language
students in science. Unpublished Master’s thesis, University of South
Africa. UMI AAT 0668299
*This short article summarizes Krashen's Comprehension Hypothesis
("language and literacy development occur in only one way, when we
understand messages"), and notes the reading and language gains made by
self-selected readers compared to students receiving traditional
instruction. Adding a lot of output-oriented activities such as
speaking and writing to extensive reading is misguided for they take
time away from reading. The teacher's active roles in extensive
reading class are explained. The article concludes with the point
that light extensive reading is an important "bridge" in language
development, making more advanced stages such as academic reading
possible. [Also available at:
Ruiz Cecilia, R., & Guijarro Ojeda, J. R. (2005). Introducing reading journal in the EFL classroom. In M. Singhal & J. Liontas (Eds.), Proceedings of the Second International Online Conference on Second and Foreign Language Teaching and Research, September 16-18, 2005. Retrieved November 24, 2006 from http://www.readingmatrix.com/conference/pp/proceedings2005/cecilia_ojeda.pdf
Reading is considered to be a vital skill for academic success, yet it
is seldom taught to or practised with students. Students begin to
`read to learn' during primary and secondary schooling. However, at
tertiary level the academic demands are much greater than before and
involve more extensive reading of conceptually more complex texts.
This study investigates the implementation of an intensive reading
programme for post-matric English Second Language Science students,
based on the assumption that reading improves reading. In addition,
this study investigates the effect that reading ability has on
academic performance in Science, which relies inter alia, on the
ability to read, comprehend and interpret word problems. An
intervention group and a control group were used to ascertain the
effects of an intensive reading programme and the findings suggest
that any reading (intensive or extensive) improves reading and
language skills. This in turn impacts on academic performance in
Science, if students have an ability in Science to begin with.
In this paper we aim at presenting Reading Journals as an innovative tool within EFL settings. We tackle this issue from the point of view of the reader (as co-creator of meaning) rather than prioritizing only the meaning as simply expressed in the text. Thus we present the designing of a Reading Journal where self-perceptions and interests flow smoothly from the reader.
2006Deckert, G. (2006). What helped highly proficient EFL learners the most? TESL Reporter, 39(2), 1-15.
Greenberg, G., Rodrigo, V., Berry, A., Brinck, T., & Joseph, H. (2006).
Implementation of an extensive reading program with adult learners.
Adult Basic Education, 16(2), 81-97.
This study used self-report data to examine what participants felt was most helped them gain a high level of proficiency in English. Participants were 48 non-native English speakers from a variety of countries who were full-time faculty members at U.S. universities. They completed a questionnaire that asked them about their formal and informal experiences in learning English and asked them to rate the utility of the various types of experience and to make recommendations as to what might most help current ESL learners.
While results are not unambiguous, the researcher interprets the findings as supportive of an emphasis on language use and on participating in experiences that promote unconscious acquisition, rather than a focus on language usage and on working toward conscious learning of English. For example, one table in the article shows respondents’ ranking of the usefulness of seven types of exposure to English. The two types of exposure ranked least useful are formal ESL classes prior to and during university, while the two highest ranked are using English as a teacher or professor and as a student in regular university classes. In another table, free reading was ranked as the most helpful out-of-class activity.
Irvine, A. (2006). Extensive reading and L2 development:a study of Hong Kong secondary learners of English. Unpublished PhD thesis. Edinburgh: The University of Edinburgh.
Extensive reading is an approach to teaching reading that has been
utilized with English as a Second Language (ESL) learners, but not
widely used in the adult literacy classroom. This article investigates
whether this approach can be utilized in a classroom for adults who
have difficulty with reading. A description of our implementation of
extensive reading with adults who read between the third- and
fifth-grade levels is provided, along with an analysis of their reading
skills before and after instruction.
[**We know very little about the importance of motivation in regard to
reading and the adult learner. By describing a program that exposes
adult literacy students to literature they find motivating, this
article is an attempt to begin to fill this gap. Specifically, this
article addresses the following research questions: Can an extensive
reading approach be implemented in an adult literacy classroom? If yes,
what does it look like? What are learner reactions to this approach?
Are reading gains attained by learners who are exposed to this
Kajinga, G. (2006). Teachers' beliefs regarding the role of extensive reading in English language learning: a case study. Unpublished M.A. thesis, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. Retrieved August 16, 2006, from http://eprints.ru.ac.za/291.
Although extensive reading is regarded by many practitioners as a potentially very useful means of assisting L2 development, experimental enquiry into its effectiveness has so far produced little more than a collection of somewhat disparate findings. Nor has any attempt been made to categorically link any such research findings with second language acquisition theory. Consequently, we have no coherent, research-based theory of L2 extensive reading.
Using data from a large-scale project implemented in Hong Kong secondary schools, the L2 English writing of students participating in an extensive reading scheme as part of the school curriculum was compared to that of non-participant students. Samples of timed narrative writing from 392 students in Secondaries 2 and 3 were rated holistically on a scale of 1 - 6 for overall quality, grammatical complexity, grammatical accuracy, vocabulary range, coherence, spelling and conventions of presentation. A subset of 150 compositions from two control and two experimental classes were further evaluated on a range of objective measures.
Results from the two evaluation procedures were cross-referenced, and indicate that extensive reading in an L2 may benefit language development in quite specific ways. Findings are discussed within the context of current psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic theory and an explanation consistent with such theory is proposed. It is argued that, because it is likely to be subserved by a different memory system from that which subserves formal classroom instruction, extensive reading may enhance levels of automaticity, thus favouring the development of fluency, and, concomitantly, complexity and coherence. At low levels of L2 competence, extensive reading may also accelerate the acquisition of basic grammar through frequency effects.
Lee, S. (2006). A one-year study of SSR: University level EFL students in Taiwan. The International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 2(1), 6-8. Retrieved October 22, 2007, from http://www.tprstories.com/ijflt/IJFLTWinter06.pdf
Research suggests numerous views to account for the influence on practice of teachers' beliefs. One view states that teachers' lived experiences shape their beliefs about practice. Another view attributes the influence to school experiences. This research sets out to gain insight into teachers' beliefs on the role of extensive reading in second language learning. A case study of 9 teachers from 3 schools in Grahamstown, South Africa selected purposefully and conveniently was utilised. The teachers were viewed to be knowledgeable on this matter by virtue of their profession while the 3 schools were selected to represent a private school, a former Model C and former Department of Education and Training (DET) school. Data was mainly collected by means of semi-structured interviews, which utilised in-depth open-ended questions to yield teachers' past experiences. The findings revealed the following: all the teachers appeared to believe that extensive reading was invaluable and enhanced language skills. However, white and black teachers differed in terms of their early experiences of reading. Whereas for white teachers early experiences with literacy were encountered in the home, for black teachers the school was where they had their first exposure to literacy. In addition formal training in the form of an ACE (Advanced Certificate in Education) seemed to have influenced black teachers' beliefs about the subject at hand, whereas the role of teacher education/ training was not as significant for white teachers.
Mason, B. (2006). Free voluntary reading and autonomy in second language acquisition: Improving TOEFL scores from reading alone. The International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 2(1), 2-5. Retrieved October 22, 2007, from http://www.tprstories.com/ijflt/IJFLTWinter06.pdf
**This one-year study looks at vocabulary learning from sustained silent reading. The subjects in both experimental and comparison groups were freshman non-English majors who were taking a required course in English as a foreign language, and they were not taking other English courses at the time of the study. The tests used for both groups included (1) a 100 item cloze test measuring reading ability, developed by Mason (2003), which was used as both a pre and post test; (2) vocabulary tests developed by Schmidt (2000) that test the 2000 level words, 3000, 5000, 10,0000 and academic vocabulary levels, with 30 items at each level, also used as both pre- and post-tests. Tests were given at the beginning of the academic year and at the end of the year. The results revealed that the experimental group significantly outperformed the comparison group on the combined vocabulary test, on the cloze test, and on three levels of the vocabulary test.
Murata, S. (2006). The rate of learning vocabulary from reading a set of graded readers. Unpublished M.A. thesis presented to Notre Dame Seishin University, Okayama, Japan.
**This paper reports an attempt to introduce students to free voluntary reading. Students who had completed classes in which they were involved in free voluntary reading of graded readers were encouraged to continue reading on their own in preparation for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The results of this study suggests that it is possible to improve in a second language from input/reading alone, and that the benefits of reading extend to vocabulary and grammar. The results also suggest that at least some students can prepare quite well for the TOEFL in their own country. Finally, the results suggest that the courses these students took succeeded in making them autonomous language acquirers. To confirm that this is so, we need to investigate whether these students turn to reading on their own in the future to further improve their
Pigada, M, & Schmitt, N. (2006). Vocabulary acquisition from extensive reading: A case study. Reading in a Foreign Language, 18(1), 1-28. Retrieved April 20, 2006, from http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/April2006/pigada/pigada.htm
This study looked at the rate of learning vocabulary from a set of graded readers. To see the growth of vocabulary, firstly 10 graded readers were scanned and examined for what kind of words were in the graded readers. The text was changed into the digital text by scanning. 44 words were selected as test words according to their occurrence rates. The occurrence rates were 101-125, 71-100, 51-70, 31-50, 10-30 and 1-9. The test words were all nouns and verbs. New spellings for the 44 test words were created to ensure that the word would be unknown to the subjects and the reading texts were changed accordingly. There were 13 subjects learning English as a foreign language. The subjects were asked to read the five graded readers and take comprehension tests. After that they had 3 types of test to measure their vocabulary growth. The tests were a collocation test, a translation test and a multiple-choice test. The results show that learned some words from reading but the knowledge was easily forgotten. Also the subjects acquired collocation from reading quite well, but there was no remarkable difference in acquisition scores between the words they met over 100 times and those they met around 50 times. This implies that learners need to read more graded readers than have been recommended as a result of previous research
Pino-Silva, J. (2006). Extensive reading through the Internet: Is it
worth the while? The Reading Matrix, 6 (1), 85-96. Retrieved April
20, 2006, from
A number of studies have shown that second language learners acquire vocabulary through reading, but only relatively small amounts. However, most of these studies used only short texts, measured only the acquisition of meaning, and did not credit partial learning of words. This case study of a learner of French explores whether an extensive reading program can enhance lexical knowledge. The study assessed a relatively large number of words (133), and examined whether one month of extensive reading enhanced knowledge of these target words' spelling, meaning, and grammatical characteristics. The measurement procedure was a one-on-one interview that allowed a very good indication of whether learning occurred. The study also explores how vocabulary acquisition varies according to how often words are encountered in the texts. The results showed that knowledge of 65% of the target words was enhanced in some way, for a pickup rate of about 1 of every 1.5 words tested. Spelling was strongly enhanced, even from a small number of exposures. Meaning and grammatical knowledge were also enhanced, but not to the same extent. Overall, the study indicates that more vocabulary acquisition is possible from extensive reading than previous studies have suggested.
Taylor, A. (2006). Text selection and frequency: Comments on Pigada and Schmitt (2006). Reading in a foreign language, 18(2), 116-117. http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/RFL/October2006/discussion/taylor.html
Smith, K. (2006). A comparison of “pure” extensive reading with intensive reading and extensive reading with supplementary activities. The International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 2(2), 12-15. Retrieved October 26, 2007, from http://www.tprstories.com/ijflt/IJFLTFall06.pdf
Reading materials written in English is the prime goal of many reading
programs around the world. Extensive reading (ER) has for years aided
new students at my institution to gradually acquire large vocabularies
and other sub-skills that are needed to read fluently. To continue to
do that effectively, a new scheme involving the use of internet -
called w-ERP,- was set in place in collaboration with the students.
The main focus of this article is to describe the 3phase, gradual
process that led to the current design of the web-based ER scheme. The
paper begins with a brief discussion of ER, reading on line (RO) and
self-directed learning as part of the rationale for the new scheme.
Participants’ preliminary data on the benefits and potentials for
learning to read and reading for learning other things are discussed.
Stewart, D. (2006). Should our students be using dictionaries for extensive reading? ETJ Journal, 7(1), 9-10. Retrieved May 10, 2007, from http://www.davidenglishhouse.com/journalpdfs/vol7no%201/Usingdictionaries.pdf
Fifteen and sixteen year old students of English as a foreign language in Taiwan who participated in a “pure” extensive reading program made better gains in vocabulary and reading comprehension (cloze tests) than comparisons in “intensive” reading programs and extensive reading supplemented with activities in which students summarized and evaluated what they read. The advantage for the reading-only group was only evident for the first semester. All groups made similar gains the second semester of the project.
Taguchi, E., Gorsuch, G. J. & Sasamoto, E. (2006). Developing second and foreign language reading fluency and its effect on comprehension: a missing link. The Reading Matrix 6(2), 1-18. Available: http://www.readingmatrix.com/articles/taguchi_gorsuch_sasamoto/article.pdf
*This article summarizes different points of view on dictionary use during extensive reading. It reports an experiment with 286 junior high school students in Japan that related reading level, dictionary use, and improvement in SLEP scores after eight months:
Low level readers who occasionally used a dictionary improved more than those who never used one or those who used a dictionary a lot. But with medium level readers, it was students who never used a dictionary who improved the most.
The author concludes that students should be given the choice of whether to use dictionaries or not. Those who use dictionaries need dictionary skills, the teaching of which is outlined in the article. Dictionary users should be encouraged to reach the point where they no longer need to use a dictionary when reading extensively.
Tekmen, E. A. F. & Daloglu, A.(2006). An investigation of incidental vocabulary acquisition in relation to learner proficiency level and word frequency. Foreign Language Annals, 39(2), 220-243.
Reading fluency has been a major concern in reading research and education in English L1 settings for the past three decades. Extensive research has explored various types of instructional methods to develop reading fluency in the hope of improving reading comprehension directly and indirectly as a result. Contrary to the increasingly important role reading fluency has been given in English L1 settings, it has attracted scant attention in L2 and FL settings because it is expected to grow naturally as reading skills develop. Some preliminary studies on reading fluency in L2 or FL contexts have directed the attention of researchers and educators to the issue of whether reading fluency plays a crucial role in successful reading comprehension, as opposed to fluency being a byproduct of reading skills development. This paper is an attempt to examine theoretical and pedagogical issues that address reading fluency in L2/FL settings. Based on research findings in English L1 and L2/FL settings, this paper also makes suggestions for future research and instruction.
Tran, A. (2006). Modified extensive reading for English-language
learners. Reading Improvement, 43(4), 173-178.
This study examined the relationship between learners' incidental vocabulary acquisition and their level of proficiency, and between acquisition and word frequency in a text. Participants were Turkish learners of English at three proficiency levels. One reading text and four vocabulary tests were administered over a two-week period. Analysis of the data revealed lexical gains from reading were significant for each group (p < .05). The higher proficiency groups were able to acquire more words than lower level groups. Word frequency in the text was also a significant factor in vocabulary acquisition (p < .05), with 29% of the variance in acquisition being accounted for by frequency. However, frequency did not play a greater role in the vocabulary acquisition of lower level learners than in that of higher level learners.
[From the concluding paragraph]
....A well-designed extensive reading program, using graded readers for beginning and intermediate learners, and more authentic texts for advanced learners may be an optimal method for L2 learners to enhance vocabulary knowledge. Explicit instruction seems particularly important in helping learners to reach the 3,000 word level, at which time they will be better able to read authentic texts....
Based on a number of publications within the last five years, this
article starts with an observation that vocabulary instruction for
English-Language Learners is still not given adequate attention. In an
attempt to improve the situation, the author suggests a modified
approach to extensive reading for vocabulary and reading development.
The article begins with a summary of Frank Smith's assumptions on the
nature of reading, and then the benefits of Krashen's approach to
extensive reading. Next, the author reports and discusses her
experience with extensive reading. The article concludes with
suggestions of appropriate reading materials for vocabulary and reading
2007Bradford-Watts, K., & O'Brien, A. (2007). Interview with Rob Waring and Marc Helgesen on extensive reading. The Language Teacher, 31(5), 3-6.
Cobb, T. (2007). Computing the vocabulary demands of L2 reading. Language Learning & Technology, 11(3), 38-64. Retrieved from http://llt.msu.edu/vol11num3/cobb/default.html
In this interview, Waring and Helgesen discuss the past, present, and future of Extensive Reading (ER) in Japan. Topics covered include the meaning of Extensive Reading, the introduction and development of ER programs in educational institutions, challenges in and advice for setting up a program, benefits of Extensive Reading for learners, ER learning styles, and multiple intelligences. Waring and Helgesen also provide a glimpse of ER related organizations and their visions for the future of ER in Japan.
Crossley, S. A., Louwerse, M. M., McCarthy, P. M. & McNamara, D. S. (2007). A linguistic analysis of simplified and authentic texts. Modern Language Journal, 91(1), 15–30.
Linguistic computing can make two important contributions to second language (L2) reading instruction. One is to resolve longstanding research issues that are based on an insufficiency of data for the researcher, and the other is to resolve related pedagogical problems based on insufficiency of input for the learner. The research section of the paper addresses the question of whether reading alone can give learners enough vocabulary to read. When the computer’s ability to process large amounts of both learner and linguistic data is applied to this question, it becomes clear that, for the vast majority of L2 learners, free or wide reading alone is not a sufficient source of vocabulary knowledge for reading. But computer processing also points to solutions to this problem. Through its ability to reorganize and link documents, the networked computer can increase the supply of vocabulary input that is available to the learner. The development section of the paper elaborates a principled role for computing in L2 reading pedagogy, with examples, in two broad areas, computer-based text design and computational enrichment of undesigned texts.
Fredricks, L. (2007). A rationale for critical pedagogy in EFL: The case of Tajikistan. The Reading Matrix, 7(2). Retrieved October 25, 2008, from http://www.readingmatrix.com/articles/fredricks/article2.pdf
The opinions of second language learning (L2) theorists and researchers are divided over whether to use authentic or simplified reading texts as the means of input for beginning- and intermediate-level L2 learners. Advocates of both approaches cite the use of linguistic features, syntax, and discourse structures as important elements in support of their arguments, but there has been no conclusive study that measures these differences and their implications for L2 learning. The purpose of this article is to provide an exploratory study that fills this gap. Using the computational tool Coh-Metrix, this study investigates the differences between the linguistic structures of sampled simplified texts and those of authentic reading texts in order to provide a better understanding of the linguistic features that comprise these text types. The findings demonstrate that these texts differ significantly, but not always in the manner supposed by the authors of relevant scholarship. This research is meant to enable materials developers, publishers, and classroom teachers to judge more accurately the value of both authentic and simplified texts.
Furr, M. (2007). Reading circles: Moving great stories from the periphery of the language classroom to its centre. The Language Teacher, 31(5), 15-18.
As EFL programs become more prevalent throughout the world, the cultural implications of English teaching are more often debated. These cultural considerations are extremely relevant in Islamic cultures, where English education can be viewed as contributing to the influence of Western Christian or secular pedagogy. This potential clash of approaches to teaching and learning should be critically addressed by EFL instructors. One method of doing so is introducing reading instruction with critical pedagogy. The article will illustrate how critical pedagogy and critical literacy instruction were implemented in a reading program in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. As a former member of the Soviet Union, the system of education in Tajikistan was developed with Soviet, atheistic ideals of education which clashed with those of local students and teachers. Thus, a critical approach to facilitating English reading clubs was introduced to allow students to mold the curriculum and discussions in ways that reflected their diverse cultural values. A key goal of the program was to promote student-lead [sic] dialogue about texts that examined authors' motives and messages. The rationale for text selection and judging culturally relevant texts will be addressed as a model for other ELF [sic] programs and practitioners.
