Extensive reading and reading speed

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This presentation looks at research conducted at a university in Japan to find evidence that Extensive Reading (ER) is working. Specially, the presentation looks at the influence of ER on the reading speed of students at Tokai University in Japan. The research hypothesis was that students’ reading speed would improve if they read graded readers during one university semester. The presenter also measured the students’ general proficiency in English through a cloze test.

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Extensive reading and reading speed

  1. 1. Andrew ImrieRikkyo University Tokyo, Japan
  2. 2. Extensive Reading: Does it work?
  3. 3. Research• To study the effect of extensive reading on Japanese university students’ reading speed• Hypothesis that students’ reading speed would improve if they read self-selected simplified materials for one university semester• 2009 study• 2010 study
  4. 4. Purpose of Presentation• Present results of research that investigated the effects of extensive reading of simplified books (graded readers) on the development of L2 learners’ reading rates• To explain research methodology
  5. 5. Outline: Study 1 (2009)• Terms• Study 1 (2009)• Research Question• Students and Classes• Design• Reading Materials and Reading Rate Test• Results• Questions
  6. 6. Outline: Study 2 (2010)• Study 2 (2010)• Research Questions• Results• Conclusion• Final Thoughts• Questions
  7. 7. Terms• Extensive Reading• Graded Readers• Reading Speed• “…easy extensive reading.” (Nation, 2009)
  8. 8. Study 1 (2009): Research Question• To what extent does extensive reading for one academic semester (14 weeks) effect the participants’ reading rates?
  9. 9. Design• 4 Test Groups - read extensively• 3 Control Groups – did not read extensively• Delivery of reading materials
  10. 10. Class Description• Test Groups and Control Groups• Required English Speaking Class• 20 – 30 Students• Twice a week 90-minute class• Spring Semester (April – July) only• Non-English Majors• Intermediate (3/5) and (2/5)
  11. 11. Participants• 174 Japanese first year university students• Private Japanese university (Tokai University)• 18-19 years old• 6 years high school English study• Motivation
  12. 12. Test Group Reading Material• Graded Readers• Level of reading material• Target of 40 books
  13. 13. Reading Rate Test• Academic year in Japan (April – March)• Spring Semester study• Reading Rate check: April and July• Reading Material (Penguin Easystart)• Reading speed check administration
  14. 14. Study 1: Reading Rate ResultsReading Teacher Class April 2009 July 2009 GainTime words per minute words per minute5 minutes Teacher A Test Group 1 86 135 56%N/A N/A No control group N/A N/A N/A5 minutes Teacher A Test Group 2 94 129 36%5 minutes Teacher X Control Group 2 99 118 20%5 minutes Teacher A Test Group 3 101 156 54%5 minutes Teacher X Control Group 3 101 125 24%1 minute Teacher B Test Group 4 89 144 57%1 minute Teacher X Control Group 4 98 121 23%
  15. 15. Break: Any Questions?
  16. 16. Study 2• Spring Semester (April – July) 2010• Tokai University• Required English Speaking Classes• Same Design – some changes• 1 Test Group and 1 Control Group
  17. 17. Study 2: Research Questions• To what extent does extensive reading for one academic semester (14 weeks) effect the students’ reading rates?• To what extent are test group students able to maintain comprehension as their reading rates increased?• To what extent are test group students able make any English proficiency gains?
  18. 18. Study 2: Reading Rate ResultsReading Teacher Class April 2010 July 2010 GainTime words per minute words per minute3 minutes Teacher B Test Group 85 123 45%3 minutes Teacher X Control Group 71 90 27%
  19. 19. Study 2: Comprehension Check• 6 multiple-choice questionsWhat did the man do? a) He had dinner with Marcel.b) He had dinner with Celine.c) He stole a picture.d) He painted a picture.
  20. 20. Study 2: Comprehension ResultsClass April 2010 Comprehension July 2010 Comprehension Gain (wpm) (wpm)Test Group 85 93% 123 99% 45%Control Group 71 92% 90 88% 27%
  21. 21. Study 2: General Proficiency• Edinburgh Project on Extensive Reading (EPER)• Placement/Progress Tests• EPER Level F = Beginner level (Oxford BW Starter)• Modified cloze testHe is a teacher (12) works in a big (13) in New York.• Test A and Test E
  22. 22. Study 2: General Proficiency ResultsClass Cloze Test A EPER Reading Cloze Test E EPER Reading Level LevelTest Group 33/76 (43%) F 22/72 (31%) FControl Group 24/76 (32%) N/A 10/72 (14%) N/A
  23. 23. Conclusion: Research Questions• To what extent does extensive reading for one academic semester (14 weeks) effect the participants’ reading rates?• To what extent are test group students able to maintain comprehension as their reading rates increased?• Significantly higher test group reading rate gains with comprehension
  24. 24. Study 1 (2009): Average Reading Rates160 51%140 22%12010080 Apr-0960 Jul-094020 0 Test Groups Control Groups
  25. 25. Study 2 (2010): Reading Rates140 45%120100 27%80 Apr-1060 Jul-104020 0 Test Group Control Group
  26. 26. Conclusion: Research Question (2010)• To what extent are test group students able make any English proficiency gains?• No evidence of overall English proficiency gain
  27. 27. Final Thoughts• Longer study to discover long term reading rate gains• Extended period of extensive reading may show overall English proficiency gains• Need for English curriculum 1) sympathetic to extensive reading 2) supports suitable learning environment
  28. 28. Any Questions?

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