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Re: 20 unresolved issues in ER

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  • Gordon Luster
    Hello Juan/everybody, I think I would add a couple of things that I have been wondering about: 1) In extensive reading, is it important that the reading be
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 1, 2004
      Hello Juan/everybody,

      I think I would add a couple of things that I have been wondering
      about:

      1) In "extensive" reading, is it important that the reading be done
      in big blocks of time, the way we might sit absorbed in a novel for
      hours without a break? Or, can the student receive nearly the same
      benefit by reading short articles now and then, as long as the
      quality of the materials and the total time spent reading are the
      same? This is a consideration underlying issues #4 and #6 on Juan's
      list.

      2) In graded reading, does the reduction in vocabulary that commonly

      defines the levels cause a notable distortion in the distribution of
      collocations and other multi-word items? In other words, is there
      not only a reduction in the vocabulary, but an even greater reduction
      in the variety of natural contexts in which those vocabulary items
      can appear? From a naive statistical viewpoint, I would expect this
      to be the case. If so, could this be a fundamental source of the
      "unnaturalness" that we sense when reading some graded (especially,
      simplified) materials? And if so, does it matter?

      I think it is useful to compile a list like this, and then to go
      further and identify some research approaches that could clarify some
      of these things. ER (and EL, even more so) seems to be an under-
      researched field, so to encourage its adoption (or realize that it is
      worthless?) we need to identify these gaps and plug them.

      Gordon

      --- In ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com, "Juan Pino Silva" <
      educaonline2@y...> wrote:
      . . .
      > What would you add or leave out?
      . . .
      > 1. Simplified vs authentic materials
      > 2. Task vs no task ***
      > 3. Sight vocabulary vs automatic word recognition
      > 4. Paper-based vs web-based ER
      > 5. Testing outcomes: What to test? vocab? Fluency? Comprehension?
      > 6. Graded books vs magazine articles
      > 7. EPER levels
      > 8. How do we grade work in ER?
      > 9. NNS Rewrites
      > 10. Student perception of ER
      > 11. Teacher perception of ER
      > 12. Placing students in ER levels/courses
      > 13. Reluctant readers
      > 14. Is ER cost-effective?
      > 15. ER Purists vs adapters/innovators
      > 16. Input (i-1) or outcome hypotheses
      > 17. Too much talk vs too little research on ER
      > 19. ER: A new bandwagon? A new buzz word?
      > 20. Extensive vs intensive reading: a dichotomy or a continuum?
    • Timothy Takemoto
      This reinterates Gordon s point 2 1) ER and L2 pidgin-ization - ER is a fluency targetted approach and as with all such approaches, there is a danger of some
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 1, 2004
        This reinterates Gordon's point 2
        1) ER and L2 pidgin-ization - ER is a fluency targetted approach
        and as with all such approaches, there is a danger of some
        sort of pidgin-ization (my English is so pidgin-ized that I am
        not sure how to spell pidgin) in the absence of negotiation of
        meaning with a native or near native communication partner.

        "The pidginization theory" is one that is applied to communication
        centered teaching but I think ER is just that - a form of
        communicative approach.

        The type of "pidgin" however, is likely to be very different
        to that spoken by those that learn english from speaking with
        other learners.

        Mainly I am just remphasising Gordon's point 2 - the effect of
        reading and aquiring simplified English - but there is also an
        effect of learning by reading itself.

        I find that researchers for instance that have learnt
        English from one sort of extensive reading can end up
        speaking a strange variety of English.

        2) Or this might be put another way: overemphasis of reading
        skills at the expense of others.

        3) Difficulty of finding and buying good materials, covered
        by Juan's "value for money" question. This seems to be a neck
        for me.

        4) Due to the fact that learners cannot skim or read a few
        pages before starting it is very difficult for them to
        choose books of their taste. This makes L1, or very
        short and easy to read L2 reviews very important but
        they are still rare.

        Tim

        PS - there was a call for papers here recently. I wrote
        for clarification.

        Hi Tim, thanks for your interest.

        Here are some examples of a few of the topics that may
        appear in our first issue.

        -Life-Long Learning
        -Critical Thinking
        -Language Acquisition
        -Education System Flaws
        -Emotional Intelligence
        -Yoga Psychology in Schools
        -Building Confidence in the Classroom
        -Special Needs Education

        As you can see we are looking to cover a diverse range
        of issues, but at the same time we intend to present
        common themes and illustrate overlapping areas of
        concern amongst the various categories covered.

        I noticed that your online community Extensive Reading
        is based on discussing methods for reading in foreign
        languages. We would certainly be interested in topic
        matter of this sort.

        I hope this leaves you a little clearer about our
        project.

        If you do happen to have work you would like to submit
        then it would be most welcome.

        Matt Seal
        Education International
        New Zealand
        Email: enquiries@...
      • Juan Pino Silva
        Dear Gordon and all, First of all, I am sorry for the delay. Thanks for contributing to the list of 20. I will rewrite it to include your themes or rewrite
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 14, 2004
          Dear Gordon and all,
          First of all, I am sorry for the delay. Thanks for contributing to
          the list of 20. I will rewrite it to include your themes or rewrite
          some of mine and add others that have emerged from my HS ER program.
          I agree with you that keeping a list such as this one is important
          for the ER researchers and practitioners. To keep it alive, however,
          those interested in doing research could get together and find the
          way to collaborate. There's plenty for everyone. I am thus calling
          for action and Tesol 2005 might as well be a good beginning. I have
          already submitted a thing but I would be more than happy to help
          writing a proposal for a colloquium around the list. I hope others
          find it useful for other purposes.
          Best Regards,
          Juan