Huang, H.-T. (2007). Vocabulary learning in an automated graded reading program. Language Learning & Technology, 11(3), 64-82.
Students enjoy reading graded readers, and reading circles serve to relocate extensive reading materials from the periphery of the language classroom to its centre. Reading circles combine the skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. They provide two things often lacking in many communication courses: material that is both comprehensible and interesting to talk about, and a framework which makes having a real discussion in English an achievable goal for students. This article defines reading circles, discusses the benefits of using them in the classroom, and introduces the reading circles roles. Finally, it also explains how to get started using reading circles in the classroom so that students can have interesting, meaningful discussions, in English
Krashen, S. (2007). Free voluntary web-surfing. The International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 3(1), 2-9. Retrieved October 21, 2007, from http://www.tprstories.com/ijflt/IJFLTJuly07.pdf
Adult L2 learners are often encouraged to acquire new words through reading in order to promote language proficiency. Yet preparing suitable reading texts is often a challenge for teachers because the chosen texts must have a high percentage of words familiar to specific groups of learners in order to allow the inference of word meanings from context. With the help of word lists research and advances in quantitative corpus analyses using word frequency computer programs, this study selected sixteen articles from the computer corpus of a local Chinese-English magazine and used them to construct an online English extensive reading program. A preliminary assessment of the reading program was conducted with 38 college students over twelve weeks based upon vocabulary gains from a pretest to a posttest. The results showed that learners improved their vocabulary scores after using the reading program. The online extensive reading syllabus demonstrated that such a design for a reading program is technically feasible and pedagogically beneficial and provides value in both vocabulary gains and learner satisfaction.
Lee, S. (2007). Revelations from three consecutive studies on extensive reading. RELC Journal, 38, 150-170.
**This paper presents a simple message: we are taking the wrong approach in our use of computers in language and literacy development. Also, the wrong way is the hard way; the right way is the easy way. The paper first discusses some of the problems with current approaches, and then presents a much simpler, easier-to-use alternative: free voluntary surfing – doing free voluntary reading on the internet, or using the Internet to locate printed material of interest for free reading. Free voluntary surfing is rarely mentioned as a possible means of language development. Yet, it may have the best potential of all current ‘computer applications’.
Lehmann, M. (2007). Is intentional or incidental vocabulary learning more
effective? The International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 3(1), 23-28. Retrieved October 22, 2007, from http://www.tprstories.com/ijflt/IJFLTJuly07.pdf
This paper presents three consecutive studies on the effect of extensive reading on the development of reading and vocabulary for Taiwanese university non-English majors. Each study used a different approach, with subsequent studies adjusting the methodology in response to the results of the previous year. These results confirm other findings, using different subjects in other countries, that (1) extensive reading can be integrated into an EFL curriculum, termed in-class sustained silent reading, at the university level; (2) extensive reading is at least as effective and efficient as traditional instruction in acquiring English as a foreign language and is more effective than traditional instruction when the treatment duration is longer; (3) book access and self-selection of reading are two keys to the success of a sustained silent reading program.
Li, J.X. (2007). Research on the teaching of extensive reading in senior high schools via Internet. Unpublished Master of Education dissertation. Northeast Normal University, Shenyang, China. (Origianl in Chinese)
**This study attempted to compare intentional and incidental vocabulary learning and aimed to determine whether deliberate preparation for regular vocabulary retention tests is more efficient in a fourteen-week study than incidental vocabulary learning as a byproduct of reading only. An intentional learning group was asked to look up unfamiliar words in short articles and prepare for regular vocabulary tests. The incidental group read the same articles with no special focus on vocabulary. Both groups read a novel over the semester, and neither group did any vocabulary study based on words in the novel. Pre-tests were administered to the two participating groups before treatment to estimate their initial vocabulary size. A post-test then measured the rate of vocabulary learning after treatment. Two scoring methods were used and produced similar results: There were only small differences between the groups. The intentional group was slightly better in retention of words contained in readings of short articles, but the difference fell short of statistical significance. The incidental group was slightly better on words that neither group studied that were included in the novel. The results of this study are consistent with the hypothesis that vocabulary can be “acquired” from reading alone (Krashen, 1989), and it also suggests that vocabulary study of the kind these students did does not add much. All the extra work that the explicit learning group did was of very limited value: the incidental learning group did nearly as well on the words in the articles, without any special attention paid to the words or extra study.
Marianne. (2007). A comparative analysis of racism in the original and modified texts of The Cay. Reading in a Foreign Language, 19(1), 56-68. Retrieved April 27, 2007, from http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/April2007/marianne/marianne.html
The English Curriculum attaches great importance to the improvement of students’ reading ability. The Internet has provided rich resources for extensive reading. In order to make full use of the resources via internet, the writer conducted this research in the latter half of the year 2006.
With regard to topic, discourse and lexis English teaching materials in secondary schools have gone through a continuous trials and innovations. However the process of updating in terms of the amount of the materials and the expansion of topics has been lagging behind. To some extent this has affected the students’ reading ability.
Now that senior high students have acquired certain amount of vocabulary, it is possible to develop their all-around language ability by providing authentic, updated materials for extensive reading via Internet.
An extensive reading is a prerequisite for improving reading ability. The fact that resources provided through Internet is rich, interesting and can be shared by all enables this research to make a full use of it. In terms of teaching contents materials used for extensive reading include aural and visual materials that are enlightening and interesting. Teachers help students deal with problems in the reading process through internet technology such as BBS and chat room. Reading strategies were instructed through case studies. Teachers did on-line assessment making timely adjustment in re-orienting teaching. This research took one semester. In the reading section of the final examination the scores of the students in the experimental class were noticeably higher than those of the students in the control class.
The questionnaire conducted in the research revealed that the majority students were in favor of extensive reading via Internet. As a newly-emerging thing, the research on extensive reading via Internet has a long way to go. With the enhancement of teacher’s quality and the improvement of internet technology, there will be wider and greater prospect in using internet to assist the teaching of extensive reading in senior high schools.
Nishino, T. (2007). Beginning to read extensively: A case study with
Mako and Fumi. Reading in a Foreign Language, 19(2). Retrieved October
20, 2007, from
Ten high-school students of English as a second language (ESL) intensively studied the modified version of The Cay (retold by Strange, 1997). During their study the teacher asked questions designed to elicit students’ comprehension and understanding of racism and prejudice as the main themes of The Cay. Analysis of classroom discourse data indicated that none of the students independently identified these themes. This article shows the results of a comparative analysis of extracts from the original version of The Cay (Taylor, 1994) with the modified The Cay (Strange, 1997) in order to provide an explanation for ESL students’ inability to identify the themes of racism and prejudice in The Cay. An example from classroom discourse data is used to illustrate students’ difficulty in answering the teacher’s theme-related questions. This article also outlines several pedagogical implications and suggestions for using modified fiction texts in ESL classrooms.
Renandya, W. A. (2007). The power of extensive reading. RELC Journal, 38, 133-149.
Research has shown that extensive reading offers a wide range of
learning benefits to second language (L2) learners. However, most
studies on L2 extensive reading are conducted collectively on groups
of learners and do not provide a detailed picture of individual
experience. Moreover, there are few studies conducted on the reading
experiences of early L2 learners. This paper presents a longitudinal
case study on the reading strategies and motivation of 2 Japanese
middle school students beginning to read extensively in English.
During this 2.5-year study, the researcher conducted interviews 4
times, gave tests regularly, and observed participant behavior in each
reading session. The results show that the 2 participants used a
variety of reading strategies and that their L2 reading motivation
changed as they became increasingly fluent readers. The findings
reveal significant individual differences in the use of reading
strategies and support a dynamic view of L2 reading motivation.
Rodrigo, V., Greenberg, D., Burke, V., Hall, R., Berry, A., Brinck,
T., Joseph, H., & Oby, M. (2007). Implementing an extensive reading
program and library for adult literacy learners. Reading in a Foreign
Language, 19(2). Retrieved October 20, 2007, from
My goal in this article is to discuss the empirical support for extensive reading and explore its pedagogical applications in L2/FL learning. I argue that the benefits derived from diverse studies on extensive reading in many different contexts are so compelling that it will be inconceivable for teachers not to make it an important feature of their teaching.
Rosszell, R. (2007). Combining extensive reading and intensive vocabulary study in a Japanese university. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Temple University Japan, Tokyo.
This article describes the implementation of an extensive reading (ER)
program with 43 first language (L1) and second language (L2) adult
literacy students. Among them, 16% were nonnative speakers of English.
The main principles considered in the design of the program were (a)
purpose of reading, (b) reading tactics, (c) material used, and (d)
teacher role. The program included sustained silent reading, book
talk, and reading aloud. Because a well-equipped library is essential
for a successful ER program, this article discusses practical
considerations for implementing a library and establishes principles
that could guide others working on similar programs. This article also
discusses criteria teachers should consider when selecting books for a
reading-aloud activity as well as the books and genres that were
popular with our sample.
Schmidt, K. (2007). Five factors to consider in implementing a university extensive reading program. The Language Teacher, 31(5), 11-14.
****The claim that Extensive Reading (ER) alone can provide second/foreign language (L2) learners with the vocabulary that they need (e.g., Day & Bamford, 1998; Elley, 1991; Krashen, 1989, 1993b) has been challenged. Although incidental learning has established itself as the default explanation in first language (L1) studies of child vocabulary acquisition (Gardner, 2004), low rates of acquisition have demonstrated the inadequacy of this approach for L2 learners (Horst, Cobb, & Meara, 1998; Waring & Takaki, 2003; Zahar, Cobb, & Spada, 2001, but see also Pigada and Schmitt, 2006). To investigate L2 rates of vocabulary learning, a one-semester study of 40 intermediate level (ITP scores: M = 446, SD = 30) Japanese university EFL students was designed. There were two conditions. The first condition, labeled ER+, involved extensive reading, discussion, and intensive vocabulary study. The second condition, labeled ER, involved ER, discussion, and report writing, but no intensive vocabulary study. Each group read 1 of 2 graded readers under one condition, and then the other reader under the second condition. Those in the ER+ condition were assigned 10 words from their reading to study each week, and those in the ER condition completed a short weekly report. Participants completed 2 pre-, post-, and follow-up tests on the words from each reader: a modified Vocabulary Knowledge Scale (Wesche & Paribakht, 1996), and a Recall Test modelled on Laufer and Nation’s (1999) design. Learners’ knowledge was rated on 3 scales; meaning, use, and recall. Two repeated-measures ANOVAs revealed a statistically significant and sustained advantage for the ER+ group on both vocabulary measures. Given the small number of ER studies that have focused on vocabulary development (Horst, 2005), and the even smaller number that have gone beyond simply measuring knowledge of word meanings (Pigada & Schmitt, 2006; Webb, 2005), this represents a significant finding. To help students to increase their productive vocabulary, ER+ represents an option that is both viable and effective.
Sin, M. (2007). An evaluation of the effectiveness of a school-based Chinese extensive reading curriculum for junior secondary students. Unpublished PhD thesis, The University of Hong Kong.
Extensive Reading, course development, university level Among the many factors affecting the shape and success of an Extensive Reading (ER) program, five featured prominently in interviews with eight ER practitioners at universities in Japan: 1) convictions regarding language learning, especially in regards to amounts of comprehended input needed and the role of independent reading (and listening) in relation to other learning activities; 2) defining desired learning and attitudinal outcomes and setting reading targets and tasks appropriately; 3) adapting the approach to ER for student attitudes, interests, abilities, and goals; 4) effective introduction of an easily understood ER program, with ongoing support and personal follow-up; and 5) developing reading communities, in and out-of class.
Takase, A. (2007). Japanese high school students' motivation for
extensive L2 reading. Reading in a Foreign Language, 19 (1), 1-18.
Retrieved April 14, 2007, from
In Hong Kong, extensive reading education among junior secondary students has always been overlooked. The significance of extensive reading had always been emphasized at different stages of Chinese Language Curriculum development. The revised Chinese Language Curriculum for secondary schools issued in 2001 further stipulates that the impact of extensive reading on Chinese Language acquisition with detailed elaborations on the setting of reading environment, the design of reading activities, and the criteria of selecting books for extensive reading. Despite the emphasis and effort put on extensive reading, the ranking of local junior secondary school students at the reading assessment of PISA has disappointingly descended from the 6th in 2001 to the 10th in 2003. To reverse the trend and enhance students' reading ability, not only should emphasis be placed on the teaching and learning of reading in the curriculum, but extensive reading must also be promoted to consolidate knowledge students learn so that junior secondary students can develop good attitude of extensive reading. Urgent as it is and to accomplish this task, teachers must further understand the way in which junior secondary students develop their attitude of extensive reading in order to better solve the difficulties encountered in the implementation of an extensive reading curriculum in Hong Kong.
This research is based on the theories and thoughts on extensive reading in western countries and pioneers in adopting 'engaged reading' concept in designing a school-based junior secondary extensive reading curriculum. A 3-year longitudinal action research on Form one students of an English medium secondary school aims at exploring the difficulties and effectiveness of implementing an extensive reading curriculum, the causes of difficulties that may be involved and the reasons why junior secondary students find it difficult in developing good attitude of extensive reading. The research findings have shown that longitudinal research can not only effectively evaluate the effectiveness of implementing an extensive reading curriculum, but also significantly provides insight into the development of attitude of extensive reading of the target groups. They can also record the effects of changes in educational ecology on the development of extensive reading attitude and provide a comprehensive picture of development in such a curriculum. Curriculum developers can then make improvements. The precious information obtained in investigating the development of attitude of extensive reading in target groups can help researchers further grasp the development pattern of attitude of extensive reading among junior secondary school students.
Research findings have shown that differences in students' abilities and changes of educational ecology exert a certain degree of influence on the effectiveness of an extensive reading curriculum and the development of extensive reading attitude among junior secondary students. Teachers' cognitive understanding of the development of such attitude is also a factor in the effectiveness of such a curriculum. If junior secondary language teachers can be evolved from professional to expert through staff development both inside and outside school, it will definitely help junior secondary students in developing good attitude of extensive reading.
Research findings have further proved that the development of attitude of extensive reading among junior secondary school students is influenced by many factors including students' reading abilities, development of reading affective domain and development of educational ecology formed by schools, families and society. In order to develop a model for the development of students' extensive reading attitude, all the above-mentioned factors should be examined.
Tanaka, H., & Stapleton, P. (2007). Increasing reading input in Japanese high school EFL classrooms:
An empirical study exploring the efficacy of extensive reading. Reading Matrix, 7(1), 115-131. Retrieved May 26, 2008 from http://www.readingmatrix.com/articles/tanaka_stapleton/article.pdf
To investigate factors that motivate Japanese high school students to
read English extensively, I assessed 219 female high school students
who participated in an extensive reading program for 1 academic year.
The results showed that the 2 most influential factors were students'
intrinsic motivation for first language (L1) reading and second
language (L2) reading. However, no positive relationship between L1
reading motivation and L2 reading motivation was observed. Follow-up
interviews, conducted with 1/3 of the participants, illuminated aspects
of the motivation that the quantitative data did not reveal. Several
enthusiastic readers of Japanese were not motivated to read in English
due to the gaps between their abilities to read in Japanese and in
English. In contrast, the intrinsic motivation of enthusiastic readers
of English was limited to L2 reading and did not extend to their L1
White, M. (2007). A good story in 50 words? The Language Teacher, 31(5), 19-20.
A lack of reading quantity in EFL (English as a Foreign Language) classrooms has remained one of the most serious problems faced by teachers of English in Japan. Although the extensive reading (ER) approach is regarded as having significant potential in addressing this problem, it is not used in many EFL classrooms. This study investigates the effect of a quasi-extensive reading program on Japanese high school EFL learners’ reading comprehension, reading speed, and their perceptions of the program. The participants in the treatment group were 96 high school students who engaged in a reading activity with teacher-made materials for the first five to ten minutes of class for approximately five months. Some of these students also read graded readers outside of class. Progress in reading comprehension and speed was measured against a parallel control group that received no treatment in a pre- and post-test format. Results revealed that the treatment group, especially those who read graded readers, scored significantly higher in reading speed and comprehension than the control group. The findings suggest that Japanese high schools and more broadly, English teachers in input-poor EFL settings should increase reading input within the students’ linguistic levels both inside and outside of the classroom.
Williams, E. (2007.) Extensive reading in Malawi: Inadequate implementation or inappropriate innovation? Journal of Research in Reading, 30(1), 59-79. Available from: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1467-9817.2006.00328.x
****This activity helps students appreciate the power of words and gives them a taste of what extensive reading has to offer. Students work with extremely short stories and the blurbs from the backs of graded readers, which can be a great springboard for reading the graded readers themselves.
Yamashita, J. (2007). The relationship of reading attitudes between L1 and L2: An investigation of adult EFL learners in Japan, TESOL Quarterly, 41(1), 81-105.
This article reports on the evaluation of an extensive reading programme in primary schools in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in Africa. The programme involved the delivery of book boxes at Years 4 and 5 to every Malawian primary school. Summative evaluation was achieved through baseline and project-end testing, with observations and interviews employed for illuminative purposes. A time-lapse design was employed, with testing in 1995 of Year 6 students (who had not had the programme in Years 4 and 5), and retesting in 1999 of Year 6 students in the same schools (who had had the programme in Years 4 and 5). Results unexpectedly showed a statistically significant decrease in mean score. The article explores deficiencies in programme implementation, but concludes that implementing educational innovations in Malawi requires sensitivity to the cultural-educational context. Furthermore, there is merit in Malawians radically questioning the appropriacy of innovations.
Yau, Y. T. A. (2007). A study of the extensive reading scheme in a secondary school using Chinese as a medium of instruction through the views of secondary three students with a wide range of abilities and their teachers. Unpublished master’s thesis, The University of Hong Kong.
This study investigated the transfer of reading attitudes from L1 to L2, drawing on the linguistic threshold hypothesis. Participants were Japanese university-level EFL students. Their L1 and L2 reading attitudes were estimated using a Likert scale, and their L2 proficiency was measured using a test. The study found that the students' L1 and L2 reading attitudes were different. Multiple regression analyses identified significant contributions of L1 reading attitudes in explaining L2 attitudes. The contribution of L2 proficiency was also significant in many cases but very small. Moreover, no evidence was found that the contribution of L1 reading attitude increases at higher levels of L2 proficiency. The study thus demonstrated that reading attitudes transfer from L1 to L2, but as distinct from transfer of reading abilities and strategies, the influence of L2 proficiency is much weaker and the notion of a linguistic threshold does not apply to the transfer of reading attitudes from L1 to L2.
*"Learners who have a positive attitude toward L1 reading are more or less likely to keep it in L2 reading even if they are, at a certain point of their development, not very successful L2 readers. Such learners have the potential to improve in L2 reading in the future, because their positive reading attitude is likely to motivate them to reading in L2. Teachers should encourage such learners by, for example, suggesting reading materials at an appropriate linguistic level for them" (pp. 102-103).
Yoshida, E. (2007). A case study of learning collocations from extensive reading. Unpublished thesis presented to Notre Dame Seishin University.
