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Re: [ExtensiveReading] Re:Extensive Reading Research

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  • Scott Miles
    Warren Ediger suggested using Krashen s 88 Generalizations about FVR to find ER topics that need more research. I would add that many of those generalizations
    Message 1 of 10 , Feb 25, 2009
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      Warren Ediger suggested using Krashen's 88 Generalizations about FVR to find ER topics that need more research. I would add that many of those generalizations could benefit from replication studies. A study that seeks to replicate (and perhaps add to) a previously conducted study is very useful to confirm findings (something our field needs much more of), and is also far easier to do than to design and conduct a completely original study. I recommend it for all of my MA students who are new to research.




      From: Warren Ediger <wediger@...>
      To: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2009 3:51:59 AM
      Subject: Re: [ExtensiveReading] Re:Extensive Reading Research

      On the first page of Krashen's web site - sdkrashen.com - there's a document called 88 Generalizations about FVR (Free Voluntary Reading). He has tagged some of the areas as needing additional research.
       
      Warren

      --- On Wed, 2/25/09, Carlos Mayora <carlos_teacher_ 77@yahoo. com> wrote:
      From: Carlos Mayora <carlos_teacher_ 77@yahoo. com>
      Subject: [ExtensiveReading] Re:Extensive Reading Research
      To: ExtensiveReading@ yahoogroups. com
      Date: Wednesday, February 25, 2009, 9:14 AM

      Hi Irina,
       
      Within ER there are many topics worth researching but this will depend on what context you work? You could research the attitudes or knowledge of teachers in your universitiy or school towards ER through surveys. That would tackle the old question "Why aren't we all doing ER" (see Jacobs and Renandya, 2002, Grabe, 2002 and Krashen 2003). Or you could see the impact of ER bin the acquisition of a specific grammatical feature (relative clauses, or regular past endings, etc.) For this you would need an ER group and a control group and then compare the results in comprehension and production test of the selected feature. After some time, you could apply also a delayed test. This has been done a few times so review the articles available thoroughly in order to select the target structure and the most appropriate methodology. Then again, this will depedn on how many students you have access to and whther or not ER is a regular and accepted part of the curriculum in your setting. Again, these are just btwo brief suggestions, there are many other alternatives. Hope you find them useful, although I'm sure other colleagues in the group will have other (and probably better) suggestions.
       
      Carlos



    • Gordon Luster
      I d just like to amplify Scott s suggestion that replication studies are needed -- and not only for ER research. A typical shortcoming that I see in ELT
      Message 2 of 10 , Feb 26, 2009
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        I'd just like to amplify Scott's suggestion that replication studies are needed -- and not only for ER research.

        A typical shortcoming that I see in ELT research reports is that the "sample" on which the research has been conducted consists of the students that the researcher happened to be teaching at the time. So then I wonder: of what population are those students a representative sample? The researcher typically reports some statistics and bases a conclusion on them, but the first requirement of a statistical inference is that you define your population of interest and then -- very carefully -- extract an unbiased sample from it for your study. If you skip that first step, you have no idea how far you can generalize your results. If you feel that your Tuesday afternoon class seems a little different somehow from your Tuesday morning class, you already have some evidence that you can't generalize beyond the classroom door.

        With such a mode of operation, which realistically is the best most teachers can do, we need to see studies replicated again and again before we can get even a qualitative feeling for how widely the results apply. If several teachers working with different kinds of students in different contexts perform the same study and get very much the same answer, we can begin to make broad claims founded on more than faith and intuition. If the results aren't all the same, we need to find out why.

        Though ER is a young and thinly researched field, it seems to me that a lot of what we do in ER is well supported by informal experience and common sense, if not by much hard research. In an EFL environment, the most important thing we do may simply be to give our students some exposure to their target language as it is used in real communication, something they might otherwise rarely get in their daily lives or even in the classroom. The helpfulness of exposure to the target language surely isn't in much doubt. The questions lie in the details, such as how this exposure works, how efficiently it works, how to keep content engaging and comprehensible, and how to administer the programs. I wonder what members of this group feel the big gaps in current research are, as well as what existing research results are most in need of confirmation.