          --- In ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com, "Gordon Luster"
          <gluster@s...> wrote:
          > Hello Juan/everybody,
          >
          > I think I would add a couple of things that I have been wondering
          > about:
          >
          > 1) In "extensive" reading, is it important that the reading be
          done
          > in big blocks of time, the way we might sit absorbed in a novel
          for
          > hours without a break? Or, can the student receive nearly the
          same
          > benefit by reading short articles now and then, as long as the
          > quality of the materials and the total time spent reading are the
          > same? This is a consideration underlying issues #4 and #6 on
          Juan's
          > list.
          >
          > 2) In graded reading, does the reduction in vocabulary that
          commonly
          >
          > defines the levels cause a notable distortion in the distribution
          of
          > collocations and other multi-word items? In other words, is there
          > not only a reduction in the vocabulary, but an even greater
          reduction
          > in the variety of natural contexts in which those vocabulary items
          > can appear? From a naive statistical viewpoint, I would expect
          this
          > to be the case. If so, could this be a fundamental source of the
          > "unnaturalness" that we sense when reading some graded
          (especially,
          > simplified) materials? And if so, does it matter?
          >
          > I think it is useful to compile a list like this, and then to go
          > further and identify some research approaches that could clarify
          some
          > of these things. ER (and EL, even more so) seems to be an under-
          > researched field, so to encourage its adoption (or realize that it
          is
          > worthless?) we need to identify these gaps and plug them.
          >
          > Gordon
          >
          > --- In ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com, "Juan Pino Silva" <
          > educaonline2@y...> wrote:
          > . . .
          > > What would you add or leave out?
          > . . .
          > > 1. Simplified vs authentic materials
          > > 2. Task vs no task ***
          > > 3. Sight vocabulary vs automatic word recognition
          > > 4. Paper-based vs web-based ER
          > > 5. Testing outcomes: What to test? vocab? Fluency? Comprehension?
          > > 6. Graded books vs magazine articles
          > > 7. EPER levels
          > > 8. How do we grade work in ER?
          > > 9. NNS Rewrites
          > > 10. Student perception of ER
          > > 11. Teacher perception of ER
          > > 12. Placing students in ER levels/courses
          > > 13. Reluctant readers
          > > 14. Is ER cost-effective?
          > > 15. ER Purists vs adapters/innovators
          > > 16. Input (i-1) or outcome hypotheses
          > > 17. Too much talk vs too little research on ER
          > > 19. ER: A new bandwagon? A new buzz word?
          > > 20. Extensive vs intensive reading: a dichotomy or a continuum?
        • Juan Pino Silva
          Dear Tim, I apologize I had not been able to respond. You and Gordon make a good point with respect to simplification. No doubt, your discussion helps to
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 14, 2004
            Dear Tim,
            I apologize I had not been able to respond. You and Gordon make a
            good point with respect to simplification. No doubt, your discussion
            helps to indentify a core controversial issue. You state cost is
            another one. Could you elaborate?
            Best wishes,
            Juan

            --- In ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com, "Timothy Takemoto"
            <nospam2@n...> wrote:
            > This reinterates Gordon's point 2
            > 1) ER and L2 pidgin-ization - ER is a fluency targetted approach
            > and as with all such approaches, there is a danger of some
            > sort of pidgin-ization (my English is so pidgin-ized that I am
            > not sure how to spell pidgin) in the absence of negotiation of
            > meaning with a native or near native communication partner.
            >
            > "The pidginization theory" is one that is applied to communication
            > centered teaching but I think ER is just that - a form of
            > communicative approach.
            >
            > The type of "pidgin" however, is likely to be very different
            > to that spoken by those that learn english from speaking with
            > other learners.
            >
            > Mainly I am just remphasising Gordon's point 2 - the effect of
            > reading and aquiring simplified English - but there is also an
            > effect of learning by reading itself.
            >
            > I find that researchers for instance that have learnt
            > English from one sort of extensive reading can end up
            > speaking a strange variety of English.
            >
            > 2) Or this might be put another way: overemphasis of reading
            > skills at the expense of others.
            >
            > 3) Difficulty of finding and buying good materials, covered
            > by Juan's "value for money" question. This seems to be a neck
            > for me.
            >
            > 4) Due to the fact that learners cannot skim or read a few
            > pages before starting it is very difficult for them to
            > choose books of their taste. This makes L1, or very
            > short and easy to read L2 reviews very important but
            > they are still rare.
            >
            > Tim
            >
            > PS - there was a call for papers here recently. I wrote
            > for clarification.
            >
            > Hi Tim, thanks for your interest.
            >
            > Here are some examples of a few of the topics that may
            > appear in our first issue.
            >
            > -Life-Long Learning
            > -Critical Thinking
            > -Language Acquisition
            > -Education System Flaws
            > -Emotional Intelligence
            > -Yoga Psychology in Schools
            > -Building Confidence in the Classroom
            > -Special Needs Education
            >
            > As you can see we are looking to cover a diverse range
            > of issues, but at the same time we intend to present
            > common themes and illustrate overlapping areas of
            > concern amongst the various categories covered.
            >
            > I noticed that your online community Extensive Reading
            > is based on discussing methods for reading in foreign
            > languages. We would certainly be interested in topic
            > matter of this sort.
            >
            > I hope this leaves you a little clearer about our
            > project.
            >
            > If you do happen to have work you would like to submit
            > then it would be most welcome.
            >
            > Matt Seal
            > Education International
            > New Zealand
            > Email: enquiries@e...
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