This is a qualitative study which aims to investigate the perceptions of students with a range of abilities on extensive reading and the extensive reading scheme at school to see if there are any differences among them, and to compare the views of students and teachers to see if there is any mismatch between their expectations of the current reading scheme. Twelve secondary three students with a range of language abilities and three reading teachers in a CMI (Chinese as the Medium of Instruction) secondary school participated in the study and individual interviews were conducted. Results showed that students generally had a positive view towards extensive reading despite their different language levels. However, differences in students' views on extensive reading and the extensive reading scheme indicate that students of different language abilities do have different interests and needs. Differences are particularly evident in their perceived gains in reading comprehension and writing as well as their preferred in-class activities. This implies that the one-size-fits-all approach for conducting the reading lesson may not work for students across the whole form. As revealed from the study, there was also a gap between students and reading teachers in their understandings of extensive reading, and their expectations of the reading scheme. For instance, students and teachers have different interpretations for the role of reading teachers. Such mismatches may also hinder the effectiveness of the current extensive reading scheme. In light of the findings of the study which suggest a need to consider students' views, and with reference to the problems of the extensive reading scheme identified by the participants, a number of recommendations for the reading teachers and school administration for improving the extensive reading scheme of the school are made.
This case study assessed the learning of 13 adjectives and their 53 adjective-noun collocations from extensive reading with three ESL learners. In order to ensure that the test items were unknown to the subjects, the 13 adjectives were replaced by substitute words throughout five graded readers. The subjects were asked to read the texts and then given four tests: 1) a word-form recognition test; 2) a meaning test; 3) an unprompted productive collocation test; and 4) a prompted productive collocation test. The results show that extensive reading clearly promoted the learning of collocations. Thus, extensive reading can be beneficial for learning new vocabulary because both meaning knowledge and collocational knowledge would develop through reading. It was also found that sensitive tests can be advantageous to the specific knowledge to be measured when assessing broader knowledge like productive collocational knowledge.
2008Alessi, S., & Dwyer, A. (2008). Vocabulary assistance before and during reading. Reading in a Foreign Language, 20(2), 246-263.
Brown, D. (2008). Why and how textbooks should encourage extensive reading. ELT Journal Advance Accesspublished August 20, 2008.
Intermediate learners of Spanish read a Spanish newspaper article with vocabulary assistance either before reading, while reading, both, or without any such assistance. Reading performance was significantly better for students receiving vocabulary assistance during reading, but not for those receiving it before reading. Reading time of the newspaper article was less for students receiving prereading vocabulary assistance, but total lesson time (the prereading time plus reading time) was more for those students. Given the particular activities of this study, a vocabulary activity before reading appears to speed up reading without affecting comprehension, while vocabulary assistance during reading appears to improve comprehension without affecting speed.
Brown, R., Waring, R., & Donkaewbua, S. (2008). Incidental vocabulary acquisition from reading, reading-while-listening, and listening. Reading in a Foreign Language, 20(2), 136-163.
Extensive reading is believed to have considerable benefits for learners both in terms of learning gains and motivation and seems to be becoming ever more popular in the ELT world. So far, however, there seems to be almost no integration of extensive reading and textbooks.
This article argues that textbooks should be encouraging extensive reading, since this will confer further legitimacy on extensive reading and may ease many of the practical difficulties that adopters of extensive reading face. The article then shows how textbooks could encourage extensive reading: directly, by including material involving extensive reading; and indirectly, by approaching textbook reading activities in ways more in tune with extensive reading. A number of proposals for each of these approaches are discussed.
Cobb, T. (2008). Commentary: Response to McQuillan and Krashen (2008). Language Learning & Technology, 12(1), 109-114. Retrieved from http://llt.msu.edu/vol12num1/cobb/default.html
This study examined the rate at which English vocabulary was acquired from the 3 input modes of reading, reading-while-listening, and listening to stories. It selected 3 sets of 28 words within 4 frequency bands and administered 2 test types immediately after the reading and listening treatments, 1 week later and 3 months later. The results showed that new words could be learned incidentally in all 3 modes, but that most words were not learned. Items occurring more frequently in the text were more likely to be learned and were more resistant to decay. The data demonstrated that, on average, when subjects were tested by unprompted recall, the meaning of only 1 of the 28 items met in either of the reading modes and the meaning of none of the items met in the listening-only mode, would be retained after 3 months.
Fenton-Smith, B. (2008). Accountability and variety in extensive reading. In K. Bradford Watts, T. Muller, & M. Swanson (Eds.). JALT 2007 Conference Proceedings (pp. 903-912). Tokyo: JALT (Japan Association for Language Teaching).
Cobb (2007) argues that free reading cannot provide L2 readers with sufficient opportunities for acquiring vocabulary in order to reach an adequate level of reading comprehension of English texts. In this paper, we argue that (1) Cobb severely underestimates the amount of reading even a very modest reading habit would afford L2 readers, and therefore underestimates the impact of free reading on L2 vocabulary development; and (2) Cobb’s data show that free reading is in fact a very powerful tool in vocabulary acquisition.
Fredricks, L., & Sobko, V. (2008). Culturally relevant extensive reading in Tajikistan. Central Eurasian Studies Review, 7(1), 34-39. Retrieved October 26, 2008 from http://www.cesr-cess.org/pdf/CESR_07_1.pdf
Although Extensive Reading (ER) is now widely accepted as an effective way of improving learners' L2 proficiency, there is less agreement on the best way(s) of implementing it in the classroom. While sustained silent reading in class has undoubted benefits, there are several reasons why it is not always appropriate, both philosophically and practically. This paper will briefly consider some of these reasons, arguing that output activities have been unfairly dismissed. The key themes of "accountability" (having students demonstrate what they have read) and "variety" (avoiding tedious repetition in the ER classroom) are promoted as essential principles in ER materials development. Such materials allow teachers to evaluate students' work without destroying the creativity, freedom, and pleasure that are essential to successful ER. Ten examples of these materials are demonstrated and explained.
Furukawa, A. (2008). Extensive reading from the first day of English learning. Extensive reading in Japan, 1(2), 11-14.
*The article reports a study involving 11 adult English-as-a-Foreign Language (EFL) Learners in Tajikistan, where extensive reading and other meaning-based pedagogies are not common. The study investigated whether exposure to culturally relevant texts for extensive reading affects students' attitudes toward reading and their reading habits.
Specifically, the researchers explored:
a. Challenges faced by Tajikistan students when using authentic English novels for ER
b. How participation in an ER program might impact these students' reading habits and their attitudes toward reading English texts
c. Students' choices of reading materials, particularly whether cultural relevance was a factor.
Discussions and debates about the novels being read were a feature of the ER program, with some of the discussion being student-led. Furthermore, the instructor guided students to connect the texts to their own lives and the wider world.
Data were collected over eight weeks via such means as student reflections, observations by the instructor and two local observers, interviews with the students, and the connections students had written about. Overall results were positive, and the researchers make recommendations for how similar programs might be implemented.
Gardner, D. (2008). Vocabulary recycling in children’s authentic reading materials: A corpus-based investigation of narrow reading. Reading in a Foreign Language, 20(1). Retrieved April 16, 2008, from http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/April2008/gardner/gardner.html
This paper reports how our current ninth graders raised their reading level as shown by their performance on a nationwide test for Japanese high school students.... The results of the ACE exam strongly suggest that ER has helped the eighth graders reach a level of English comparable to students two years their senior.... As the ACE test is well known among high school teachers in Japan, it is hoped it will show those teachers who are not familiar with ER the dramatic results that can occur if they add an extensive reading component to their English classes.
Hill, D.R. (2008). Graded readers in English. ELT Journal, 62(2), 184-204.
Fourteen collections of children’s reading materials were used to investigate the claim that collections of authentic texts with a common theme, or written by one author, afford readers with more repeated exposures to new words than unrelated materials. The collections, distinguished by relative thematic tightness, authorship (1 vs. 4 authors), and register (narrative vs. expository), were analyzed to determine how often, and under what conditions, specialized vocabulary recycles within the materials. Findings indicated that thematic relationships impacted specialized vocabulary recycling within expository collections (primarily content words), whereas authorship impacted recycling within narrative collections (primarily names of characters, places, etc.). Theme-based expository collections also contained much higher percentages of theme-related words than their theme-based narrative counterparts. The findings were used to give nuance to the vocabulary-recycling claims of narrow reading and to more general theories and practices involving wide and extensive reading.
Iwahori, Y. (2008), Developing reading fluency: A study of extensive reading in EFL. Reading in a Foreign Language, 20(1). Retrieved April 16, 2008, from http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/April2008/iwahori/iwahori.html
*This is a detailed survey review of series of graded readers in English, published in the UK, Europe, and the US, covering 42 current series containing 2,051 titles. It also includes for reference a table of 26 series now out of print. Graded readers are defined, and their relationship to extensive reading is explained. The series are assessed in terms of content, format and artwork, support for reading, reading task, pedagogical support, and--where appropriate--age group. The survey ends with recommendations for improving graded readers.
Kane, E. (2008). Motivating students with SSR. Extensive Reading in Japan, 1(1), 10-12.
Due to the great interest of practitioners on reading fluency in first language (L1) and second language (L2) English classroom settings, fluency has become a hot topic. A number of studies have suggested that an extensive reading (ER) program can lead to improvement of L2 learners’ reading rate; however, studies about high school students are scarce. Inspired by current issues in reading and previous ER investigations, this study examined the effectiveness of ER on reading rates of high school students in Japan. In this study, students were provided with graded readers and comic books as reading material they would find enjoyable. Pretests and posttests of reading rate and language proficiency were administered and a t test was used to compare means of the rates and language proficiency within groups. Results indicate that ER is an effective approach to improve students’ rate and general language proficiency.
Kweon, S., & Kim, H. (2008). Beyond raw frequency: Incidental vocabulary acquisition in extensive reading. Reading in a Foreign Language, 20(2), 191-215.
Most readers [of this journal] will be familiar with the differences between intensive and extensive reading.... What, however, are the differences between Extensive Reading (ER) and Sustained Silent Reading (SSR)? In this brief introduction, I will explain SSR; suggest how best to implement it in our classrooms; and explain some benefits our students can expect. [*The article compares questionnaire answers and numbers of books read by ER students and SSR students.]
Macalister, J. (2008). Implementing extensive reading in an EAP programme. ELT Journal, 62(3), 248-256.
Second language vocabulary can be learned incidentally while the learner is engaged in extensive reading or reading for meaning, inferring the meaning of unknown words (Huckin & Coady, 1999; Hulstijn, 1992; Krashen, 1993; Pigada & Schmitt, 2006). 12 Korean learners of English read authentic literary texts and were tested on their knowledge of vocabulary before reading (pretest), immediately after reading (Posttest 1), and 1 month after Posttest 1 (Posttest 2). The results showed a significant word gain between the pretest and Posttest 1 and that most gained words were retained at Posttest 2. Of the 3 different word classes that were used, nouns were a little easier to retain than verbs and adjectives. More frequent words were more easily learned than less frequent words across all 3 word classes. However, words of lower frequency were better learned than words of higher frequency when the meanings of the lower frequency words were crucial for meaning comprehension.
Macalister, J. (2008). Integrating extensive reading into an English for academic purposes program. The Reading Matrix, 8(1), 23-33. www.readingmatrix.com/articles/macalister/article.pdf
For more than twenty years the benefits of extensive reading have been proclaimed to the ELT community, but the inclusion of extensive reading in ELT programmes is far from universal. Extensive reading appears to be particularly absent in higher educational and English for Academic Purposes settings. This paper reports on the implementation of an extensive reading component in a pre-university study EAP programme. Learners responsed positively to the loss of teacher-centred class time and a non-EAP focus for part of each lesson. While the implementation of extensive reading will vary from setting to setting, this action research project shows that extensive reading can have a place in an EAP programme.
Mak, B., Coniam, D., & Chan, M. S. K. (2008). A buddy reading programme in Hong Kong schools. ELT Journal, 62(4), 385-394.
This paper reports on the inclusion of extensive reading in three separate 12-week courses taught by different teachers on an EAP programme at a New Zealand university. The inclusion of extensive reading was experimental and sought answers to two questions: would students respond positively to the extensive reading component, and how could extensive reading be included? On each iteration of the extensive reading component a different approach was taken. On the first occasion, the reading was a stand-alone part of the teaching
programme but on the second and third occasions the reading was integrated into the programme. In each of the three classes the students responded positively to the inclusion of extensive reading. The integration of the reading reflected teacher and learner differences, and supported the belief that the way in which extensive reading is included in a programme should be determined by the specific language learning environment.
McQuillan, J. & Krashen, S. D. (2008). Commentary: Can free reading take you all the way? A response to Cobb (2007). Language Learning & Technology, 12(1), 104-108. Retrieved from http://llt.msu.edu/vol12num1/mcquillan/default.html
This article looks at Year 9 (age 13) ESL learners in a secondary school in Hong Kong producing—with minimal input and support from their teachers—their own story books, these being the final task outcome in a series of lessons focusing on creativity. Over a period of two months, as an integral part of their ESL lessons, groups of students designed, wrote, and illustrated their own story books. They then visited nearby primary schools where they read their story books to primary level ESL pupils and did follow-up tasks with them. The article describes the process from the perspective of one pioneering teacher and her class. The programme's success has since led to it being implemented across the board at Year 9 level in the school, with a subsequent expansion in the number of primary 'buddies' reached by the programme. The article examines the place of authentic reading and writing as they are situated within the domains of creativity
Min, H. T. (2008). EFL vocabulary acquisition and retention: Reading plus vocabulary enhancement activities and narrow reading. Language Learning, 58(1), 73-115.
Cobb (2007) argues that free reading cannot provide L2 readers with sufficient opportunities for acquiring vocabulary in order to reach an adequate level of reading comprehension of English texts. In this paper, we argue that (1) Cobb severely underestimates the amount of reading even a very modest reading habit would afford L2 readers, and therefore underestimates the impact of free reading on L2 vocabulary development; and (2) Cobb’s data show that free reading is in fact a very powerful tool in vocabulary acquisition.
Prichard, C. (2008). Evaluating L2 readers' vocabulary strategies and dictionary use. Reading in a Foreign Language, 20(2), 216-231.
The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to compare the effectiveness of reading plus vocabulary-enhancement activities (RV) and narrow reading (NR)— repeated reading thematically related articles—on vocabulary acquisition and retention among English as a foreign language (EFL) secondary school students. Twenty-five third-year male students with intermediate-level English proficiency participated in each instructional treatment 2 hr per week for five weeks. The RV group read selected texts and practiced various vocabulary exercises. The NR group read thematically related supplemental materials besides the selected texts. A Chinese version of the modified Vocabulary Knowledge Scale was employed to assess students’ knowledge of 50 vocabulary items. The results show that the RV group demonstrated significantly more knowledge about the target vocabulary than the NR group on the acquisition and retention tests. The researcher concludes that reading plus focused vocabulary exercises are more effective and efficient than the narrow reading approach in enhancing target vocabulary acquisition and retention among EFL secondary students.
Pudilo, D., & Hambrick, D. Z. (2008). The virtuous circle: Modeling individual differences in L2 reading and vocabulary. Reading in a Foreign Language, 20(2), 164-190.
A review of the relevant literature concerning second language dictionary use while reading suggests that selective dictionary use may lead to improved comprehension and efficient vocabulary development. This study aims to examine the dictionary use of Japanese university students to determine just how selective they are when reading nonfiction English texts for general comprehension. The findings suggest that high-intermediate and advanced learners are often selective when considering whether to look up a word. However, a third of the participants in this study were judged to have used the dictionary excessively. In addition, a quarter of the words looked up in the study were neither essential to the articles‚Äô main points nor frequent or useful words, according to corpus research. It is concluded that some learners might benefit from training in selective dictionary use.
Schmitt, N. (2008). Instructed second language vocabulary learning. Language Teaching Research, 12, 329-363.
The present study investigated the relative contributions of experiential and ability factors to second language (L2) passage comprehension and L2 vocabulary retention. Participants included a cross section of 99 adult learners of Spanish as a foreign language enrolled in beginning through advanced level university Spanish courses. Participants completed a standardized reading proficiency test (Adult Basic Learning Examination, Spanish version) to verify a range in proficiency, a checklist and translation passage sight vocabulary test, and a written recall in the native language of the 4 passages that were read. Vocabulary retention was measured at 2 time intervals by a multiple-choice test of receptive retention of meaning of targeted vocabulary. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM). Results revealed consistent support for the following model: (a) Language processing experience positively influenced L2 passage sight vocabulary; (b) L2 passage sight vocabulary positively influenced narrative passage comprehension; and (c) L2 comprehension positively influenced L2 vocabulary growth.
Shen, M-Y. (2008). EFL Learners' responses to extensive reading: Survey and pedagogical applications. The Reading Matrix, 8(2), 111-123.
This article overviews current research on second language vocabulary learning. It concludes that a large vocabulary is necessary to function in English: 8000—9000 word families for reading, and perhaps as many as 5000—7000 families for oral discourse. In addition, a number of word knowledge aspects need to be learned about each lexical item. Taken together, this amounts to a substantial lexical learning challenge, one which many/most learners fail to meet. To facilitate adequate vocabulary learning, four vocabulary learning partners (students, teachers, materials writers, and researchers) need to contribute to the learning process. Vocabulary learning programs need to include both an explicit, intentional learning component and a component based around maximizing exposure and incidental learning. The four learning strands (meaning-focused input, meaning-focused output, language-focused learning, and fluency development) suggested by Nation (2001) provide a structure by which to integrate intentional and incidental vocabulary learning. The overriding principle for maximizing vocabulary learning is to increase the amount of engagement learners have with lexical items. All four learning partners need to acknowledge the incremental nature of vocabulary learning, and to develop learning programs which are principled, long-term, and which recognize the richness and scope of the lexical knowledge that needs to be mastered. [*It is in the component based around maximizing exposure and incidental learning that extensive reading has an important role to play. Graded readers have been recommended for the developing learner as the vocabulary has been fine-tuned to the learner's level and is systematically recycled.]
Wan-a-rom, U. (2008). Comparing the vocabulary of different graded-reading schemes. Reading in a Foreign Language, 20(1). Retrieved April 16, 2008, from http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/April2008/wanarom/wanarom.html
This study investigated the responses of two groups (n=85) of ERL learners toward their experience with extensive reading in a three-month EFL college reading class in which two novels (narrative) and fourteen expository texts were the main reading text. Using a three-part survey questionnaire and the follow-up interviews, this study attempted to examine (1) the factors attributed to a successful extensive reading program, and (2) the EFL readers' preferences regarding the classroom activities for reading extensively. The analysis of frequency of responses indicated that no single factor was chosen by the students and there was a discrepancy between learners with different proficiency levels and learning backgrounds. Some pedagogical implications and limitations were also discussed. ["In general, material selection was ranked as the top one factor and student-student cooperation as the most favorite activity.... The study empirically supported the individuality of learning—that is, learners are different; they have different perceptions and require different classroom activities. This article also argues that extensive reading per se is never a panacea for all reading problems and the local educational environment (i.e. Asian culture) might be an influential factor to be considered for a successful implementation of extensive program." (p. 119).]
Wang, X.C.(2008). A Study of an English Extensive Reading Experiment in a Rural High School--Linzhang High School. Unpublished MEd thesis, Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang, China.
This study compared graded-reader wordlists with the General Service List (GSL; West, 1953) and investigated the words in those lists and the words actually used in graded-reader books. The wordlists from the 2 major graded-reader series, the GSL, and the words actually used in the graded readers were examined using the Range program. The comparisons showed that the lists are different from each other largely because of the different sizes of the lists and because of the words they contain and do not contain. In addition, the words actually used in the books do not stick closely to the words in the lists on which they are based, especially at Level 1. Conclusions and implications are drawn for practice in extensive reading programs.
Webb, S. (2008). The effects of context on incidental vocabulary learning. Reading in a Foreign Language, 20(2), 232-245.