        Gordon

        . . .
        > Re: Extensive Reading Research
        >
        > Posted by: "Scott Miles"
        >
        > Warren Ediger suggested using Krashen's 88
        > Generalizations about FVR to find ER topics that need more
        > research. I would add that many of those generalizations
        > could benefit from replication studies. A study that seeks
        > to replicate (and perhaps add to) a previously conducted
        > study is very useful to confirm findings (something our
        > field needs much more of), and is also far easier to do than
        > to design and conduct a completely original study. I
        > recommend it for all of my MA students who are new to
        > research.
        >
        . . .
      • juanarturo Pino
        And now a dissonant voice on replication studies. Hi everyone, Just two points. One on  replication studies and  the basic materials for ER. I would tend to
        Message 3 of 10 , Mar 5, 2009
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          And now a dissonant voice on replication studies. Hi everyone,

          Just two points. One on  replication studies and  the basic materials for ER.

          I would tend to agree that  replication studies on ER are missing. However, there are two good reasons why these studies are not out there yet. For one, replication studies forces the researcher to use the same number of  subjects, same age group, same proficiency level, same materials (books v/s articles), similar o better yet, the same instruments,  measures or reading tests, etc. This makes replication an unlikely option considering the fact -- you also indicate in your post – that there’s  yet too many options in ER research in need of   “tentative” results.  I prefer to go for the open alternatives still to be approached. What are the odds that my submissions of a replication study though needed may be returned to me with the bad news that my subjects weren’t in the same  English Program (EAP vs. GE)?  Wouldn’t you say my study lacks rigor?   The stakes are too high to risk a NO response from publishers, I feel.   

          The second point is about materials. Too many ER hardliners think that  if your students are not reading simplified books  you are not doing ER. Others will accept magazine or web-based articles with reservations. But what if I can’t find books in my bookstores because the country’ economy makes prices prohibitive to import them?  Then there is content. Some of us in Venezuela teach General English to teachers-to be, young adults about to take the TOEFL and apply to a US College while others teach ESP, or General EAP courses where content not just reading strategies is of great importance. I personally like simplified books but in Venezuela there’s no place I can find them and my collection is being cut shorter and shorter with time. One of the complaints my students wrote against my book-based ER program was  “no variety, teacher”.  I hence had to eliminate that excuse from a short list my students had. I gave out my collection of simplified readers that I used with my former teachers-to be students. However when I now have in front of me a future engineer in various specialties, common sense alone tells me that I better go with the magazine, newspaper or web article on themes familiar to them, themes  they are likely to hear of in their content classes later or  when they have to write a thesis to graduate.  

          Best Wishes,
          Juan 


          --- On Fri, 2/27/09, Gordon Luster <gordonluster@...> wrote:

          From: Gordon Luster <gordonluster@...>
          Subject: [ExtensiveReading] Re:Extensive Reading Research
          To: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Friday, February 27, 2009, 1:49 AM


          I'd just like to amplify Scott's suggestion that replication studies are needed -- and not only for ER research.

          A typical shortcoming that I see in ELT research reports is that the "sample" on which the research has been conducted consists of the students that the researcher happened to be teaching at the time. So then I wonder: of what population are those students a representative sample? The researcher typically reports some statistics and bases a conclusion on them, but the first requirement of a statistical inference is that you define your population of interest and then -- very carefully -- extract an unbiased sample from it for your study. If you skip that first step, you have no idea how far you can generalize your results. If you feel that your Tuesday afternoon class seems a little different somehow from your Tuesday morning class, you already have some evidence that you can't generalize beyond the classroom door.

          With such a mode of operation, which realistically is the best most teachers can do, we need to see studies replicated again and again before we can get even a qualitative feeling for how widely the results apply. If several teachers working with different kinds of students in different contexts perform the same study and get very much the same answer, we can begin to make broad claims founded on more than faith and intuition. If the results aren't all the same, we need to find out why.

