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Re: [ExtensiveReading] Freading

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  • Rob Waring
    Glen, Co-incidentally, this article asks the same question. Stumbled on it by accident.. http://zeplin.jp/how-many-words-to-fluency/ Rob Waring
    Message 1 of 26 , Apr 14, 2013
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      Glen,

      Co-incidentally, this article asks the same question. Stumbled on it by accident..




      Rob Waring
      waring.rob@...
      www.ER-Central.com   Check it out!


      On Apr 9, 2013, at 3:08 PM, Glen Hill <glenahill@...> wrote:

       

      Mark,
      I definitely agree that a cold start to measure reading speed is not the way to go.

      Going up in levels is another bugaboo of mine. I don't think anyone can really say quantitatively how to assess when it's time. Tom Robb suggests that students give a higher level a try after they pass 6 MoodleReader quizzes, but if you think about it, that's not really a lot of effort to have put in to go up a level. I don't have too many students asking me about this, so for the time being, I don't worry that much. Basically, I've seen more students simply testing the waters and reading slightly above their level than AT their assessed levels.

      I have a colleague who teaches a content course in second year, and he automatically puts the National Geographic Footprint readers on them. Unfortunately, they are way above most students' ability, and they struggle to understand them and pass the quizzes, but he has set a really low number of word count for their assessment as part of their grade. I'm not sure if he's doing the right thing even with that lax instruction. (He flunked almost 20% of his class last semester, and most of the reason was that they didn't even read that low amount of books. Perhaps word will get around this semester that they should. I'm keeping my eye on that.)

      Glen


      On Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 9:51 AM, Mark Brierley <mark2@...> wrote:
       

      Hi Glen,

      Regarding measuring reading speed, I have reading time at the beginning of each class and try to measure their reading speed at the end of that three or four times a semester. It may take up valuable class time, but I think it is valuable enough an exercise that it should do!

      I do this by calling out start and stop over a 2-minute period, getting them to start from a chapter beginning, page beginning or some clear point, then stop when I say so. They've already warmed up and are reading a book they have chosen, so it should be more accurate than a cold one-minute reading on a book the teacher has chosen. 

      Of course it is less accurate objectively, since I'm not specifying the book, but the important point is how quickly the students are reading the books they have chosen. 

      Also I have to look out for any students with manga or those consequence stories you have to choose which page to go to next.

      They estimate their wpms by counting the number of lines they have read, estimating the number of words per line, multiplying them then dividing by two because it was over two minutes. 

      Usually they can see some progress in reading speed over the semester and/or are going up in levels.

      Also, importantly, it identifies anyone who is reading really slowly (less than 60 wpm) so I can suggest, quietly and gently, that they go down a level or three.

      Mark

       


      On 9 April 2013 08:51, Glen Hill <glenahill@...> wrote:
       

      Rob,
      Well, of course there is no single WPM speed that we should try to tell students to attain. As you wrote (I think) above, reading speed depends on many things, such as what material one reads (newspaper, graded reader, science book, movie subtitle, email, etc.) and what one's proficiency is (including vocabulary knowledge).

      I do feel that we need to explain something to our students about speed, and the above info is definitely part of it. I give them all a copy of a graded reader and have them measure an average speed over 3 1-minute trials at the beginning and end of the semester. Unfortunately, they have not improved at all, so it can be disappointing to do this, and I may stop as of this year, but it's still important that they TRY to see what kind of reading speed they have. A second option is for them to measure at their own levels, using a graded reader that is right for them. If they keep a record of this regularly during the semester, it might help for them to see things. Sadly, though, I cannot coax them to do this on their own, it takes valuable time to do it in the classroom, and as I wrote above, they didn't seem to improve anyway. So, even with one genre (a graded reader, either fiction or non-fiction), I'm seeing only a very general item on reading speed in my classes (that is, a roughly 100-120 WPM speed, fairly typical for university students using graded readers, with some as low as 40 or 70 WPM and some as high as nearly 300 WPM).

      Glenski


      On Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 1:26 AM, Rob Waring <waring.rob@...> wrote:
       

      Hi Glen


      ;)  Ha, I didn't mean it that way. I meant I feel trying to find one wpm rate that readers should read at to be fluent is actually not very helpful.

      Rob Waring
      waring.rob@...
      www.ER-Central.com   Check it out!


      On Apr 8, 2013, at 8:32 PM, Glen Hill <glenahill@...> wrote:

       

      Looks like we're all stating pretty solid info, but we can't seem to agree on a measurable/quantifiable definition of fluent. I am not all that perturbed by that, though. There are a lot of terms that defy definition and description.

      Red herring, however, is not what I threw your way, Rob. A red herring is bait with no meaning that is thrown in the face of someone to purposefully distract them from a different purpose. I was not trying to distract you or throw you off track at all.