In the world’s globalization of the information and trade, English, as an international language, is showing its great advantages in communicating and obtaining the information. Almost all the world are doing their utmost to master this important tool, especially for the high school students who want to lay a solid foundation for their future. However, a substantial amount of high school students in the enormous part of China—in rural high schools are learning English under poor conditions. Many English teachers in these schools are not qualified or even some have no professional English learning. There are not enough teaching facilities and teaching resources, which are very helpful to English learning, even tape recorders. Furthermore, all the teachers and students in rural high schools are striving for the NMET (National Matriculation English Test). Students are learning English mainly by rote memorizing and endless practice of simulated tests which have been boring the students. They have no interest and motivation in English learning. This does not only go against the requirements of the new English curriculum standard but also can not meet the needs of their future work. The writer of this thesis attempts to improve the English learning in rural high schools with extensive reading based on the theories of the Second Language Acquisition (SLA), reading and so on, and have the conviction that it can arouse students’interest and motivation and will greatly improve their English learning.This thesis consists of five parts. The first part shows the present situation of English learning and teaching in the experimental school—Linzhang High School and the requirements of the new English curriculum standard, which indicates that extensive reading is of great necessity. The second part reviews the research on the theories of SLA and reading, especially of Chrashen’s Input Hypothesis and Affective Filtered Hypothesis. Some research theories of reading, interest and motivation and practical reading strategies supposed by Chinese scholars are also in the second part. The writer designs the extensive reading experiment in the third part, which includes the selecting and compiling reading materials and the procedures of the experiment. The fourth part is the analysis of the experimental results, including quantitive analysis and qualitative analyses. In the last part, the fifth part, the writer draws an conclusion on the experiment and puts forward some suggestions on English teaching and learning for rural high schools.
Yamashita, J. (2008). Extensive reading and development of different aspects of L2 proficiency. System 36(4), 661-672.
Japanese university students learning English as a foreign language (EFL) encountered 10 target words in 3 sets of 10 short contexts that were rated on the amount of information available to infer the target words' meanings. One group of learners met the target words in contexts rated more highly than the contexts read by the other group. A surprise vocabulary test that measured recall of form, recognition of form, recall of meaning, and recognition of meaning was administered after the treatments. The results showed that the group that read the contexts containing more contextual clues had significantly higher scores on both tests of meaning. The findings indicate that the quality of the context rather than the number of encounters with target words may have a greater effect on gaining knowledge of meaning. Conversely, it is the number of encounters that will have a greater effect on knowledge of form.
Extensive reading has been drawing increasing attention from L2 educators as a potentially effective form of L2 reading instruction. However, some researchers argue that it is not easy to observe the benefits of extensive reading in the short term. The present study was motivated by the need to elucidate the differential effects of extensive reading on different aspects of foreign/second language ability, some of which may improve more quickly than others. Development of general reading ability and lower-level linguistic ability was examined. Improvement from a pretest to a posttest was found to be significant for reading ability, but not for linguistic ability. The results suggest that the effects of extensive reading might be manifested more quickly in general reading skills than in L2 linguistic ability, at least for adult L2 learners. Possible reasons for this difference in the progress of different aspects of L2 ability are discussed.
2009Al-Homoud, F., & Schmitt, N. (2009). Extensive reading in a challenging environment: A comparison of extensive and intensive reading approaches in Saudi Arabia. Language Teaching Research 13(4), 383–402.
Aleksandrowicz-Pędich, L. (2009). What to read in extensive reading programmes: Teachers’ choices and recommendations in view of the concept of the literary canon. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 143-156). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
Many studies have shown that reading can have a beneficial effect on second language learning, but relatively few of these have focused on extensive reading in classroom environments over a period of time. This study compares an extensive reading class against a more traditional class involving intensive reading and vocabulary exercises. The classes were part of a Saudi college presessional course, and this classroom setting posed several problems for the extensive reading approach, including relatively weak students, an environment where pleasure reading is atypical, and the course being of short duration. The result is that the reported extensive reading class was carried out in what could be considered challenging conditions. Nevertheless, gain scores in reading comprehension ability, reading speed, and vocabulary acquisition showed that the extensive reading approach was just as effective as the intensive approach, even though some of the measurement instruments for these variables should have favored the intensive approach. Moreover, the extensive reading participants reported much more positive attitudes toward reading, their class, and their learning than the participants in the intensive reading group. Overall, these results indicate that, for the variables studied, the extensive reading approach was as good as, or better than, the more focused intensive reading
Allan, R. (2009). Can a graded reader corpus provide 'authentic' input? ELT Journal, 63(1), 23-32.
****This chapter focuses on the notion of the literary canon and its relevance for teachers’ recommendations in their choice of materials for extensive reading programmes. Despite the theoretical discussion of types of reading materials, in which the author refers to both simplified texts and genuine literature, the concept of the literary canon and the teacher’s role as a gatekeeper prevails. In addition, she presents the results of a survey conducted among secondary school students regarding their reading preferences. The results of both the theoretical discussion and the survey indicate the significance of narrative structures for success in reading programmes. The popularity of the genre of fantasy is made clear, while the literary canon remains a major resource for those texts to be included in extensive reading programmes.
Ariyanto, S. (2009). Encouraging extensive reading to improve academic literacy in the EFL class. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 295-309). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
In addition to their intended purpose, graded reader texts can be made into a corpus appropriate for use with lower-level learners. Here I consider using such a corpus for data-driven learning (DDL), to make this approach more accessible to intermediate level students. However, how far does grading the corpus in this way compromise the authenticity of the language learners are exposed to? The simplified nature of such corpora may limit learners' exposure to lexical chunks, which are fundamental to the acquisition of natural and fluent language. This paper compares lexical chunks in graded corpora and the British National Corpus, examining frequency, type, and composition, to evaluate the 'authenticity' of graded input. Despite some differences, it is argued that the scale and type of lexical chunks are sufficient to provide input that reflects authentic language, suggesting that graded readers may offer an acceptable balance of accessibility and authenticity.
Arnold, N. (2009). Online extensive reading for advanced foreign language learners: An evaluation study. Foreign Language Annals, 42(2), 340-366.
****The author of this chapter sees the need to introduce ER programmes to FL/SL education to improve academic literacy in the target language. However, as he observes, this attempt seems to be problematic due to a lack of written English exposure (e.g. English medium resources). As he further notes, the tradition of ER ever developed by autonomous learners in EFL contexts is not any longer popular – it has gradually become lost since EFL learners are given many alternatives for their target language (TL) exposure through sophisticated technology (i.e. online videos). On the other hand, he affirms the tradition can be regained if EFL/ESL teachers attempt to improve academic literacy by encouraging ER. In doing so, ER should be integrated into in-class intensive reading activities and be implemented in self-access learning (SAL) centres.
Brown, D. (2009). Why and how textbooks should encourage extensive reading. ELT Journal, 63(3), 238-245.
The following article reports the findings of a qualitative evaluation of an online extensive reading program in German as a foreign language. Designed for advanced learners, it differs from traditional extensive reading programs in two important aspects: students read online instead of printed materials, and there was no teacher preselection to ensure that learners were reading at the i minus 1 level. Data from reflections and questionnaires indicate that learners experienced a variety of affective and linguistic benefits. Interestingly, some learners purposely sought out more difficult texts to challenge themselves. While this violates a key principle of extensive reading, it is indicative of learners' growing motivation and self-confidence. There is also evidence that they developed into skilled second language readers, making conscious decisions about reading strategy and dictionary use.
Cirocki, A. (2009). The place and role of literary texts in language education: A historical overview. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 157-170). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
Extensive reading is believed to have considerable benefits for learners both in terms of learning gains and motivation and seems to be becoming even more popular in the ELT world. So far, however, there seems to be almost no integration of extensive reading and textbooks. This article argues that textbooks should be encouraging extensive reading, since this will confer further legitimacy on extensive reading and may ease many of the practical difficulties that adopters of extensive reading face. The article then shows how textbooks could encourage extensive reading: directly, by including material involving extensive reading; and indirectly, by approaching textbook reading activities in ways more in tune with extensive reading. A number of proposals for each of these approaches are discussed.
Cirocki, A. (2009). Implementing the ER approach to literature in the EFL secondary school classroom: An action research study. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 521-545). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
****The author advocates ER programmes based on literary texts, which are said to store instances of language resources being applied to the full, and where FL learners/readers assume active interactional roles to be able to decode and deal with this language. Accordingly, this chapter aims to examine the role and place of literature in the language classroom in different historical contexts, including Ancient Times, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Eighteenth century, the Nineteenth century, and, last but not least, the Twentieth century. In his considerations, the author endeavours to present a historical context for modern foreign or second language teaching perspectives, which pave a way to a fresh approach to literature in the foreign language classroom – in which there is no need to separate literature from the instruction of everyday language since it does constitute a part of other language systems, being represented by tales, short stories or novels.
David, M. K. & Dumanig, D. (2009). Learning about cross-cultural encounters: Authentic texts in extensive reading (ER) programmes at university level. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 483-501). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
****This study concerns the investigation of the usefulness of implementing the extensive reading approach to literature in a secondary school context, the outcomes of which have been mainly recorded by means of an introspective method represented by FL learners’ and the teacher-researcher’s diaries. However, to give a range of perspectives to the studied phenomenon, the researcher did not hesitate to apply multiple research techniques and diverse sources of data. By gathering data through a variety of means, the researcher, undertaking a qualitative research, was able to attend to various concerns with the varied quantitative data collection methods, making the research findings more robust.
David, M. K. (2009). Moving beyond schema: Selecting texts for EFL readers. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 171-178). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
****This chapter explains the importance of reading novels and other literary texts as vehicles in learning other cultures. The authors examine various cultural patterns of the interactions of the characters in Malaysian and Philippine English novels written by local writers. These literary texts, as they highlight, provide an overview of Malaysian and Philippine cultures in a number of speech acts, which are further thoroughly discussed. The authors conclude that such exposure to various discourse norms can lead to a more successful communication.
de Morgado, N. F. (2009). Extensive reading: Students' performance and perception. The Reading Matrix, 9(1), 31-43.
****This chapter affirms that interactive theories of reading, which strongly influence teaching practice and draw heavily on schema theory, place great importance on the role of readers and the knowledge they bring to bear on the text in the reading process. As the author further highlights, findings such as these emphasize the importance of choosing reading texts which are aligned to known schema, so as to facilitate decoding. However, while useful, as she points out, such findings present reading teachers with a paradox, because if cultural unknowns are a sure source of misunderstanding in the reading classroom, then it can be argued that only texts that deal with known aspects of culture should be used in that classroom. This, on the other hand, would prevent learners from learning about the unknown. Therefore, using Paulo Coelho’s Alchemist (1993), she attempts to demonstrate that despite the students’ lack of schema regarding the content, the use of a pre-reading activity can help to facilitate their decoding of the text.
Ewert, D. E. (2009). Making connections: Using literature for extensive reading. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 387-407). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
Reading is thought to be a crucial skill in the EFL learning process, and Extensive Reading a very useful strategy. However, very few teachers implement it on a regular basis. The process of introducing Extensive Reading (ER) is considered far too expensive, complicated, and time-consuming. One way to encourage its use would be to more deeply understand the multiple factors influencing its successful implementation. This paper considers two of these factors, one related to effectiveness and the other to attitude. On the one hand, it examines Extensive Reading's influence on the student's reading comprehension performance. On the other, it explores the student's perception of this particular strategy. The study uses quantitative as well as qualitative data from students in the first year of a scientific reading course in a Venezuelan university. Findings suggest that reading comprehension performance was essentially the same with or without an Extensive Reading Program. Nonetheless, the program did seem to positively impact participating students. The ER Group did significantly better in the post-test than in the pre-test. Furthermore, the students' perception of Extensive Reading was very positive. Besides being enjoyable, they felt it helped them build vocabulary, reading comprehension, reading skills and confidence.
Fujigaki, E. (2009). Addressing students’ output in the extensive reading class: A qualitative study. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 577-589). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
****This chapter discusses the use of literature to introduce extensive reading (ER) to reluctant adult readers of English. The author presents what amounts to an elaborated step-by-step ER lesson plan with multiple components and options for using literature to introduce and guide students into ER. The plan has been “field tested” numerous times, and what is presented has been found helpful in getting students to become independent readers of full-length literary texts.
Fujigaki, E. (2009). Extensive reading for weak readers: Developing reading fluency in the EFL/ESL context. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 273-293). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
****The researcher argues in her chapter not only for the development of extensive reading class activities that allow students to see for themselves their own progress in reading but also for the promotion of substantial student output as an activity to improve reading comprehension. She suggests that written or oral summaries are indispensable for both students and teachers since these activities link reading with other parts of language learning and can also be applied for evaluation. However, the researcher believes that two conditions must be met, namely: (1) writing summaries should not exceed reading activities; and (2) teacher correction of mistakes in those summaries should be limited to a minimum in order not to discourage students from reading.
Gorsuch, G. & Taguchi, E. (2009). Repeated reading and its role in an extensive reading programme. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 249-272). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
****This chapter discusses the importance of extensive reading instruction for the development of EFL acquisition and fluency in general. The author argues for the necessity of using easy books, or graded readers, for weak readers in particular, comments on activities in her ER class, and explains the results of questionnaires given to students. The feedback from her students and her own experience as an EFL learner has convinced her that a content-centred approach and level-appropriate reading materials can positively influence student motivation, and that integration of carefully designed ER courses into the EFL curriculum of secondary schools is of utmost importance for students to build strong reading skills, confidence, and a love for reading.
Hill, D. R. (2009). The place and role of graded readers in the EFL context (ER programmes). In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 113-127). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
****This chapter shows how repeated reading (RR) might be used with extensive reading (ER). According to the authors, the development of reading fluency has taken a position of growing importance in L2 reading research and has emerged as a significant pedagogical issue. Repeated reading, as they note, has been shown to be successful in increasing L2 readers’ lower level word recognition, thus freeing their attentional resources to invoke higher order comprehension processes. Therefore, they do not hesitate to conclude with a firm statement that L2 learners using RR will benefit from increased fluency and comprehension, which will transfer to new, unpractised passages during their extensive reading sessions.
Janopoulos, M. (2009). Pleasure reading and writing in a second language: (How) Can we make the connection? In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 429-438). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
****This chapter attempts to discuss graded readers and their value as a component of a language learning programme. First, the author distinguishes between two types of graded reader, the re-write and the simple original, and gives an overview of the development of graded readers from the 1930s to the present. Second, he describes the criteria for grading and assesses the success with which they have been applied. Third, he examines the criticisms made of graded readers and puts forward a defence of their place in the language teaching syllabus.
Jung, H. J. (2009). Extensive reading in English and its practical applications to Korean secondary schools. Unpublished master’s thesis, The University of Texas at Austin. Available: http://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/bitstream/handle/2152/ETD-UT-2009-12-515/JUNG-MASTERS-REPORT.pdf?sequence=1
****This chapter centres on the skill of writing. The author wonders whether sustained silent reading (SSR) is an effective means of facilitating L2 writing proficiency. After defining SSR, he discusses the reading/writing relationship in L2 literacy development, drawing theoretical support from the work of Cummins and Krashen to demonstrate that SSR can enhance and reinforce many aspects of the learning process for L2 writing proficiency. Then, after listing criteria for successful implementation of SSR, he explores various issues, applications, and implications of SSR in facilitating the development of L2 writing proficiency. He concludes by calling on L2 writing teachers to include a regular, long-term SSR experience in their curricula.
Lado, A. (2009). Motivating beginners to read by conducting oral activities with picture books. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 439-450). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
Depicting the problems with teacher-centered English reading classes in Korea, this report proposes extensive reading as a possible means to address the issues related to intensive reading. Literature on extensive reading is reviewed to provide a rationale for including it in reading curriculum. Research has shown that extensive reading, with its focus on reading large amounts of self-selected, easy and interesting materials, offers a wide range of learning benefits to second language learners. Based on research findings, this report presents some pedagogical suggestions for the implementation of extensive reading in Korean secondary schools by exploring practical issues, including materials, teacher roles, activities, and assessment in an extensive reading program.
Lee, S. Y. , & Hsu, Y. Y. (2009). Determining the crucial characteristics of extensive reading programs: The impact of extensive reading on EFL writing. The International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 5(1), 12-20.
****This chapter focuses on developing oral communication in the ER classroom. The author discusses text selection and proposes improving student motivation by selecting texts connected with language teaching strategies. She puts forward the term “tellability” to emphasize the need to concentrate on a broad focus on the connections among oral and written skills. Integrating reading with other aspects of communicative language teaching (CLT) creates redundancies that support second language learning. In her chapter, she includes a short annotated list of exemplary children’s picture books which are compatible with teaching strategies such as TPR, use of realia, retelling, rereading, rewriting, and playing guessing games.
Leow, R. P. (2009). Simplified written input and its effects on L2 comprehension: What the research reveals. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 129-141). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
This one-year study examined the impact of in-class extensive reading or sustained silent reading on writing with a group of Taiwanese vocational college students. These students had been less successful in academics, including English. While many researchers and practitioners believe that less proficient ESL/EFL students need more direct instruction, sustained silent reading has been gaining support from research.
The design attempted to avoid the weaknesses in the design of previous studies by having a longer duration, an appropriate comparison group, providing more access to books, and requiring less accountability. Subjects devoted part of the class time to in-class reading and followed the same writing curriculum as the comparison group did. Pre and post essays were graded following Jacobs et al.'s (1981) measurement of writing, which included five subscales: content, organization, vocabulary, language use, and mechanics. Results showed significant differences in gains on all subscales in favor of the experimental group.
Loucky, J. P. (2009). Enhancing skills essential for effective reading. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 47-82). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
****This chapter provides a comprehensive review of the research strand in SLA literature that has investigated the effects of simplified written input on L2 readers’ comprehension. The author concludes that the research appears to support the use of simplified written texts to promote an increased comprehension of text content in the classroom setting, although he calls for future studies to further address this issue. In addition, he points out that the research also appears to support the use of authentic and original materials in L2 to be used as the baseline before simplification is performed, in an effort, minimally, to preserve some of the inherent features of authentic input written for native speakers.
Macalister, J. (2009). But my programme’s too full already”: How to make A Good Thing happen in the academic purposes classroom. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 203-218). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
****This chapter concentrates on different strategies and component skills which are required for achieving fluent and independent reading. As the author claims, whether for first or second language readers, common characteristics of fluent, independent reading, have been identified by many models of reading. Therefore, the general purpose of this chapter is to summarize what are generally regarded as the most essential comprehension and vocabulary learning skills of effective readers, according to both L1 and L2 studies, with a view to applying them in better training of FL/SL readers. Then, the more narrow and specific aim of this chapter is to find out which language learning sites and online reading programmes offer effective training and practice opportunities for language learners to develop these most essential and text- and lexical-processing strategies, especially to help developing L2 readers.
Mason, B. (2009/2010). Research on hearing stories and free reading in Japan: A progress report. The International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 5(2), 7-10.
****This chapter highlights the use of extensive reading in the academic purposes classroom. While there is broad agreement that extensive reading is beneficial for language learning, its absence in higher educational contexts is often remarked upon, and the author suggests that there is no good reason for that absence. He considers a number of questions that arise once the decision to incorporate extensive reading has been taken: when and where the reading should take place; how the reading should relate to the rest of the teaching programme; what should be read; what to do after the reading; and, who should be reading.
Mikulecky, L. J. (2009). Using Internet-based children’s and young adult literature for extensive reading in EFL instruction. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 333-347). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
*This article briefly surveys studies concerned with the use of stories combined with self-selected reading. These studies suggest that this combination promotes second language acquisition. The focus of much of this research has been on efficiency, that is, whether comprehensible-input based methods produce greater gains per unit of time invested compared to traditional approaches. The author claims that approaches that combine stories and self-selected reading are far more effective than traditional approaches, and contends that comprehensible input-based methods, in the form of hearing stories and self-selected reading, have been validated qualitatively and quantitatively, not only for their efficacy but also for their efficiency.