          Though ER is a young and thinly researched field, it seems to me that a lot of what we do in ER is well supported by informal experience and common sense, if not by much hard research. In an EFL environment, the most important thing we do may simply be to give our students some exposure to their target language as it is used in real communication, something they might otherwise rarely get in their daily lives or even in the classroom. The helpfulness of exposure to the target language surely isn't in much doubt. The questions lie in the details, such as how this exposure works, how efficiently it works, how to keep content engaging and comprehensible, and how to administer the programs. I wonder what members of this group feel the big gaps in current research are, as well as what existing research results are most in need of confirmation.

          Gordon

          . . .
          > Re: Extensive Reading Research
          >
          > Posted by: "Scott Miles"
          >
          > Warren Ediger suggested using Krashen's 88
          > Generalizations about FVR to find ER topics that need more
          > research. I would add that many of those generalizations
          > could benefit from replication studies. A study that seeks
          > to replicate (and perhaps add to) a previously conducted
          > study is very useful to confirm findings (something our
          > field needs much more of), and is also far easier to do than
          > to design and conduct a completely original study. I
          > recommend it for all of my MA students who are new to
          > research.
          >
          . . .


        • Gordon Luster
          Hello again, I m going to respond to Juan within his post below, restating some points I made in my last post. I probably didn t make myself clear before,
          Message 4 of 10 , Mar 9, 2009
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            Hello again,

            I'm going to respond to Juan within his post below, restating some points I made in my last post. I probably didn't make myself clear before, maybe because of terminology.

            --- In ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com, juanarturo Pino <educaonline2@...> wrote:
            >
            > And now a dissonant voice on replication studies. Hi everyone,
            > Just two points. One on  replication studies and  the basic materials for ER.
            > I would tend to agree that  replication studies on ER are missing. However, there are two good reasons why these studies are not out there yet. For one, replication studies forces the researcher to use the same number of  subjects, same age group, same proficiency level, same materials (books v/s articles), similar o better yet, the same instruments,  measures or reading tests, etc. This makes replication an unlikely option considering the fact -- you also indicate in your post â€" that there’s  yet too many options in ER research in need of   “tentative” results.  I prefer to go for the open alternatives still to be approached. What are the odds that my submissions of a replication study though needed may be returned to me with the bad news that my subjects weren’t in the same  English Program (EAP vs. GE)?  Wouldn’t you say my study lacks rigor?   The stakes are too high to risk a NO response from publishers, I feel.  

            Reproduction of every aspect of an original study might be needed in the case where something about that study is in doubt, so that it has to be precisely "rerun" to confirm the results. (Even then the number of subjects might differ, and any identified flaws in the original design should be corrected.) However, in my previous post I was talking about something different, and perhaps "replication" is not the right word for it. If not, maybe somebody can fill me in on what the right word is.

            I often wonder how generally applicable the results of ELT (not just ER) research projects actually are. If Juan publishes some research on an English ER program he has set up for Venezuelan engineering students, can a teacher in a Japanese middle school for girls assume that her students would benefit from the same sort of program in the same way? It's possible, but not evident, because the students differ in age, culture and native language, and probably also sex, income level and reason for learning English. Yet studies carried out on narrowly pre-selected groups of subjects are commonplace in ELT research, and necessarily so, because teachers do not have the clout to order up rigorous stratified-random samplings of entire national or worldwide populations of language learners for their research. So, unless we are to make the grand assumption that what is true for Juan's engineers is true for the world, we need to see his study replicated (if that is the right word) using several other groups of students with different characteristics. If the results are consistent across all of these groups, we can start to believe that we've identified a general principle. Otherwise we need to ask why the results vary.

            In Irina's original post, which started off this thread, she was asking for ideas for a thesis project. I suppose it is probably a master's project, and I think Scott made a useful suggestion that she could try confirming one of the 88 Generalizations in Krashen's list, presumably in a setting different from that of the original study (where an original study is identified). This seems ideal for a master's-level project, where there probably isn't great pressure to do something completely original, yet an opportunity exists to investigate how far one of those generalizations can really be generalized.

            While a faculty researcher or PhD candidate probably does feel the need to break entirely new ground, I think a student looking for a good master's project could do a lot worse than identifying an important study done in the past on a limited group of students and trying it out again in a new venue.

            I'm not a university teacher, so I don't concern myself much with research and can't make specific suggestions. However, I'm sure a lot of students looking for research projects would like to read some advice from senior researchers on what specific studies might deserve another look. Any volunteers?

            > The second point is about materials. Too many ER hardliners think that  if your students are not reading simplified books  you are not doing ER. Others will accept magazine or web-based articles with reservations. But what if I can’t find books in my bookstores because the country’ economy makes prices prohibitive to import them?  Then there is content. Some of us in Venezuela teach General English to teachers-to be, young adults about to take the TOEFL and apply to a US College while others teach ESP, or General EAP courses where content not just reading strategies is of great importance. I personally like simplified books but in Venezuela there’s no place I can find them and my collection is being cut shorter and shorter with time. One of the complaints my students wrote against my book-based ER program was  “no variety, teacher”.  I hence had to eliminate that excuse from a short list my students had. I gave out my collection of simplified readers that I used with my former teachers-to be students. However when I now have in front of me a future engineer in various specialties, common sense alone tells me that I better go with the magazine, newspaper or web article on themes familiar to them, themes  they are likely to hear of in their content classes later or  when they have to write a thesis to graduate.  
            > Best Wishes,
            > Juan

            Although the situation seems to be improving, there is still a shortage of some types of graded material, particularly nonfiction material that might be of interest to business or technical students. Even if nonfiction readers are produced in great quantities, it's no comfort to students in places where those materials aren't available. I think one solution is to make graded and scaffolded content available on the web, preferably free. There are only a few things out there now. I'm trying to produce some more myself, with a couple of friends and my own money, and I can tell you that it is slow going and expensive when you do it all on your own. Maybe in another year we will have something worth promoting. Or maybe not.

            Gordon

            >
            > --- On Fri, 2/27/09, Gordon Luster <gordonluster@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > From: Gordon Luster <gordonluster@...>
            > Subject: [ExtensiveReading] Re:Extensive Reading Research
            > To: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com
            > Date: Friday, February 27, 2009, 1:49 AM
            >
            >
            > I'd just like to amplify Scott's suggestion that replication studies are needed -- and not only for ER research.
            >
            > A typical shortcoming that I see in ELT research reports is that the "sample" on which the research has been conducted consists of the students that the researcher happened to be teaching at the time. So then I wonder: of what population are those students a representative sample? The researcher typically reports some statistics and bases a conclusion on them, but the first requirement of a statistical inference is that you define your population of interest and then -- very carefully -- extract an unbiased sample from it for your study. If you skip that first step, you have no idea how far you can generalize your results. If you feel that your Tuesday afternoon class seems a little different somehow from your Tuesday morning class, you already have some evidence that you can't generalize beyond the classroom door.
            >
            > With such a mode of operation, which realistically is the best most teachers can do, we need to see studies replicated again and again before we can get even a qualitative feeling for how widely the results apply. If several teachers working with different kinds of students in different contexts perform the same study and get very much the same answer, we can begin to make broad claims founded on more than faith and intuition. If the results aren't all the same, we need to find out why.
            >
            > Though ER is a young and thinly researched field, it seems to me that a lot of what we do in ER is well supported by informal experience and common sense, if not by much hard research. In an EFL environment, the most important thing we do may simply be to give our students some exposure to their target language as it is used in real communication, something they might otherwise rarely get in their daily lives or even in the classroom. The helpfulness of exposure to the target language surely isn't in much doubt. The questions lie in the details, such as how this exposure works, how efficiently it works, how to keep content engaging and comprehensible, and how to administer the programs. I wonder what members of this group feel the big gaps in current research are, as well as what existing research results are most in need of confirmation.
            >
            > Gordon
            >
            > . . .
            > > Re: Extensive Reading Research
            > >
            > > Posted by: "Scott Miles"
            > >
            > > Warren Ediger suggested using Krashen's 88
            > > Generalizations about FVR to find ER topics that need more
            > > research. I would add that many of those generalizations
            > > could benefit from replication studies. A study that seeks
            > > to replicate (and perhaps add to) a previously conducted
            > > study is very useful to confirm findings (something our
            > > field needs much more of), and is also far easier to do than
            > > to design and conduct a completely original study. I
            > > recommend it for all of my MA students who are new to
            > > research.
            > >
            > . . .
            >
          • atsubetsuteacher
            ... I think there is a GENERAL shortage of non-fiction readers! The major publishers (Oxford, Cambridge, Penguin) have a few non-fiction books out there,
            Message 5 of 10 , Mar 9, 2009
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              --- In ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com, "Gordon Luster" <gordonluster@...> wrote:
              >
              > Although the situation seems to be improving, there is still a shortage of some types of graded material, particularly nonfiction material that might be of interest to business or technical students.