Nunn, R. (2009). Extensive reading of literary texts for advanced students: A contrapuntal approach to critical thinking. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 375-386). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
****This chapter elaborates on the rationale for using children’s and young adult literature in EFL instruction. This approach has long been recommended, as the author affirms, but seldom practised. He identifies cost and adult embarrassment as among the main reasons for this lack of practice and documents how these obstacles have been reduced and eliminated by the widespread availability on the Internet of simple literature in English and by a new wave of children’s stories written to be entertaining to adults. His chapter identifies and presents several Internet resources currently available for free or at very low cost and discusses ways that EFL teachers might use these resources.
Nunn, R. (2009). Integrating extensive reading into holistic task-based learning units. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 219-229). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
****The author of this chapter sees the value of extensive reading of literary texts for advanced students of English. He argues that critical thinking is at the heart of advanced academic reading ability. He even adds that advanced students can benefit from being led through a detailed example by their teacher prior to transforming the approach learnt as independent researchers. The main focus of this chapter is a very detailed example of an extensive “contrapuntal” reading (Said 1993) of Graham Greene’s The Quiet American. This reading uses the novel itself, an extensive autobiographical extract, and a counter extract from a biographical reading to critically examine Said’s brief “contrapuntal” discussion.
Pulido, D. (2009). Developing reading skills in a foreign/second language. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 27-45). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
****This chapter views extensive reading in relation to “holistic task-based units”. The author provides a detailed outline of a task-based unit and a second outline of an extensive reading unit. His aim is to illustrate the way extensive reading needs to be coherently integrated into curriculum design combining holistic activities with atomistic exercises. He argues that an integrated holistic approach that emphasizes the exploitation of extensive input for extensive output is the most likely to lead to acquisition. In his discussion, the author does not attempt to provide direct empirical evidence, supporting his view with the experience of using and designing holistic units in relation to research-derived principles of SLA.
Pulverness, A. (2009). Deprived of history: Literature and film in third places. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 467-481). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
****This chapter discusses theoretical issues pertaining to reading, and particularly to reading English as a foreign or second language. The main objective of this chapter is to demonstrate how a theoretical model can be instrumental in assisting EFL/ESL teachers to elucidate how they might encourage their students to learn to read a foreign or second language. The discussion here revolves around cognitive interactive models of the reading process, automaticity, and word recognition. In addition, the author looks at the topics of motivation to read, background knowledge, language and print exposure, and the role of metacognitive knowledge in monitoring comprehension processes.
Robb, T. (2009). The Reader Quiz module for extensive reading. In M. Thomas (Ed.), Selected proceedings of the thirteenth annual JALT CALL SIG conference 2008 (pp. 109-116). Tokyo: Japan Association for Language Teaching.
****The author of this chapter highlights the liminal experience of the immigrant, as a social and political reality, but also as a metaphor for the learner’s journey into a foreign language; their occupying a “third place”, no longer belonging unequivocally to the culture they have come from, nor yet to the new culture. Moving from one language world into another, learners should be particularly receptive towards the “boundary experiences of culturally displaced persons, who have grown up in one country but have emigrated to another” (Kramsch 1993: 234). There is a growing body of literature in English reflecting immigrant and second-generation experience, and the rich diversity of an increasingly multi-cultural society. His chapter explores ways in which such intra-cultural texts can be used in the language class to promote greater inter-cultural awareness.
Rodrigo, V. (2009). Vocabulary size and reading habit in native and non-native speakers of Spanish. Hispania, 92(3), 580-592. [Componente léxico y hábito de lectura en hablantes nativos y no nativos de español]
Many practitioners of Extensive Reading (herein referred to as "ER") are convinced of the effectiveness of the ER approach, yet despite these accolades, 1) physical obstacles, such as the need to establish and maintain a library of readers, and 2) student management issues, particularly the need of an efficient mechanism for holding students responsible for actually doing the reading, have hampered the widespread adoption of ER in the world of EFL. The Reader Module attempts to address the latter problem through a Moodle-based quiz module that instructors can implement on their own school's Moodle server, or by mounting a course on the publicly available server at moodlereader.org. The module has been shown to encourage the students to read a significantly greater number of books and, by virtue of the time restrictions in the program, to encourage them to do their reading regularly over the course of the school term.
Sivasubramaniam, S. (2009). Anchoring literature in extensive reading programmes: Issues and insights for promoting intersubjectivity in the classroom. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 409-428). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
This article focuses on the vocabulary size of 44 subjects divided into four groups according to two variables: reading (reading habit ) and language (L1 and L2). The four groups were native speakers of Spanish with reading habit (L1+reading), native speakers of Spanish without reading habit (L1-reading), non-native speakers of Spanish with reading habit (L2+reading), and non-native speakers of Spanish without reading habit (L2-reading). The results are statistically significant and show that the combination of the variables of reading and language together were predictors of 88% of the variance in the vocabulary size of the subjects, reading being the strongest predictor of the vocabulary size of the participants. In our sample, the vocabulary size of the groups were: L1+ reading (48,600), L2 + reading (40,900), L1-reading (25,500), L2-reading (11,100). A surprising result is that the L2+reading group outperformed the L1- reading group: the vocabulary size of the L2 group with reading habits was 15,000 words more than the L1 group without reading habit. This finding suggests that being a native speaker of a language does not ensure a wide vocabulary size if a person does not have a reading habit that allows them to read in big amounts and for pleasure. Similarly, it may be claimed that a strong reading habit may compensate for the condition of not being a native speaker of a language. These results, apart from supporting the incidental acquisition of vocabulary through reading, are strong evidence for the need of implementing extensive reading programs in the foreign language curriculum so that language students can acquire vocabulary incidentally through reading and the process of acquisition of a L2 can be adequately accelerated.
Smith, K. (2009/2010). The "IRAQ" of SSR: What we need to know. The International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 5(2), 4-7.
****This chapter endeavours to alert all EFL/ESL teachers working in tertiary and higher secondary settings to the poverty of reading and writing available at present and the loss of curiosity, critical consciousness and involvement it perpetuates in their educational practices. As an antidote for this educational malaise, the author signposts the curative and corrective potential the prevalence of literature has in the educational practices of extensive reading. Subsequently, this chapter discusses the theoretical issues and insights that constitute a personal response approach to literature, thereby urging the EFL/ESL teachers to function as empowered and empowering individuals. The ideas and insights explored are meant to prompt self-analysis and self-investment in the teachers.
Taboada, A. & McElvany, N. (2009). Between the skill and will of extensive reading: L2 learners as engaged readers. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 179-202). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
*This article suggests ways to make sustained silent reading (SSR) effective in the classroom. They are formulated in the acronym IRAQ, with each letter standing for two elements hypothesized to be needed for SSR to succeed. I stands for Interest and Independence, R for Readability and Regularity, A for Access and Accountability and Q for Quantity and Quality. The author argues that the eight elements or factors presented in the article are well supported by research and experience, and concludes that those who read more achieve more.
Takase, A. (2009). The effects of different types of extensive reading materials on reading amount, attitude and motivation. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 451-465). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
****This chapter treats of how intrinsic motivation principles can be fused with the practice of extensive reading in L2 learners. To do this, the authors draw from their expertise on reading motivation with both L1 and L2 learners and use the model of reading engagement for native speakers developed by Guthrie and colleagues as a framework. In addition, to provide L2 teachers and researchers with motivation practices that lend themselves well to L2 learners’ reading, they review the extant motivation literature in L2 and use this as a basis to further elaborate upon. Intrinsic motivation practices such as support of student autonomous reading, self-efficacy, interest, mastery goals for reading and social collaboration are all discussed in their chapter in relation to extensive reading within and outside classroom contexts.
Waring, R. (2009). The inescapable case for extensive reading. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 93-111). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
****This chapter discusses the effectiveness of various types of materials for extensive reading (ER). The author emphasizes the effects of very easy materials for ER beginners, referring to various series of materials from Levelled Readers and picture books for L1 children to Graded Reader series, including a new popular series. Reading an abundance of easy books at the beginning stage of ER, as she observes, lowers the learners’ affective filter and enables them to unlearn translation habits. Also, they shift to higher levels of books more easily, become motivated to read, and thus acquire reading speed and fluency, regain self-confidence and experience pleasure reading.
Widodo, H. P. (2009). Implementing collaborative extensive reading in an EFL classroom. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 231-248). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
****The author reviews recent vocabulary research and shows that learners need to encounter massive amounts of language to learn not only single words but also their collocations, register and so forth. This chapter demonstrates that neither intentional learning nor course books (especially linear-based ones) can cover the sheer volume of text that learners need to meet without the help of extensive reading. The author shows that learners need to gain their own sense of language and that this cannot be gained from only learning discrete language points, rather, it must, and can only, come from massive exposure to language via reading in tandem with course books.
Wu, F. & Wu, Z. (2009). Developing learner autonomy through extensive reading in the context of Chinese EFL colleges. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 561-576). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
****This chapter attempts to discuss the implementation of collaborative ER in the EFL classroom. In consequence, the author sheds crucial light on definitions, benefits, and critical issues of collaborative ER; and the criteria of selecting ER materials (e.g. connectivity, selectivity, authenticity, variety, neutrality, readability, and accessibility and availability). Moreover, he addresses possible ER tasks (e.g. in- and out-of-class ER, reading diary writing, language enrichment, and reflective journal writing), in which the ultimate goal is to help EFL students become engaged and fluent readers as they go through the entire learning process. He concludes that collaborative ER instruction can foster student engagement and reading fluency.
Wu, Y. (2009). Engaging advanced-level ESL students to read young adult literature in extensive reading settings. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 349-373). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
****This study examines the issues of ER practice and learner autonomy from the perspective of Chinese college students. The researchers hope that any successful experience and problems identified in their study can shed some light onto a more effective and efficient practice in those colleges and universities that are striving to make connections or are planning to make connections between learner autonomy and extensive reading in the EFL context, both within China and elsewhere.
You, C. & Chen, S. (2009). Applying authentic materials to EFL extensive reading in senior high schools in China. In A. Cirocki (Ed.), Extensive reading in English language teaching (pp. 311-331). Munich, Germany: Lincom.
****This chapter concentrates on teaching young adult literature (YAL) to ESL students through extensive reading, a relatively new yet promising area. In his scrutiny, the author first outlines the paradigm shift in teaching literature in ESL classes and compares it to that in secondary English classes for its unique characteristics and expectations. He then goes through studies in recent decades to display the special considerations and benefits of using YAL to develop literacy, enhance cultural knowledge, and foster critical thinking, followed by a guideline for choosing and teaching YAL. In the end, he calls for more studies and efforts to further explore the subject matter.
****In their considerations on extensive reading, the authors centre on materials intended for native speakers only. They claim that in the field of L2 learning, authentic materials play a valuable role in helping to create a language-rich environment in the classroom, and in providing students with bridges to the real world of the target language community. Further, what the authors propose in their chapter is that, as a supplement to L2 learning within the classroom, authentic materials can be applied to extensive reading in Chinese senior high schools (CSHSs) for the students to promote meaningful communication, to obtain acquisition-rich L2 input, to enhance learner autonomy and to promote their intrinsic L2 motivation as well. Their chapter is an attempt to explain why this should be so, and to argue the case for giving authentic materials a more important role in CSHSs.
2010Byun, J-H. (2010). Korean EFL teachers’ perspectives about their participation in an extensive reading program. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Texas, Austin. Retrieved January 5, 2013, from http://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/bitstream/handle/2152/ETD-UT-2010-08-1634/BYUN-DISSERTATION.pdf?sequence=1
Han, J. (2010). Extensive Reading Conjoined with Writing Activities as an Effective Component of English as a Second/Foreign Language. Unpublished MA thesis, University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Retrieved November 23, 2011, from http://minds.wisconsin.edu/handle/1793/39198
The purpose of this research was to explore the overall perceptions of EFL teachers toward the extensive reading approach as they experienced the approach first hand. More particularly, EFL teachers' perspectives on the applicability issues of extensive reading for secondary level curriculum in Korea were captured. Also, their personal experience with the approach, including the effect of extensive reading on their foreign language anxiety, was investigated. A total of fourteen teachers in a professional development program participated in the study. They were situated in a print-affluent classroom replete with approximately 1000 books including graded readers, young adult books, some magazines, best sellers and steady seller books. In the reading program, the teachers experienced sustained silent reading, and participated in classroom discussion and activities related to extensive reading. Also, these teachers were strongly encouraged to do outside reading. Data were collected from multiple sources to enhance the credibility of the study, that is, classroom observation including field notes and audio recordings, learner diaries, and interviews. Three surveys were also administered--the Foreign Language Reading Anxiety Scale, The Teacher Foreign Language Anxiety Scale, and the Affective Questionnaire to Extensive Reading. The findings from the study showed that although the teachers were somewhat resistant to the idea of reading English-language books extensively prior to their participation, they became proponents of the approach once they had the experience of pleasure reading. They also expressed a fondness for graded readers and literature for young adults because of the simplified language and appealing themes that characterize such reading materials, and were willing to introduce them to students in secondary schools. Teachers also recognized the linguistic benefits of extensive reading including vocabulary expansion, positive reading attitude, and a sense of accomplishment from reading extensively. In terms of the applicability issue, however, the participating teachers recommended introducing the approach gradually rather than implementing it immediately, mainly because of the test-emphasized classroom culture of the secondary level curriculum in Korea. In a similar vein, teachers also addressed problematic factors that would be considered an obstacle to bringing the approach to the secondary curriculum. Those obstacles were problems related to curriculum and evaluation, motivating reluctant and struggling students, and teachers' conflicted role in the extensive reading class. Therefore, as mentioned earlier, they proposed a gradual approach and the use of extra-curricular activities was mentioned as a possible first step to take. Regarding the effect of extensive reading on foreign language anxiety, the data from the scale and from interviews indicated that participating teachers were not highly anxious even prior to the program.
Karlin, O., & Romanko, R. (2010). Examining multiple variables within a single ER setting. The Reading Matrix, 10, 181–204.
In this paper, I will try to show how ER in a second and foreign language has become a useful and motivating way of language teaching. I will first argue that reading as a L2/FL and ER are effective ways of fluent reading. In the second part, I will briefly define ER and explain the theoretical frame of ER, major characteristics of ER, and benefits of ER. Third, I will point out the connection between ER and writing activities, which is very helpful for language learners to improve their language proficiency. Finally, I will discuss effective ways of instruction which combining ER and writing program in South Korea.
Kong, F. (2010). On the effectiveness of applying English poetry to extensive reading teaching. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 1(6), 918-921.
This study examined the gains in student affect, vocabulary, and reading fluency for 110 university students in an extensive reading program in Japan. It was important to measure all of these dimensions within a single study and teaching methodology, so gains could be appropriately compared against each other. The adopted teaching methodology was a communicative one which stressed a number of in-class activities with out-of-class reading, with reading speed, vocabulary, and comprehension measured over the course of a semester, and paired sample t-tests were conducted using pre- and post-test scores on six variables. Students were also clustered in higher-level and lower-level groups to determine if they differed in their learning rates. Results indicated that affect increased substantially, while fluency increased minimally, and vocabulary did not increase at all. Paired sample t-tests indicated that the lower-level students gained more in terms of fluency than the higher level students.
Lin, L-F. (2010). Senior high school students’ reading comprehension of graded readers. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 1(1), 20-28
English poetry plays an important role in fulfilling the goals of extensive reading teaching, but English poetry teaching is less than satisfactory in extensive reading teaching due to learners’ attitude and traditional teaching methods and so on. Therefore, this thesis makes a study of the effectiveness of applying English poetry to extensive reading teaching from two aspects: the characteristics of English poetry and the functions of English poetry in extensive reading teaching. And in the end, this thesis puts forward some suggestions for how the teacher appropriately makes use of English poetry in extensive reading teaching.
Nishizawa, H., Yoshioka, T., & Fukada, M. (2010). The impact of a 4-year extensive reading program. In A. M. Stoke (Ed.), JALT2009 Conference Proceedings. Tokyo: JALT.
This study investigates senior high school students' reading comprehension of graded readers outside of the classroom. Seventy-eight participants were assigned to read three graded readers written respectively from 600-word, 1200-word, and 1700-word wordlists and labeled as Level 2 (L2), Level 3 (L3), and Level 4 (L4). All participants completed post-reading comprehension tests, follow-up reading tests, and post-reading questionnaires. T-test results showed that first, females’ reading comprehension ability had grown significantly. Second, there were no significant differences between males and females’ comprehension of L2 and L3 readers, but females achieved significantly higher scores than males in L4 graded reader. Third, females significantly used more strategies than their counterparts to understand L4 graded reader. Finally, the interpretation of females’ adding and reducing the strategies to comprehend difficult text were provided. Instructional suggestions for senior high school students’ outside reading were presented.
Poulshock, J. (2010). Extensive graded reading in the liberal arts and sciences. Reading in a Foreign Language, 22(2), 304-322.
This study reports the impact of a long-term extensive reading (ER) program on reluctant EFL learners. The ER program consisted of sustained silent reading (SSR) classes, 45 minutes a week, for 120 weeks over 4 consecutive academic years. Thirty-seven students, ranging in age from 20 to 22 years old, finished the program. A comparison between three groups of students in the ER program showed a strong correlation between their TOEIC scores and the amount of reading. The most critical factor for success was reading at least 300,000 words, which was found to be the enabling threshold for the subjects to feel at ease while reading English texts. To ensure the students were reading this amount, the program needed scheduled reading time and easy English texts, especially in the first year. The readability levels of the English texts for our students were far easier than the ones recommended by the Edinburgh Project on Extensive Reading.
Saleem, B. A. A. (2010). Impact of extensive reading on literacy perceptions and on EFL writing quality of English major students at the Islamic University of Gaza. MA Thesis. The Islamic University, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2011 from http://library.iugaza.edu.ps/Thesis/90263.pdf
For this research, learners did extensive graded reading (EGR) with traditional graded readers, and they also interacted with short graded stories in the liberal arts and sciences (LAS). This study describes the purpose and format of the LAS stories used by hundreds of university students and adult learners in Japan. It summarizes the results of two semester-long pilot projects done with 10 students in 2008 and 24 students in 2009, and it compares how both these groups perceived their experiences of doing EGR with traditional graded readers in combination with graded stories in the liberal arts and sciences. Lastly, this study examines how students learned vocabulary from the LAS stories that they used. The results support the idea that learners enjoy, are motivated by, and can gain vocabulary knowledge through using short graded stories in the liberal arts and sciences.