              I think there is a GENERAL shortage of non-fiction readers! The major publishers (Oxford, Cambridge, Penguin) have a few non-fiction books out there, mostly biographies and travel-related or culture-related books.

              I teach at a science university, so I am VERY interested in finding more stuff, especially along the lines of science books. I have found Scholastic and McGraw Hill to be good sources of these. I'm sure there are more out there.

              > Even if nonfiction readers are produced in great quantities, it's no comfort to students in places where those materials aren't available. I think one solution is to make graded and scaffolded content available on the web, preferably free. There are only a few things out there now. I'm trying to produce some more myself, with a couple of friends and my own money, and I can tell you that it is slow going and expensive when you do it all on your own. Maybe in another year we will have something worth promoting. Or maybe not.
              >

              Can you provide some links right now, Gordon? I have a reading class for first-year students coming up this spring, and I'd love to reduce the photocopies I make by sending them to the Internet even once or twice a semester.

              Glenski
            • Gordon Luster
              Hello yet again, ... Following up on Glenski s request, I did a little review of my bookmarks to see what might still be there. The following sites seem to
              Message 6 of 10 , Mar 12, 2009
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                Hello yet again,

                > Can you provide some links right now, Gordon? I have a reading class for first-year students coming up this spring, and I'd love to reduce the photocopies I make by sending them to the Internet even once or twice a semester.

                Following up on Glenski's request, I did a little review of my bookmarks to see what might still be there. The following sites seem to have a fair number of easy science articles for adults or older kids. Some have sound:

                http://www.voanews.com/specialenglish/
                http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
                http://www.cdlponline.org/
                http://www.spotlightradio.net/

                There are some science articles here that appear to be ungraded, but they have clickable footnotes:

                http://australianetwork.com/englishbites/

                Here are some simple science articles designed to provide a science background for events that are currently in the news. This newsiness might make the articles a little more interesting, but the language isn't necessarily easy. The articles are designed for non-scientists, but they don't seem to be dumbed down too much, and they are written to be understandable (to native speakers, anyway):

                http://whyfiles.org/

                I suspect there are other sites that offer some appropriate science content, so I hope others on this list will suggest them. It would be nice to see some sources of easy business and engineering content as well. There are certainly other sites aiming to teach science to children, but I wonder if articles aimed at kids are appropriate, because I would expect low-level science content (not necessarily in low-level language) to bore university science majors. I suppose some might be interested in what the kids are being told, though.

                I haven't been pushing my own site because it is in a crude state, but maybe somebody would like to take a look. It is an experimental reading/listening site that we tested with a few hundred university students in 2004-2006. It has been dormant and mostly unmaintained ever since, but we plan to redesign it thoroughly, add new content and reopen it free to the public at a different domain, perhaps next year.

                The existing site has about 100 articles in various experimental formats. Although there is a good proportion of nonfiction content, only three articles are classified as "science and technology," and all three of those are in earth sciences (simply a reflection of who happened to be writing). There are additional articles in other categories that are glancingly related to science, mostly tucked away inside a category called "Old Stuff."