Smith, K. (2010). Integrating one hour of in-school weekly SSR: Effects on proficiency and spelling. International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 7(1), 1-7. Retrieved September 9, 2012, from http://www.tprstories.com/ijflt/articles-winter-2011/Smith_SSRSpelling_IJFLT_11-11.pdf
This study explores the impact of extensive reading (ER) in English language on students' perceptions of literacy activities in terms of their preferences for these activities, expectations of their abilities, and their experiences in writing. This present study also examines and analyzes the influence of ER on writing quality in terms of content knowledge, critical thinking, and language use. The study employed a quantitative and qualitative research design, embracing, to some extent, a program evaluation. For conducting this study, the researcher taught a college writing course- Writing 2-during the second semester, in the Islamic University (IUG), 2008. Two groups, control and experimental, of 83 participants were involved in the study. The experimental group included 44 participants; the control group consisted of 39 participants. ER was utilized and implemented as a supplementary technique for teaching the essay writing course. The data were obtained from a pre and post treatment questionnaire to investigate their literacy perceptions and pre and post treatment essay writing tests to evaluate their writing. Descriptive analytical approach was used for analyzing the data in the light of the constructivist theory in the scholarly literature. The findings revealed that the teaching program was successful in many ways. First of all, the students' distorted perceptions were positively changed into the right track to be good ground for literacy behavior. [The control group also made significant gains in perception of reading and writing activities, but the experimental group under the extensive reading condition made significantly larger gains]* Most importantly, the students’ writing skills in English improved in that they achieved enhanced control of the several types of target genres, especially the argumentative genre. They started to employ their writing schemata and to exploit different aspects of qualified writing under the influence of ER as a supplementary approach. More significantly, they wrote at greater length, with clear organized structure and improved use of content knowledge and various linguistic resources to enrich their writing. The improved use of evidence, information, and negotiating of meaning in support of their arguments also indicated their development in critical thinking. [The ER group outperformed the control group on all the above measures]*.
Sonbul, S., & Schmitt, N. (2010). Direct teaching of vocabulary after reading: Is it worth the effort? ELT Journal, 64, 253-260.
This study reports on the results found when one hour of weekly in-class sustained silent reading replaced one hour of instruction within a five hour per week English Reading and Writing course at a college in southern Taiwan. Two separate groups of 15-16 year old 2nd year junior college students from Taiwan were part of this two semester, thirty-six week English language study. The control group (N = 51) was taught given a prescribed five-hour per week syllabus of intensive reading and paragraph writing instruction. The experimental group (N = 45) followed the same syllabus with the exception that one hour per week was substituted with in-class sustained silent reading. Both groups were given pre-mid-post cloze as well as pre-mid-post spelling tests. Results indicate that while both the control group (NO SSR) and experimental group (Integrated SSR) made gains in overall proficiency as measured through cloze, as well as improvements in spelling, the Integrated SSR group clearly and significantly made greater gains. By replacing one element of intensive instruction with sustained silent reading, students did not lose ground as some may fear, but in fact out gained their counterparts.
This experimental study evaluated the effectiveness of direct teaching of new vocabulary items in reading passages. The study compared vocabulary learning under a reading only condition (incidental learning) to learning that is aided by direct communication of word meanings (explicit learning). Three levels of vocabulary knowledge (form recall, meaning recall, and meaning recognition) were assessed using three tests (completion, L1 translation, and multiple choice, respectively). Incidental learning plus explicit instruction was found to be more effective than incidental learning alone for all three levels. The results also showed that direct instruction is especially effective in facilitating the deepest level of knowledge, i.e. form recall. These findings demonstrate the value of the time and effort spent on direct teaching of lexical items in EFL reading classes.
2011Bryan, S. (2011). Extensive reading, narrow reading and second language learners: implications for libraries. The Australian Library Journal 60(2). 113-122
Claridge, G. (2011). What makes a good graded reader: Engaging with graded readers in the context of extensive reading in L2. (Unpublished doctoral thesis). Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Retrieved January 04, 2012, from
Extensive Reading is a resource heavy technique used in second language acquisition in which language learners read large amounts of texts for enjoyment, with the expectation that they will improve their vocabulary and fluency as a result of exposure to the written language. Narrow Reading is a similar technique in which the texts have a common element – such as theme or author – to expose learners to more textual redundancy. This literature review concludes that the evidence suggests both techniques can be effective and valuable to second language learners and foreign language learners. It is also suggested that librarians should be aware of these techniques in order to ensure that collection policies and advice to patrons can assist learners with creating their own Extensive Reading or Narrow Reading programmes. Libraries should also consider working in co-operation with each other to supply Extensive Reading or Narrow Reading projects to areas where there is a known need for material in a given language.
Eidswick, J., Rouault, G. & Praver, M. (2011). Judging books by the covers and more: Components of interest in graded readers. The Language Teacher, 35(3), 11-19. Available: http://jalt-publications.org/files/pdf-article/art2_13.pdf
It is widely accepted in the ESOL field that Extensive Reading is good for ESOL learners and there are many studies purporting to show that this is true. As a result, the publication of Graded Readers in English today is a major commercial concern, although David Hill (2008, p. 189), former director of the Edinburgh Project on Extensive Reading, in his most recent study of Graded Readers, comments that they are being produced ‘in a hostile climate where extensive reading is little valued, prastised or tested.’ However, anecdotal evidence from teachers and researchers claims that learners do not read anywhere near the recommended one Graded Reader a week prescribed by Nation and Wang (1999, p. 355) to provide the necessary amount of comprehensible input for increasing vocabulary. If these claims and Hill’s comment are true, there may be a mismatch between the kind of reading material produced for learners of English and the nature and teaching of the texts currently recommended by teachers and librarians. Such a situation would not only be a huge waste in terms of resources; it could also lead to the alienation of generations of English learners from a potentially valuable means of improving and enjoying language learning.
My study investigates this discrepancy by looking at the perceptions of the main stakeholders in Graded Readers, namely the publishers, the judges and academics, the teachers and the learners, to see how they differ and why. As each population is different, the methodologies used in the study are various, making for an approach that can be described as ‘bricolage’ (Lincoln & Guba, 2000a, p. 164). At the heart of the study are five case studies of learners, set against the backdrop of data gathered from all the stakeholders. As the results indicate that the purpose of the reading appears to govern the perceptions of the individual learner, I found Louise Rosenblatt’s (Rosenblatt, 1978) Transactional Theory of Reading Response was an appropriate framework within which to interpret the data.
Judge, P. B. (2011). Driven to read: Enthusiastic readers in a Japanese high school's extensive reading program. Reading in a Foreign Language, 23, 161-186.
The present study explored pre- and post-reading perceptions of the motivational variable interest in simplified novels (graded readers) of intermediate level students (N = 89) in an intensive English program at a private university in Japan. The study examined participants’ reported overall interest, and lack thereof, in an assigned set of six graded readers. Results confirmed that the selected books represented a wide variety of interest and boredom components, a finding that underscores the importance of assessing student interests in relation to ESL/EFL classroom activities. The study also found that the pre- and postreading interest differed significantly for some books, and that prior knowledge likely was a contributing factor in some perceptions of interest.
Vidal, K. (2011). A comparison of the effects of reading and listening on incidental vocabulary acquisition. Language Learning, 61, 219–258. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9922.2010.00593.x
The paper reports on a long-term, multi-case study examining the motivations of avid readers in an extensive reading program at a private Japanese high school. Using an ethnographic approach to case study research, the project explores nine participants--their motivations for reading and what English study means for them. The two and a half year study finds strong similarities between the participants such as a love of literacy and a desire for autonomy. The findings call for greater consideration of non-cognitive factors such as affect and personal attributes in motivation research. This study adds to a growing body of qualitative literature focused on L2 reading motivation.
This article compares the effects of listening and reading on the incidental acquisition and retention of vocabulary. Two hundred thirty students participated in the study: They either (a) read three academic texts, (b) watched three lectures, or (c) received no input at all and just completed the vocabulary measures. This study also assessed and compared the relationship between acquisition through each of these presentation modes and the following factors: frequency of occurrence, type of word, type of elaboration, and predictability from word form and parts. The reading subjects made greater vocabulary gains than the listening subjects for all four levels of proficiency analyzed. Inspection of pairwise comparisons seemed to indicate that the difference in gains between the reading and listening conditions decreased as the students’ proficiency increased. Similar trends emerged for retention. Reading also resulted in greater retention 1 month after the input, except for the highest proficiency students. For this group, no significant difference was found between the listening and reading delayed posttest scores. The relationship among each of the four factors was analyzed and vocabulary acquisition was also found to vary across input modes.
2012Beglar, D., Hunt, A., & Kite, Y. (2012). The effect of pleasure reading on Japanese university EFL learners’ reading rates. Language Learning, 62(3), 665-703.
Chang, A., & Millett, S. (2013). Improving reading rates and comprehension through timed repeated reading. Reading in a Foreign Language, 25(2), 126-148. Retrieved from http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/October2013/articles/chang.pdf
Few second-language (L2) reading studies have examined the relationship between reading large amounts of text and fluency, and those studies that have tend to be problematic in terms of their designs and/or analyses. In order to address this lack of empirical L2 reading fluency research, this study investigates the effects of a 1-year pleasure reading program on the reading rate development of first-year Japanese university students (N = 97). The reading rates and reading comprehension of an Intensive Reading Group and three Pleasure Reading Groups were measured at the beginning and end of the academic year. All Pleasure Reading Groups made greater gains than the Intensive Reading Group, and the two Pleasure Reading Groups that read the most made greater reading rate gains than the Pleasure Reading Group that read the least. Reading one book every 2 weeks or more was the most effective means for promoting reading rate gains for the majority of learners. An additional finding was that reading comprehension was consistently high on both the pretest and posttest; thus, the increased reading rates did not come at the expense of passage comprehension. A final finding was that reading simplified rather than unsimplified texts resulted in greater reading rate gains.
Chun, E., Choi, S., & Kim, J. (2012). The effect of extensive reading and paired-associate learning on long-term vocabulary retention: An event-related potential study. Neuroscience Letters, 521(2), 125-129. Retrieved from < href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22683507" target="_new">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22683507
EFL students read 26 passages five times each. Students answered comprehension questions after the first and fifth readings. Another group read the same number of passages but without repetition and answered comprehension questions only once. Both groups were tested for reading rate and comprehension before and after the intervention. The results of reading rates showed that the repeated reading students increased 47 words and 45 words per minute in the practiced and unpracticed texts respectively, but the non-repeated students increased 13 and 7 words only. The comprehension levels of the repeated reading students improved 19% and 17% for the practiced and unpracticed texts, but this was 5% and 3% for the non-repeated reading students. Possible reasons for the higher gains compared to previous studies are discussed.
Claridge, G. (2012). Graded readers: How the publishers make the grade. Reading in a Foreign Language, 24(1), 106-119. Retrieved January 5, 2013, from http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/April2012/articles/claridge.pdf
We investigated the relative efficacy of extensive reading (ER) and paired-associate learning (PAL) in the ability of second language (L2) learners to retain new vocabulary words. To that end, we combined behavioral measures (i.e., vocabulary tests) and an event-related potential (ERP) investigation with a focus on the N400 ERP component to track short- and long-term vocabulary retention as a consequence of the two different approaches. Behavioral results indicated that both ER and PAL led to substantial short-term retention of the target words. In contrast, on a long-term basis, ER was more effective than PAL to a considerable degree as indicated by a large-size effect (d=1.35). Evidence from the N400 effects (d=1.70) observed in the parietal electrode group (P3, Pz, P4) provided further support for the superior effects of ER over PAL on long-term vocabulary retention. The converging evidence challenges the assumptions of some L2 researchers and makes a significant contribution to the literature of vocabulary acquisition, because it provides the first ERP evidence that ER is more conducive to long-term vocabulary retention than PAL.
Crossley, S. A., Allen, D., & McNamara, D. S. (2012). Text simplification and comprehensible input: A case for an intuitive approach. Language Teaching Research, 16(1), 89-108. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1362168811423456
Publishing graded readers is big business, but there is evidence that the texts themselves are not being read in sufficient quantity to improve language proficiency. This article reports on a study of graded readers, focusing on interviews with some major publishers of graded readers, to investigate their production rationales. The findings suggest that the opinions of the ultimate consumers, the learners, are not regularly researched, with publishers tending to base production more on the demands of teachers and librarians who buy the books. The largest quantity of graded readers is produced for the intermediate levels, although if pleasure reading is the main purpose of graded readers, it would seem logical to publish a greater number of texts at the lowest level, to inculcate good reading habits from the start.
Haider, Z., & Akhter, E. (2012). Extensive reading in EFL classroom at secondary school in Bangladesh: Current practices and future possibilities. International Education Studies, 5(3), 126-133. Retrieved from http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ies/article/view/9853
Texts are routinely simplified to make them more comprehensible for second language learners. However, the effects of simplification upon the linguistic features of texts remain largely unexplored. Here we examine the effects of one type of text simplification: intuitive text simplification. We use the computational tool, Coh-Metrix, to examine linguistic differences between proficiency levels of a corpus of 300 news texts that had been simplified to three levels of simplification (beginner, intermediate, advanced). The main analysis reveals significant differences between levels for a wide range of linguistic features, particularly between beginner and advanced levels. The results show that lower level texts are generally less lexically and syntactically sophisticated than higher-level texts. The analysis also reveals that lower level texts contain more cohesive features than higher-level texts. The analysis also provides strong evidence that these linguistic features can be used to classify levels of simplified reading texts. Overall, the findings support the notion that intuitively simplified texts at the beginning level contain more linguistic features related to comprehensible input than intuitively simplified texts at the advanced level.
Jacobs, G. M., & Farrell, T. S. C. (2012). Teachers sourcebook for extensive reading. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
The study reports the responses of 100 secondary English teachers on different aspects of using extensive reading tasks in the EFL classrooms of Bangladeshi junior secondary schools. It is found that though the teachers of Bangladesh express positive beliefs about the benefits of extensive reading, the techniques they follow in their classrooms at present mostly encourage intensive reading. A combination of initiatives such as teacher training, awareness-raising, curriculum reform and changing existing assessment formats can promote the practices of extensive reading activities among secondary school learners.
**This book is divided into an Introduction and three parts. Part 1 considers the materials students read in their extensive reading. Part 1’s first chapter, Chapter 2, provides many ideas for how to acquire materials that match students’ interests and fit their independent reading levels. Chapters 3 and 4 suggest how students and teachers, respectively, can create ER materials. Part 2 consists of three chapters on implementing extensive reading. Chapter 5 tackles the all important issue of motivating students to read, whereas Chapter 6 looks at activities to accompany ER, while Chapter 7 discusses combining ER with cooperative learning. The book concludes with Part 3 on how teachers can advocate for ER. Chapter 8 asks how we can cooperate with colleagues to promote the use of ER. Chapter 9 offers suggestions for doing research related to ER.
2013Anderson, N. J. (2013). A curricular model for reading: The inclusion of extensive reading. TESL Reporter, 46(1&2), 1-9.
Augustyn, P. (2013). Translation and bilingual practice for German vocabulary teaching and learning. Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German, 46(1), 27-43.
The purpose of this article is to provide second language (L2) reading teachers and curriculum developers a model of a balanced reading curriculum that includes an extensive reading (ER) component.
Day, R. R. (2013). Creating a successful extensive reading program. TESL Reporter, 46(1&2), 10-20.
This article offers a critical examination of the current practices and beliefs about vocabulary teaching and learning in typical communicative-approach German classrooms. While research on vocabulary acquisition is scarce, frequency dictionaries reveal that current practice is based heavily on the use of concrete, referential lexemes that may be easier to teach but may not represent the most frequently occurring vocabulary in spoken and written texts. For teaching high-frequency vocabulary, which is often abstract and non-referential, this paper explores strategies for bilingual practice, validating the pedagogical use of the learners’ first language. These strategies integrate translation into the classroom as a productive strategy for learning that promotes learner autonomy. By discussing techniques for bilingual classroom practice for the acquisition of core vocabulary at the introductory and intermediate level, this article lends support to recent proposals for integrating translation and extensive reading as key strategies for developing vocabulary.
de Burgh-Hirabe, R., & Feryok, A. (2013). A model of motivation for extensive reading in Japanese as a foreign language. Reading in a Foreign Language, 25(1), 72-93. Retrieved from http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/April2013/articles/deburgh.pdf
Extensive reading (ER) has been demonstrated to help students learning English as a foreign language (EFL) in many aspects of English. However, EFL teachers interested in using ER in their classrooms may not understand how to do this since it differs in many critical respects from other ways of teaching and learning English. In this article, I discuss how teachers can set up and conduct successful ER programs.
Ercetin, G. & Alptekin, C. (2013). The explicit/implicit knowledge distinction and working memory: implication for second-language reading comprehension. Applied Psycholinguistics 34(4), 727-753
Numerous studies have reported that extensive reading (ER) has a positive influence on affect. Recent studies suggest that ER changes motivation. This study presents a model of complex and dynamic motivation for ER. This qualitative study examined the motivation for ER of nine learners of Japanese as a foreign language. Data from interviews and journal entries were analyzed for factors influencing their motivation. The participants' motivation changed as different factors interacted, leading to different patterns of engagement with ER, which fit within the model. Implications concern the importance of varied materials and of making ER obligatory.
Hill, D. (2013). Graded readers. ELT Journal, 67(1): 85-125. Available: http://eltj.oxfordjournals.org.elibrary.jcu.edu.au/content/67/1/85.full
Following an extensive overview of the subject, this study explores the relationships between second-language (L2) explicit/implicit knowledge sources, embedded in the declarative/procedural memory systems, and L2 working memory (WM) capacity. It further examines the relationships between L2 reading comprehension and L2 WM capacity as well as those between L2 reading comprehension and L2 explicit/implicit knowledge sources. Participants were late adult learners of English as an L2, with a relatively advanced level of English proficiency. They completed tests measuring their WM capacity, explicit knowledge, implicit knowledge, and L2 reading comprehension. Correlation analysis revealed significant relationships between L2 WM capacity and both explicit and implicit L2 knowledge. Exploratory factor analysis showed that explicit knowledge, WM capacity, and L2 reading comprehension loaded on a single factor whereas implicit L2 knowledge formed an independent factor with no relationship to L2 reading. The results suggest that L2 WM is able to manipulate and store both explicit and implicit L2 input through controlled and automatic processes. They also suggest that L2 explicit knowledge, connected with the control processes of the declarative system's lexical/semantic features, and L2 WM, reflecting attentional resource capacity/allocation associated with control processes, play an important role in L2 reading comprehension.
Jacobs, G. M. (2013). Extensive reading materials produced by learning communities. TESL Reporter TESL Reporter, 46(1&2), 28-39.
This Review (which follows on from previous ones, most recently in volumes 51/1, 1997; 55/3, 2001; and 62/2, 2008) covers 54 series of graded readers (47 fiction and 7 non-fiction) containing over 2,000 titles produced by 14 publishers: nine in the United Kingdom, one in the United States, and four in Europe. These are distributed widely throughout the world. Thus, this Review does not take into account many excellent series published in other countries for local or regional purchase.
The Review is based on my personal reading of the titles included. I have divided the series into four groups: Senior, Middle, Junior, and Non-fiction, though this division is somewhat artificial since some series or some titles within series cross these boundaries. I also consider two more sections in general terms, namely, series published for Africa and those in foreign languages other than English.
Kirchhoff, C. (2013). L2 extensive reading and flow: Clarifying the relationship Reading in a Foreign Language, 25(2), 192-212. Available: http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/October2013/articles/kirchhoff.pdf.
This article advocates that students and teachers create some of their own extensive reading materials. Learning communities act as a means of motivating and sustaining student and teacher production of extensive reading materials. The article begins by explaining learning communities. The bulk of the article has two parts. The first part focuses on student created extensive reading materials, discussing benefits and ways to produce such materials. The second part does the same for teacher created extensive reading materials. It is suggested that involving students and teachers in creating ER materials facilitates more egalitarian, more caring education practices.
Komiyama, R. (2013). Factors underlying second language reading motivation of adult EAP students. Reading in a Foreign Language, 25(2), 149-169. Available: http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/October2013/articles/komiyama.pdf.
Among foreign language educators interest in extensive reading is growing along with questions about learner motivation to read. Maintaining learner motivation over long periods of time is influenced by many variables suggesting that multiple means of stimulating motivation is needed. The psychological theory of flow has been suggested to influence motivation and engagement in reading. This study examined Japanese learners of English in extensive reading classes to see if they perceived to experiencing flow, the conditions that enabled flow, and if experiencing flow influenced their motivation to spend more time reading. The findings showed that these learners often perceived to experiencing flow while reading graded readers, however, greater frequency of flow-like experiences did not correlate with greater amounts of time spent reading.
Min, Y-K. (2013). Vocabulary acquisition: Practical strategies for ESL Students. Journal of International Students, 3(1), 64-69.
Characteristics of English for Academic Purposes students’ second language (L2) motivation were examined by identifying underlying motivational factors. Using the motivation constructs created by first language reading researchers, a survey was developed and administered to 2,018 students from 53 English language programs in the U.S. Survey responses were analyzed through exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. Results indicate that a five-factor structure was best for interpreting the data, accounting for approximately 44% of the total variance. The identified factors included one intrinsically-oriented factor (Intrinsic Motivation) and four extrinsically-oriented factors (Drive to Excel, Academic Compliance, Test Compliance, Social Sharing). The results support the multidimensional nature of L2 reading motivation and the importance of intrinsic motivation in explaining L2 reading motivation.
Reynolds, B. L., & Yi, L. B. (2013). Does the freedom of reader choice affect second language incidental vocabulary acquisition? British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(2), E42-E44.
Research also highlights positive effects of bilingual dictionaries on the learners' L2 development especially on their reading comprehension abilities (Folse, 2004; Knight, 1994; Luppescu & Day, 1993). The encoding dictionary can promote a deeper level of processing words and can help learners increase their knowledge of collocational partnerships more effectively by comparing differences in word usages based on the specific examples. Numerous studies indicate that reviewing vocabulary at regular intervals is a very effective technique for learners to develop a feel for their learned vocabulary and to enhance their learning of English (Carter, 1998; Folse, 2004; McCarthy, 1996; Nation, 2008, 2009; Roberts, 1999).
[From the article’s conclusion] It is essential for learners to combine an explicit approach to vocabulary learning with extensive reading to maximize their vocabulary power and the learning of English.
Ro, E. (2013). A case study of extensive reading with an unmotivated L2 reader. Reading in a Foreign Language, 25(2), 212-233. Available: http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/October2013/articles/ro.pdf.
In this study, the effect of freedom of reader choice on the incidental acquisition of vocabulary was investigated in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) reading classes. McQuillan and Krashen (2008) have argued that free extensive reading is the major contributor to vocabulary development for second language (L2) readers. Cobb (2007), however, argues that free reading cannot provide sufﬁcient opportunities for acquiring vocabulary without the aid of computers.
Accordingly, there has been growing attention to the incidental acquisition of L2 vocabulary through free extensive reading yet surprisingly with no connection to how computers may enhance acquisition. Computers provide the affordances of adaptive learning (Wang & Liao, 2011), linking texts to other texts (Cobb, 2007) and linking texts to speech while providing ease of access to language tools (Grimshaw, Dungworth, McKnight & Morris, 2007). It has been overlooked that computers can provide freedom of reader choice while also helping to fulﬁll the pedagogical concerns of teachers.
Laufer and Hulstijn (2001) pointed out that educators should provide reading materials that students ﬁnd interesting to increase motivation. Allowing L2 learners to choose their own reading materials increases motivation but pedagogical concerns may limit freedom of reader choice. Empirical research into the phenomenon of incidental vocabulary acquisition has not investigated the effect of reader choice.
Despite advocating free extensive reading as a means of obtaining a native-like L2 vocabulary, existing studies investigating the incidental acquisition of vocabulary have not allowed for freedom of reader choice. Therefore, this study aims to address this issue by exploring two research questions:
1. Is incidental vocabulary acquisition affected by whether reading material is selected by the learner or assigned by a computer system?
2. Is incidental vocabulary acquisition related to the learner’s level of interest in the reading materials?
Results suggest that the inﬂuence of reader choice on students’ L2 is worthy of teachers’ attention, as is the inﬂuence of autonomy on students’ L2 vocabulary acquisition. Moreover, this investigation shows the beneﬁt of using computers to provide students with the freedom to choose the articles they read. Empirical results show interest and incidental vocabulary acquisition have a small to medium positive relationship, which indicates that students’ level of interest in an article will have a small to medium effect on the amount of incidental vocabulary acquisition that will occur by reading articles. Still, in situations where students only need to comprehend texts, assigning of articles by teachers will have no effect. Future research should increase the number of target words assessed and the types of reading materials to further measure the relationship between interest and incidental vocabulary acquisition.
Robb, T. N. (2013). The effect of grade weighting on student extensive reading performance. TESL Reporter TESL Reporter, 46(1&2), 21-27.
Extensive reading is gaining credibility as an effective way of boosting students’ affect especially in an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) context where access to a second language (L2) input is minimal. This study uses a pattern-matching, single case study research design to examine an adult reader’s motivation and anxiety shifts towards second language reading. Motivation and anxiety were measured through three self-reported questionnaires, three interviews, and observations in 24 extensive reading sessions over an 8-week period. A total of 174 minutes of interviews were audio-taped, transcribed, and analyzed through content analysis. Results suggest that pleasure reading lowered the participant’s fears while increasing motivation towards second language reading. Moreover, the contributing factors for anxiety reduction (confidence, comfort or ease, and enjoyment) and motivation enhancement (convenience or accessibility, satisfaction, comfort or ease, enjoyment, and usefulness) as well as the pedagogical implications for teaching unmotivated readers are discussed.
Robb, T., & Kano, M. (2013). Effective extensive reading outside the classroom: A large-scale experiment. Reading in a Foreign Language, 25(2), 234-247. Available: http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/October2013/articles/robb.pdf.
This paper describes three approaches for grading the extensive reading requirement implemented at Kyoto Sangyo University. In order to encourage less motivated readers who likely would not complete the reading assignments, a grading requirement was imposed. The results suggest that when the course grading criteria include a requirement to complete extensive reading, students are more likely to complete the reading.
Tabata-Sandom, M. (2013). The reader-text-writer interaction: L2 Japanese learners’ response toward graded readers. Reading in a Foreign Language, 25(2), 264-282. Available: http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/October2013/articles/tabata.pdf.
We report on a large-scale implementation of extensive reading (ER) in a university setting in Japan where all students were required to read outside class time as part of their course requirement. A pre/posttest comparison between the 2009 cohort of students who read outside of class and the 2008 cohort who did no outside reading shows that the implementation of ER resulted in highly significant gains. A plug-in module for Moodle called “MoodleReader” was used to hold the students accountable for their reading. A new distinction between replacement ER and additive ER is introduced.
Taylor, A. (2013). CALL versus paper: In which context are L1 glosses more effective? CALICO Journal, 30(1).
This paper reports on two projects which investigated graded readers (GRs) as meaningful input for learners of Japanese as a foreign language (JFL). Project One examined the intentions of six writers of Japanese GRs. A focus group interview demonstrated that the writers had a genuine communicative intent in the writing process. Project Two investigated how fourteen learners of JFL responded to the GRs produced by these writers. Most participants welcomed lexical simplification in the GRs and their think-aloud protocols indicated that they experienced an effortless reading process with the GRs. This implies that GRs can be productive reading materials for JFL reading fluency development. In the affective domain, the less proficient participants tended to react favourably to the writers’ communicative intent, whereas advanced participants demonstrated negative perceptions toward reading the GRs. The paper argues that the potential of GRs as meaningful input for learners of JFL is maximized when their efficacy is explicitly taught.
Webb, S., & Macalister, J. (2013), Is text written for children useful for L2 extensive reading? TESOL Quarterly, 47(2), 300–322.
CALL glossing in first language (L1) or second language (L2) texts has been shown by previous studies to be more effective than traditional, paper-and-pen L1 glossing. Using a pool of studies with much more statistical power and more accurate results, this meta-analysis demonstrates more precisely the degree to which CALL L1 glossing can be more effective than traditional L1 glossing. Results indicate, as previous research has shown, that CALL L1 glossing is significantly more effective in L2 reading comprehension than traditional L1 glossing. That is, the mean effect size is significantly higher (p < .001) for studies that use CALL L1 glosses (g = 1.44) when compared to studies that use paper-based L1 glosses (g = .50). This article explains how and under what circumstances CALL L1 glosses may be more or less effective than traditional L1 glosses.
Yamashita, J. (2013). Effects of extensive reading on reading attitudes in a foreign language. Reading in a Foreign Language, 25(2), 234-247. Available: http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/October2013/articles/yamashita.pdf.
The researchers completed a corpus-driven analysis of 688 texts written for children, language learners, and older readers to determine the vocabulary size necessary for comprehension and the potential to incidentally learn vocabulary through reading each text type. The comparison between texts written for different audiences may indicate their relative value for use in extensive reading programs. The results indicate that a vocabulary size of 10,000 words plus knowledge of the proper nouns and marginal words was required to know 98% of the words in both text written for children and text written for older readers. In contrast, a vocabulary size of 3,000 word families plus knowledge of the proper nouns and marginal words was necessary to know 98% of the words in text written for language learners. Repetition of words in Nation's (2006) 3rd to 14th 1,000-word lists was higher in the text written for language learners, followed by children's literature and then text written for adults. The findings indicate that the lexical load of text written for children is similar to that of text written for older readers, and that neither of these text types is as well suited as graded readers for second language extensive reading.
Extensive reading (ER) is an instructional option steadily gaining support and recognition in second language (L2) reading pedagogy. Even though many attempts have been made to unravel the impact of ER on L2 development, there is a paucity of investigation into the affective domains of reading. The current study helps fill this gap by examining the effect of ER on L2 reading attitude. Participants were 61 undergraduates learning English as a foreign language at a Japanese university. Five attitudinal variables were measured using a 22-item questionnaire scored on a Likert scale in the categories of Comfort, Anxiety, Intellectual Value, Practical Value, and Linguistic Value. After the removal of Linguistic Value because of a ceiling effect, the result showed increases in Comfort and Intellectual Value and a decrease in Anxiety, with no effect on Practical Value. Implications for research and pedagogy are discussed.
2014Beglar, D. & Hunt, A. (2014). Pleasure reading and reading rate gains. Reading in a Foreign Language, 26(1), 29-48. Available from http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/April2014/articles/beglar.pdf
Benson, K. (2014). Preparing learners for extensive reading through reciprocal teaching strategies. English Australia Journal, 30(1), 40-56.
This study investigated the effects of (a) the amount of pleasure reading completed, (b) the type of texts read (i.e., simplified or unsimplified books), and (c) the level of simplified texts read by 14 Japanese university students who made the largest reading rate gains over one academic year. The findings indicated that the participants who made the greatest fluency gains read an average of 208,607 standard words and primarily read simplified texts up to the 1,600-headword level. This study also provides an empirically supported criterion for the minimum amount learners should read annually (i.e., 200,000 standard words), provides direct evidence that simplified texts are more effective than unsimplified texts for reading rate development, and is the first study to provide empirical evidence that reading lower-level simplified texts within learners’ linguistic competence is effective for developing the reading rates of Japanese learners at a lower-intermediate reading proficiency level.
Burrows, L. P. (2013). The effects of extensive reading and reading strategies on reading self-efficacy. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Temple University, Tokyo, Japan. Retrieved from http://digital.library.temple.edu/cdm/ref/collection/p245801coll10/id/199091
Studies on extensive reading report positive learner outcomes in reading, listening, speaking and writing, gains in motivation and expanded lexico-grammatical range (Day et al., 2011). With this in mind, two teachers at an English language college for adults in Sydney, Australia started to use graded readers in their classes. From the difficulties their students encountered they identified a significant gap in reading instruction in the General English (GE) syllabus at the college. A review of the syllabus highlighted that 'reading' was commonly taken from the coursebook and employed an intensive reading methodology. This was not preparing the students for successful extensive reading. To address this gap, a collaborative action research project was conducted to explore if and how the instructional technique 'reciprocal teaching' (Palincsar & Brown, 1984), designed to promote comprehension abilities in young L1 learners, could be adapted and integrated in to the GE syllabus at the college. It was found that reciprocal teaching is a useful technique in this ELICOS context, with students showing a remarkably positive attitude towards it for its contribution to their overall language learning outcomes.
Ellis, G., & Brewster, J. (2014). Tell it again! The storytelling handbook for primary English language teachers (3rd ed.). Manchester, United Kingdom: British Council. Retrieved from http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/sites/teacheng/files/D467_Storytelling_handbook_FINAL_web.pdf
Burrows, L. P. (2013). The effects of extensive reading and reading strategies on reading self-efficacy. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Temple University, Tokyo, Japan. Retrieved from http://digital.library.temple.edu/cdm/ref/collection/p245801coll10/id/199091
This study is a quasi-experimental, longitudinal investigation into the role that extensive reading and reading strategies play in the cultivation of reading self-efficacy. Conducted over the course of one academic year, how changes in reading self-efficacy translate into changes in reading comprehension wasexamined. In addition, the participants' perceptions of the utility of extensive reading and reading strategies, and how those perceptions related to reading self-efficacy were investigated. A final goal was to ascertain how retrospective ratings of reading self-efficacy influence current levels of the construct. The participants (N = 322) were first and second-year, non-English majors at a four-year, co-educational university in Osaka, Japan. The participants were divided into four groups: an intensive reading group (control group), an extensive reading group, a reading strategies group, and an extensive reading/reading strategies group. Data for the study were obtained from six major sources: a reading comprehension test, a reading strategy test, a reading self-efficacy questionnaire, a perceived utility of extensive reading questionnaire, a perceived utility of reading strategies questionnaire, and a sources of reading self-efficacy questionnaire.
The questionnaires and tests were administered three times over the course of the academic year. Before conducting the quantitative analyses on the data gathered with the above instruments, the dichotomous test and questionnaire data were analyzed usingthe Rasch rating-scale model to confirm the validity and reliability of the instruments and to transform the raw scores into equal interval measures. By employing MANOVAs, ANOVAs, Latent Growth Curve Modeling, and Pearson correlation coefficients, the data were then analyzed to ascertain differences between groups and within groups for all tests and constructs measured.
The results showed that the participants in the reading strategies and extensivereading/reading strategies groups gained significantly more in reading self-efficacy over the academic year than those in the extensive reading and intensive reading groups.In addition, all three experimental groups outperformed the intensive reading group in reading comprehension. Furthermore, results from the latent growth curve model showed that gains in reading self-efficacy were related positively to gains in reading comprehension. In a similar vein, the results showed that gains in reading strategy skill led to changes in reading self-efficacy, while reading amount was not significantly related to changes in reading self-efficacy. The results also suggested that those who more highly regard extensive reading as useful to improving reading comprehension exhibited higher levels of reading self-efficacy over the course of the study. On the contrary, there was no significant difference in levels of reading self-efficacy between those who highly rated reading strategies as useful and those who did not rate them as highly. Finally, Pearson correlation coefficients showed moderately strong relationships between junior high and high school (retrospective) levels of reading self-efficacy and university (current) levels.
These results underscore the importance of self-efficacy in the learning process and how the cultivation of self-efficacy should be a goal of any educator or administrator in an EFL context. The findings also highlight the detrimental effects of teaching methodologies, such as grammar-translation, that deprive learners of the opportunity to develop their own cognitive abilities. With the introduction of reading strategy intervention and/or extensive reading practice, the participants in the experimental groups of this study were able to develop the skills needed to overcome comprehension breakdowns in the reading process, and this help them become more autonomous, empowered readers.
He, M. (2014). Does extensive reading promote reading speed? The Reading Matrix 14>(1), 16-25. Available from http://www.readingmatrix.com/files/1-16541dh4.pdf
This handbook gives a full treatment of a story-based approach, addressing both theoretical background and practical activities relating to actual stories. It highlights the fact that a story-based approach can take the learner well beyond the improvement of English structural knowledge, to reach into cross-curricular areas including values education.
He, M. (2014). Extensive reading and students’ academic achievement: A case study. In T. Muller, J. Adamson, P. S. Brown, & S. Herder (Eds.). Exploring EFL fluency in Asia (pp. 231-243). Basingstoke, United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.
Research has shown a wide range of learning benefits accruing from extensive reading. Not only is there improvement in reading, but also in a wide range of language uses and areas of language knowledge. However, few research studies have examined reading speed. The existing literature on reading speed focused on students’ reading speed without attending to students’ long-term development in reading speed within extensive reading. The study reported in this article was conducted in Shanghai, mainland China with Year-1 senior high school students. It assessed the development of reading speeds of two groups of readers exposed to two different extensive reading treatments—the free reading treatment and the integration reading treatment. Daily reading records displayed the progress in their reading speed. Results show the positive relationship between extensive reading and students’ progress in reading speed.
Huffman, J. (2014). Reading rate gains during a one-semester extensive reading course. Reading in a Foreign Language, 26(2), 17-33. Available: http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/October2014/articles/huffman.pdf
This chapter reports on the results of an experimental study involving three groups of students from a public high school in Shanghai: one control group, one experimental group with extensive reading as a supplementary input medium and another experimental group with extensive reading as a teaching methodology. The results suggest that the experimental groups show greater improvement in reading comprehension and overall English language proficiency than the control group. Based on the results, the author makes the following suggestions for designers of other extensive reading programs in similar contexts:
free reading might be encouraged in tandem with grammar-translation exercises, as this has been shown to lead to the greatest overall proficiency gains of the three groups studied.
‘integration reading’, with extensive reading as a teaching methodology, appears to be a more desirable option than a methodology based exclusively on grammar translation. Where integration reading is implemented, supplementary grammar-translation practice may be appropriate in order to ensure students are not disadvantaged in standardized tests that include grammar translation.
Jacobs, G. (2014). Selecting extensive reading materials. Beyond Words: A Journal on Language Education, Applied Linguistics and Curriculum and Instruction 2(1), 116-131.
Extensive reading (ER) is an effective way to provide large amounts of comprehensible input to foreign language learners, but many teachers and administrators remain unconvinced, and it has been argued that there is still insufficient evidence to support the claims that have been made regarding its benefits. Few studies have looked at ER’s effect on reading fluency. This article reports on an investigation of the reading rate gains of Japanese nursing college freshmen during a one-semester ER course, with students in an intensive reading (IR) course serving as the comparison group (N = 66). The ER group achieved significantly higher reading rate gains (20.73 wpm) than the IR group (-.62 wpm), without sacrificing comprehension. These results add to a growing body of empirical evidence of the effectiveness of ER.
Jacobs, G. M. (2014). Selecting extensive reading materials. Beyond Words, 2(1), 116-131. Retrieved from http://journal.wima.ac.id/index.php/BW/article/view/513/493
This article offers guidance to teachers and students in selecting materials for extensive reading (ER). First, the article explains characteristics of ER and reviews some of the potential gains for students who do ER. Second, the article considers criteria for teachers to bear in mind when selecting ER materials. Third, the article then suggests ways that teachers and students can find ER materials. Fourth, guidance is provided to students for when they select what to read from among the ER materials available to them. Finally, advice is given on integrating ER with course textbooks.
Khonamri, F. & Roostaee, S. (2014). The impact of task-based extensive reading on lexical collocation knowledge of intermediate EFL learners. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 136, 265-270.
This article offers guidance to teachers and students in selecting materials for extensive reading (ER). First, the article explains characteristics of ER and reviews some of the potential gains for students who do ER. Second, the article considers criteria for teachers to bear in mind when selecting ER materials. Third, the article then suggests ways that teachers and students can find ER materials. Fourth, guidance is provided to students for when they select what to read from among the ER materials available to them. Finally, advice is given on integrating ER with course textbooks.