                Most of the articles appear in three levels (i.e., the same content written at three different levels), with clickable explanatory notes, pictures, sound, printable versions, and a few other odds and ends. There are also some four-, two- and one-level articles, some with Japanese translations, and some without notes. The sound files vary in quality, and some of the basic-level articles are read out in an unnaturally plodding manner, so you might want to listen before you assign.

                You need an account to use all of the site's features, but anybody here can feel free to use this one:

                URL: http://learnintl.com/
                Username: Academia
                Password: ERuberalles (case-sensitive)

                This is a teacher's account, which allows access to some old articles for teachers and content producers. If you want your students to use the site, please mail me off-list and I'll set up a group student account for you. The accounts allow multiple simultaneous logins. They also have default reading/listening levels and a choice of two media players, which can be changed through the View Account page.

                The specs for the successor site aren't entirely decided, so I would welcome any suggestions or criticisms people may have. We are well aware that several things can be done better. Please use my Yahoo address, not the site's contact form, which currently mails all messages to an alternative universe packed with spam.

                And speaking of spam, if anybody is planning to help that poor individual trapped in Nigeria, maybe you'd like to invest in our new website instead. I'm trapped in Japan, after all.

                Gordon


                --- In ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com, "atsubetsuteacher" <glenahill@...> wrote:
                >
                > --- In ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com, "Gordon Luster" <gordonluster@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Although the situation seems to be improving, there is still a shortage of some types of graded material, particularly nonfiction material�that might be of interest to business or technical students.
                >
                > I think there is a GENERAL shortage of non-fiction readers! The major publishers (Oxford, Cambridge, Penguin) have a few non-fiction books out there, mostly biographies and travel-related or culture-related books.
                >
                > I teach at a science university, so I am VERY interested in finding more stuff, especially along the lines of science books. I have found Scholastic and McGraw Hill to be good sources of these. I'm sure there are more out there.
                >
                > > Even if nonfiction readers are produced in great quantities, it's no comfort to students in places where those materials aren't available. I think one solution is to make graded and scaffolded content available on the web, preferably free. There are only a few things out there now. I'm trying to produce some more myself, with a couple of friends and my own money, and I can tell you that it is slow going and expensive when you do it all on your own. Maybe in another year we will have something worth promoting. Or maybe not.
                > >
                >
                > Can you provide some links right now, Gordon? I have a reading class for first-year students coming up this spring, and I'd love to reduce the photocopies I make by sending them to the Internet even once or twice a semester.
                >
                > Glenski
              • Glen Hill
                Hey, Gordon, Those links sound very interesting. I currently use the VOA link occasionally for my listening class. Will have to look into the others. I m
                Message 7 of 10 , Mar 12, 2009
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                  Hey, Gordon,
                  Those links sound very interesting.  I currently use the VOA link occasionally for my listening class.  Will have to look into the others.  I'm swamped right now, but I'd like to contribute what I can to this list.  Maybe next week.  For now, all I can add is that some people seem to like using a science column from The Economist magazine, which of course is ungraded and fairly high level.  I haven't seen more than one article myself and would hesitate to use it.

                  If anyone here is connected to an ESP/EST group (2 I only just joined), perhaps they have some related links, too.  This thread sounds like an excellent starting point for an effort into collecting very useful materials.  I hope it grows.

                  Glenski

                  On 3/12/09, Gordon Luster <gordonluster@...> wrote:

                  Hello yet again,

                  > Can you provide some links right now, Gordon? I have a reading class for first-year students coming up this spring, and I'd love to reduce the photocopies I make by sending them to the Internet even once or twice a semester.