Lake, J. (2014). Curious readers and interesting reads: Developing a positive L2 reading self and motivation through extensive reading. Journal of Extensive Reading, 2, 13-27. Retrieved from http://jalt-publications.org/access/index.php/JER/article/view/1150
This study attempted to investigate the effect of form versus meaning-focused tasks added to an ER program on the development of lexical collocations among Iranian Intermediate EFL learners. To this end, 41 students of English language and literature studying at the department of foreign languages in Mazandaran University participated in this study. A reading comprehension test taken from TOEFL was used to measure candidates’ reading ability to homogenize them in terms of their entry behaviour. Moreover, Word Associates Test (WAT) developed by Read (1993, 1998) was administered to examine the participants’ depth of vocabulary knowledge. Participants were divided into two experimental groups: Both groups were assigned to read extensively and do some after reading tasks; the first group was given a form-focused task (FFT) while the second group worked on a meaning-focused task (MFT). The results of paired and independent sample t-tests revealed the fact that both FFT and MFT groups progressed in the interval between the pre- and post-test, but, there was not a significant difference between the effects of form-focused and meaning-focused task.
Lynn, E. M. (2014). Online resources for extensive reading. TESOL Reporter, 46(1&2), 40–44.
EFL students read 26 passages five times each. Students answered comprehension questions after the first and fifth readings. Another group read the same number of passages but without repetition and answered comprehension questions only once. Both groups were tested for reading rate and comprehension before and after the intervention. The results of reading rates showed that the repeated reading students increased 47 words and 45 words per minute in the practiced and unpracticed texts respectively, but the non-repeated students increased 13 and 7 words only. The comprehension levels of the repeated reading students improved 19% and 17% for the practiced and unpracticed texts, but this was 5% and 3% for the non-repeated reading students. Possible reasons for the higher gains compared to previous studies are discussed.
Mayora, C. A., Nieves, I., & Ojeda, V. (2014). An in-house prototype for the implementation of computer-based extensive reading in a limited-resource school. The Reading Matrix 14(2), 78-95. Available: http://www.readingmatrix.com/files/11-g736917w.pdf
*This article reviews five online resources where teachers can find ideas for conducting extensive reading.
(1) The Extensive Reading Foundation: Promoting Extensive Reading in English as a Foreign Language - URL: http://erfoundation.org/wordpress/
(2) Top Ten Principles for Teaching Extensive Reading - URL: http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/october2002/day/day.html
(3) Extensive Reading: The Fun Way to Read - URL: http://mreader.org/
(4) Extensive Reading Central - URL: http://www.er-central.com/
(5) British Council - URL: http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/extensive-reading
McAllister, J. (2014). Teaching reading: research into practice. Language Teaching 47(3), 387-397.
A variety of computer-based models of Extensive Reading have emerged in the last decade. Different Information and Communication Technologies online usually support these models. However, such innovations are not feasible in contexts where the digital breach limits the access to Internet. The purpose of this paper is to report a project in which the authors developed an in-house software prototype to allow students from a limited resources high school in a developing country to do extensive reading in a computer without Internet connection. Special emphasis is placed on the pedagogical and cognitive aspect of software design. The process was based on the systemic quality approach to educational software design (Díaz-Anton et al., 2002, 2003). Implications for different educational contexts are drawn from the experience. In-house teacher-produced software may be a more adequate alternative for implementing extensive reading since the developers have more control on certain options and are not restricted by issues of Internet access.
McLean, S. (2014). Evaluation of the cognitive and affective advantages of the Foundations Reading Library series, Journal of Extensive Reading, 2, 1-14. Available from http://jalt-publications.org/access/index.php/JER/article/view/864/61
In pre-service and in-service language teacher education, and in curriculum-related projects in second and foreign language settings, a recurrent issue is the failure to relate the teaching of reading to reading as a meaning-making activity. In this paper, I will consider what current research on second language (L2) reading has actually succeeded in bringing to the classroom. In doing this, I will examine the three obvious candidates for inclusion in a reading programme: extensive reading, reading fluency development, and intensive reading. For each of these I will give my perspective on what's getting through to teachers, and what isn’t, and my best guess as to why it isn’t. This leads to suggestions about areas for further research and other actions that need to be taken to improve classroom practice.
Mermelstein, A. D. (2014). Improving EFL learners’ reading levels through extensive reading. The Reading Matrix, 14(2), 227-242. Availablefrom http://readingmatrix.com/files/11-cmy65135.pdf
This paper provides criteria and methodology for an evaluation of graded readers following a review of the cognitive and affective aspects of L2 reading material, offering a different perspective on their readability and entertainment value as perceived by proficient English readers. Cognitive strengths are evaluated considering the degree to which they encourage the automatization of reading, dual coding and generative use. Affective strengths are evaluated considering comprehensibility, interest to readers, and reading support, in line with the recommendations of Hill (1997) and Claridge (2012). The author feels that native English speakers and proficient non-native speakers are unable to assess the level of interest that graded readers, especially easier ones, may provide. As a result, the degree to which books are considered interesting was established through Japanese readers’ opinions, which follows Hill’s (1997) recommendation that when assessing readers’ enjoyment of graded readers, we should simply ask: Are they a good read? The Foundations Reading Library series was found to be highly suitable for Japanese university students with little or no extensive reading experience.
Nakanishi, T. (2014). A meta-analysis of extensive reading research. TESOL Quarterly. doi:10.1002/tesq.157.
Today there is an increasing amount of research promoting the effectiveness of extensive reading (ER) towards increasing learners’ vocabulary, comprehension, reading speed, and motivation towards reading. However, little has been done to measure the effects of ER on learners’ reading levels. This quantitative study examined the effects of ER on Asian EFL students’ reading levels. The 12 week study was conducted at a Taiwanese university using forth year, non-English major, EFL students as its participants and applied communicative language teaching (CLT) and student centered teaching approaches. Eighty seven participants were engaged in the study. Two formal reading level assessments were taken and two informal assessments were carried out throughout the length of the study. The ER treatment used a weekly in-class activity of sustained silent reading (SSR), supported by outside class reading. The statistical analysis indicates significant reading level gains within the treatment group and significantly higher reading level gains within the treatment group vs. the control group. The findings suggest that utilizing ER and a student centered teaching approach can provide a successful alternative to the traditional teacher centered or curriculum-centered approaches currently being used towards improving Asian learners’ reading levels. Pedagogical suggestions for implementing ER are also provided.
Ro, E., & Chen, C, A. (2014). Pleasure reading behavior and attitude of non-academic ESL students: A replication study. Reading in a Foreign Language, 26(1), 49-72.
The purposes of this study were to investigate the overall effectiveness of extensive reading, whether learners' age impacts learning, and whether the length of time second language learners engage in extensive reading influences test scores. The author conducted a meta-analysis to answer research questions and to identify future research directions. He included two types of empirical studies—those including group contrasts based on a comparison of a control group and experimental groups, and pre–post contrasts that only include experimental groups—in the analysis. After a thorough literature search with numerous search engines and manual and electronic examination of related journals, the meta-analysis included 34 studies (two PhD dissertations and 32 research articles) that provided 43 different effect sizes and a total sample size of 3,942 participants. Findings show a medium effect size (d = 0.46) for group contrasts and a larger one (d = 0.71) for pre–post contrasts for students who received extensive reading instruction compared to those who did not. In sum, the available research to date suggests that extensive reading improves students' reading proficiency and should be a part of language learning curricula.
Rodrigo, V., Greenberg, D., & Segal, D. (2014). Changes in reading habits by low literate adults through extensive reading. Reading in a Foreign Language 26(1), 73–91. Available from http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/April2014/articles/rodrigo.pdf
The present study replicated the methods and data analysis of Crawford Camiciottoli’s (2001) study on second language (L2) reading behavior of academic English-as-a-foreign-language students. Using the original study’s questionnaire, we investigated 60 advanced non-academic English-as-a-second language learners’ L2 reading frequency and attitude. Descriptive statistics and multiple regressions were applied for the analysis. Our study revealed differentiated findings, while partially confirming Crawford Camiciottoli’s results. In contrast to the original study, we found that the participants with positive attitudes towards reading tend to read more and that experience in the target-language culture and years of previous English study did not show statistically significant results on the participants’ reading habits and attitudes. On the other hand and in line with the original study, first language (L1) reading correlated with L2 reading habits, and lack of time was the most selected reasons for poor reading habits.
Song, J. & Sardegna, V. (2014). EFL learners’ incidental acquisition of English prepositions through enhanced extensive reading instruction. RELC Journal, 45(1), 67–84.
This study analyzes the effect of two reading interventions on reading habits by 181 low literate adults who read at the 3-5.9 grade levels. One intervention implemented extensive reading (ER group) and the other one had direct instruction (no-ER group). A Reading Pattern survey was administered at the beginning, at the end, and 6 months after the intervention. Statistical results suggest that the ER group, which had access to books, free choice of reading material, and time to read during instruction hours, was more motivated to read, developed a reading habit, and experienced a positive change in reading behavior. These changes stayed over time, 6 months after treatment. This study strongly suggests that adult learners can benefit from extensive and pleasure reading and that a well-equipped library, easy access to books, and encouragement and time to read are all key factors in the development of reading habits.
Uden, J., Schmitt, D., & Schmitt, N. (2014). Jumping from the highest graded readers to ungraded novels: Four case studies. Reading in a Foreign Language, 26(1), 1-28. Available from http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/April2014/articles/uden.pdf
This study investigated whether enhanced extensive reading contributed to significant gains on the incidental acquisition of English prepositions. English as a Foreign Language (EFL) secondary school students in Korea (N=12) received enhanced extensive reading instruction for one semester in an after-school program. Pre- and post-achievement scores on preposition use revealed that this group exhibited gains in noticing and correcting wrong prepositions, and on producing correct prepositions. However, pre- and post- achievement scores drawn from a comparable group not receiving the additional instruction (N=12) exhibited small gains only in noticing wrong prepositions in sentences. Students’ responses to retrospective interviews provided evidence for five factors likely to affect the acquisition of English prepositions through enhanced extensive reading: increased reading comprehension, increased vocabulary knowledge, frequent encounters of prepositions in meaningful contexts, increased intuition for preposition use, and opportunities to use the newly taken input in output activities. These results suggested that enhanced extensive reading can effectively contribute to EFL secondary school students’ incidental acquisition of English prepositions.
Waring, R. (2014). Building fluency with extensive reading. In T. Muller, J. Adamson, P. S. Brown, & S. Herder (Eds.). Exploring EFL fluency in Asia (pp. 213-230). Basingstoke, United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.
This study follows a small group of learners in the UK to the end of a graded reading program using the Cambridge Readers and investigates whether this particular graded reading series provides a bridge to reading unsimplified novels for pleasure. The participants’ reading comprehension, reading rates, vocabulary text coverage, and overall affect were measured and used for comparison between two of the highest level Cambridge Readers and two ungraded novels. The four books were also analysed to investigate the potential ‘gap’ in vocabulary coverage between graded and ungraded fiction. The overall results revealed that learners can progress from a graded reading program using the Cambridge Readers to reading unsimplified novels for pleasure, but are likely to experience a reduction in vocabulary coverage from over 98% to around 95%. It was also found that the gap between graded and unsimplified novels may not be as big as previously thought.
This study uses a moving windows self-paced reading task to assess both text comprehension and processing time of authentic texts and these same texts simplified to beginning and intermediate levels. Forty-eight second language learners each read 9 texts (3 different authentic, beginning, and intermediate level texts). Repeated measures ANOVAs reported linear effects of text type on reading time (normalized for text length) and true/false comprehension scores indicating that beginning level texts were processed faster and were more comprehensible than intermediate level and authentic texts. The linear effect of text type on comprehension remained significant within an ANCOVA controlling for language proficiency (i.e., TOEFL scores), reading proficiency (i.e., Gates-MacGinitie scores), and background knowledge, but not for reading time. Implications of these findings for materials design, reading pedagogy, and text processing and comprehension are discussed.
2015Chang, A. C.-S., & Millett, S. (2015). Improving reading rates and comprehension through audio-assisted extensive reading for beginner learners. System, 52, 91-102. DOI: 10.1016/j.system.2015.05.003
Edy, S. (2015). The effectiveness of extensive reading on students’ reading comprehension achievement as observed from students’ motivation. Jurnal Pendidikan Humaniora (JPH), 2(1), 54-58.
The study investigated the effect of audio-assisted reading on reading rates and comprehension. Sixty-four year-10 secondary EFL students received a treatment of either silent reading (SR) or audio-assisted reading (AR) over a 26-week period for 90 min each week. They read a total of 20 graded readers, 10 at level one and 10 at level two. A pre-test, a post-test, and a three-month delayed post-test were administered to all participants. The test results show that both groups improved their reading rates and their comprehension levels, and the improvement was maintained for up to three months without further treatment. However, the audio-assisted reading group's improvement in reading rates and comprehension levels was substantially higher than for the silent reading group. Reasons for the higher gains of the audio-assisted reading group are explained and pedagogical implications of the study are discussed.
Jacobs, G. M., & Renandya, W. A. (2015). Making extensive reading even more student centred. Indonesian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 4(2), 102-112.
The study investigates if the extensive reading activity is effective in improving students’ reading comprehension achievement and if there is any interaction between the extensive reading and the students’ reading motivation. This study employs a quasi-factorial design with a pretest and posttest non-equivalence group design. The subjects of the study were the second semester students of STAIN Curup, Bengkulu [Indonesia] in academic year 2011-2012. Students’ reading comprehension achievement was measured by an objective test in the form of multiple choice questions; students’ reading motivation was profiled and classified by a reading motivation questionnaire. In analyzing the data collected, the research used Multivariate Analysis of Covariance. This research reveals the following findings. (1) The students taught by the extensive reading activity showed higher scores than those taught by conventional way. (2) There is no interaction between students’ motivation and extensive reading.
Kano, M. (2015). Revealing factors affecting learners sense of difficulty in extensive reading through reader corpora. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 198, 211-217. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.07.438
This article begins by explaining the student centered learning paradigm. Next, the article explains various features of a student centered approach to education and how extensive reading (ER), as it is most often practiced, fits with those features. The bulk of the article suggests how ER might be implemented to make it even more learner centered.
Lee, J., Schallert, D. L., & Kim, E. (2015). Effects of extensive reading and translation activities on grammar knowledge and attitudes for EFL adolescents. System, 52, 38-50. doi:10.1016/j.system.2015.04.016
In Extensive Reading (ER) programs in university English curricula, two kinds of readers are often used: Graded Readers (GRs), specifically designed for learners of English as a foreign language, and Youth Readers (YRs), written for native speaker children. However, students often find YRs more difficult even when they are categorized as being at the same level as GRs. To find out the differences between GRs and YRs, reader corpora were compiled and compared. As a result, the following characteristics of YRs were observed: (1) a lower percentage of the basic 1000-word-level vocabulary, showing a steady increase of vocabulary level as the reader levels go up, (2) a higher percentage of passive sentences and complicated sentence structures, (3) some basic words, such as even, if, been and around, having much higher frequencies and usage varieties, and (4) many more descriptive expressions. These characteristics of YRs may be considered as factors that affect learners’ comprehension.
Tien, C. Y. (2015). A large-scale study on extensive reading program for non-English majors: Factors and attitudes. International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature, 4(4), 46-54. doi:10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.4n.4p.46 Available: http://journals.aiac.org.au/index.php/IJALEL/article/view/1433
Despite evidence of an association between L2 reading and grammar knowledge by way of research on the role of grammar in reading comprehension, few scholars have investigated the reverse relation, the contribution of reading to grammatical knowledge. In this study, we investigated the effects of two types of reading instruction, extensive reading and translation, on knowledge of general grammar and specific syntactic features (articles and prepositions) as well as learner attitudes. Participants (N = 124) were adolescent EFL learners in South Korea, who received either extensive reading or translation instruction for two academic semesters. From analysis of their responses to linguistic tests and an attitude survey, results suggested that extensive reading and translation activities had differentiated effects on learners' grammar knowledge and attitudes depending on their L2 proficiency. Although both forms of instruction showed positive gains in grammar knowledge from pretest to later tests, extensive reading seemed to have a negative impact on attitude measures for students of low proficiency but produced positive outcomes for high level students on both attitudes and linguistic measures. Alternatively, translation activities seemed beneficial to all level learners for attitudes, whereas the instruction seemed to have more positive effects for mid-proficiency learners on grammar measures
Wardani, S. (2015). Using Speed Reading and Extensive Reading Activities to Improve Students’ Reading Fluency. Jurnal Pendidikan Humaniora (JPH), 2(3), 219-227.
Reading is a complex method of drawing information from some form of text and then interpreting it. The importance of reading in an academic context cannot be underestimated in its influence on learning. It is commonly agreed that students should read extensively in order to enhance their reading skills and to learn other knowledge through that reading. This paper presents an analysis of teachers’ and students’ perceptions toward an extensive reading program located in an EFL higher education context. Particularly, the study aims at assessing factors that may influence the students’ attitudes toward extensive reading (ER) and both students’ and teachers’ perceptions to the newly implemented extensive reading program. In this paper, the author attempts to analyze and understand the effectiveness of an extensive reading program. The results show that: first, differing majors among students and the amount of time spent weekly on reading graded readers directly impacts students’ attitudes toward extensive reading. Second, although many students verbally express a dislike for ER programs in class, they strongly agree that ER is a good way to learn English on the survey. Third, in spite of teachers’ skepticism prior to the ER program, results confirm the linguistic benefit ER brought to learners upon completion of the program. Notwithstanding the preliminary resistance of the ER program, teachers’ and students’ attitudes noticeably changed over the two semesters of engagement.
This study examines the implementation of Speed Reading and Extensive Reading activities to improve students’ reading fluency. Using Classroom Action Research, Speed Reading and Extensive Reading activities were applied in 2 cycles with 2 x 45 minutes per week. Speed Reading and Extensive Reading activities were taught using three phase techniques: Pre-Reading, Whilst-Reading, and Post-Reading. Speed Reading was implemented through some techniques including scanning, skimming, and repeated reading. Meanwhile, Extensive Reading was applied by asking students to read a text at home. Assessment was conducted by giving a reading fluency test after each cycle to check the students’ progress. The other data - observation checklist, field notes, and questionnaire - were utilized to complete the study. The results of the study indicated that Speed Reading and Extensive Reading activities benefited students by making them aware of using certain strategies to understand the meaning of text quickly. In the end of cycle 2, it was found that most of the students were successful to become fluent readers. In addition, students’ confidence increased and Speed Reading and Extensive Reading encouraged a positive attitude towards reading fluency.
OtherEdinburgh Project on Extensive Reading (EPER) Graded Reader Database and Booklists (1981-present). Edinburgh: Institute for Applied Language Studies, University of Edinburgh.
*The EPER database, begun in the early 1980s and updated periodically, currently has entries for about 3500 English-language graded readers, both in and out of print. Each book is assigned to one of EPER's 8 readability levels, from beginning to advanced. The database thus consolidates the various series from various publishers into one overall system of levels. Database entries also include such information as recommended reader age (adult, secondary, primary), genre, regional setting, sex of the main protagonist, and a quality rating on a 5-point scale. At different times, it has been possible to order (directly from EPER) Booklists drawn from the database. The Booklists, copyrighted by EPER according the year made, have included Complete Lists (all books both in and out of print); Current/Standard Lists (all books in print, now about 1600 titles); Recommended Titles (those in print that score 4 or 5 on the quality scale, currently about 600 titles), and customized lists to customer specifications (e.g. books suitable for primary-aged readers). Further details of and information from the database can be found in Hill & Thomas, 1988, 1989, 1993, and Hill, 1997. A version of the Recommended Titles Booklist appears as an appendix to Day and Bamford, 1998.