                  Following up on Glenski's request, I did a little review of my bookmarks to see what might still be there. The following sites seem to have a fair number of easy science articles for adults or older kids. Some have sound:

                  http://www.voanews.com/specialenglish/
                  http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
                  http://www.cdlponline.org/
                  http://www.spotlightradio.net/

                  There are some science articles here that appear to be ungraded, but they have clickable footnotes:

                  http://australianetwork.com/englishbites/

                  Here are some simple science articles designed to provide a science background for events that are currently in the news. This newsiness might make the articles a little more interesting, but the language isn't necessarily easy. The articles are designed for non-scientists, but they don't seem to be dumbed down too much, and they are written to be understandable (to native speakers, anyway):

                  http://whyfiles.org/

                  I suspect there are other sites that offer some appropriate science content, so I hope others on this list will suggest them. It would be nice to see some sources of easy business and engineering content as well. There are certainly other sites aiming to teach science to children, but I wonder if articles aimed at kids are appropriate, because I would expect low-level science content (not necessarily in low-level language) to bore university science majors. I suppose some might be interested in what the kids are being told, though.

                  I haven't been pushing my own site because it is in a crude state, but maybe somebody would like to take a look. It is an experimental reading/listening site that we tested with a few hundred university students in 2004-2006. It has been dormant and mostly unmaintained ever since, but we plan to redesign it thoroughly, add new content and reopen it free to the public at a different domain, perhaps next year.

                  The existing site has about 100 articles in various experimental formats. Although there is a good proportion of nonfiction content, only three articles are classified as "science and technology," and all three of those are in earth sciences (simply a reflection of who happened to be writing). There are additional articles in other categories that are glancingly related to science, mostly tucked away inside a category called "Old Stuff."

                  Most of the articles appear in three levels (i.e., the same content written at three different levels), with clickable explanatory notes, pictures, sound, printable versions, and a few other odds and ends. There are also some four-, two- and one-level articles, some with Japanese translations, and some without notes. The sound files vary in quality, and some of the basic-level articles are read out in an unnaturally plodding manner, so you might want to listen before you assign.

                  You need an account to use all of the site's features, but anybody here can feel free to use this one:

                  URL: http://learnintl.com/
                  Username: Academia
                  Password: ERuberalles (case-sensitive)

                  This is a teacher's account, which allows access to some old articles for teachers and content producers. If you want your students to use the site, please mail me off-list and I'll set up a group student account for you. The accounts allow multiple simultaneous logins. They also have default reading/listening levels and a choice of two media players, which can be changed through the View Account page.

                  The specs for the successor site aren't entirely decided, so I would welcome any suggestions or criticisms people may have. We are well aware that several things can be done better. Please use my Yahoo address, not the site's contact form, which currently mails all messages to an alternative universe packed with spam.

                  And speaking of spam, if anybody is planning to help that poor individual trapped in Nigeria, maybe you'd like to invest in our new website instead. I'm trapped in Japan, after all.

                  Gordon

                  --- In ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com, "atsubetsuteacher" <glenahill@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > --- In ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com, "Gordon Luster" <gordonluster@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Although the situation seems to be improving, there is still a shortage of some types of graded material, particularly nonfiction material&#65533;that might be of interest to business or technical students.
                  >
                  > I think there is a GENERAL shortage of non-fiction readers! The major publishers (Oxford, Cambridge, Penguin) have a few non-fiction books out there, mostly biographies and travel-related or culture-related books.
                  >
                  > I teach at a science university, so I am VERY interested in finding more stuff, especially along the lines of science books. I have found Scholastic and McGraw Hill to be good sources of these. I'm sure there are more out there.
                  >
                  > > Even if nonfiction readers are produced in great quantities, it's no comfort to students in places where those materials aren't available. I think one solution is to make graded and scaffolded content available on the web, preferably free. There are only a few things out there now. I'm trying to produce some more myself, with a couple of friends and my own money, and I can tell you that it is slow going and expensive when you do it all on your own. Maybe in another year we will have something worth promoting. Or maybe not.
                  > >
                  >
                  > Can you provide some links right now, Gordon? I have a reading class for first-year students coming up this spring, and I'd love to reduce the photocopies I make by sending them to the Internet even once or twice a semester.
                  >
                  > Glenski


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