      Glenski



      On Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 2:51 PM, Mark Brierley <mark2@...> wrote:
       

      Hi Glen,

      The reading speed depends on the vocabulary size of the reader, since vocabulary size has some correlation with the collocation lengths. 

      This seems kind of intuitive, but those calculations give it a theoretical basis. 

      It also seems intuitive that slow reading is not fluent. "Fluency" has to have some connection with "flow", as Rob says. I think one problem we have in the English language is that "fluent" is also used to mean "really good at" a language, so our students want to be fluent english speakers, while our children were fluent when they were babbling babies.

      Fluent reading rates vary, but I 

      think 

      we 

      can 


      say 

      that 


      if 


      people 


      are 


      reading 

      one 



      word 



      at 


      time, then it's not fluent. So there is a minimum speed, something like those in the list above, below which we can assume the student is reading something too difficult, mindlessly bored or thinking about lunch. 


      Mark


      On 8 April 2013 14:41, Rob Waring <waring.rob@...> wrote:
       

      Hi Glen


      I agree 'fluent' is a problem which is why I'm experimenting with the term freading (fast, fluent reading with high comprehension and minimal focus on language issues in a text). In this way fluency is a component of freading.

      No one except the student can know if they are freading as we cannot open their heads and see they way they process texts (although we may indirectly infer this from watching them - and brain scans might do this). As I said in my post, freading is part of a scale or cline of reading focus from a heavier focus on the linguistic aspects of a text all the way up to fast understanding without a need to worry about unknown language (as you say reading without a dictionary).

      So I feel the question of whether Takashi is reading x% faster or slower that Y is a red herring. 

      As is the question of what speed freading occurs. The answer of course will be when the students processes text in a certain way but that itself will vary from text to text. I'd say I fread a heavy academic text slower than a web report on a football game. Of course we could measure the average speed at which people fread, but an average is not everyone, and not all texts are the same. 

      I feel if we are to give advice to people about what speed to read at the answer would be to find something to read so you are forgetting about the language and are entirely focussed on the message. i.e. they are in flow.

      Rob Waring
      waring.rob@...
      www.ER-Central.com   Check it out!


      On Apr 8, 2013, at 2:00 PM, Glen Hill <glenahill@...> wrote:

       

      Mark,
      Which of those speeds are you referring to "if they aren't reading at this speed, then they can't really be said to be reading fluently"? Those figures are very interesting, by the way!

      Rob wrote:
      "What would your parameters be for defining the mental processing aspect of ER?  In my definition, fluency would naturally include comprehension as one can't really 'read' fast without it."

      Yes, absolutely, fluency must include some measure of comprehension. But at what speed do we actually say someone is fluent/reading comprehensively? Younger/Earlier learners may read slower yet still have good comprehension. I think the term "fluent" is a real can of worms here, because it depends on one's experience (i.e., length of time learning to read). Do we compare age groups and say that my son isn't reading fluently because he reads slower than other Japanese kids or Americans his age, even though he may comprehend most of what he reads? Or do we say that a person isn't fluent because their reading speed is slower because they've not studied long enough? These questions make it very hard to respond. Off the top of my head, I'd have to ROUGHLY define a "fluent reader" as someone who has enough vocabulary and reading strategy skills to read without a dictionary most of the time (heck, even I need one depending on the material) and who can digest most of the material accurately and be fairly fast in their speed (hard to pin down any kind of "speed limit" in my mind) without the need to reread very much (again, even native speakers do). Or do we want to impose an age group restriction on top of all that? For example, we could say that Takashi is reading less fluently than American/British kids his age just because he doesn't have his speed up to more than 75% of theirs? Heck, I'm open to definitions here.

      Glenski



      On Sun, Apr 7, 2013 at 9:31 PM, Rob Waring <waring.rob@...> wrote:
       

      Note sure they have Mark.  Someone need a Ph.D?


      Rob Waring
      waring.rob@...
      www.ER-Central.com   Check it out!


      On Apr 7, 2013, at 7:56 PM, Mark Brierley <mark2@...> wrote:

       

      Talking about academic writing, following on from my search to reduce fluency to mathematics, is there any research out there on how the number and length of chunks (collocations/colligations) correspond with vocabulary size? 

      So if  somebody knows x words, how long is the longest chunk they are likely to know, and many 2-,  3-,  4- word chunks would they know?

      I started to look at that on the BNC, and found that of the most common 1000 bits of language, only about half are single words, and there is one four "word" chunk in there: I don't know. 

      Is there anything out there, and has anyone looked at what is happening in graded readers?

      Mark
       


      On 7 April 2013 17:57, Mark Brierley <mark2@...> wrote:

      Here's another perspective on reading speed and fluency.

      The inner ear can store about two seconds of language when we are listening. Reading uses some similar processing to listening.

      As language proficiency improves, the length of chunks increases. At the beginning, it's single vocabulary, then two-word chunks, then three and so on. Native speaker language is generally in seven-word chunks. Government documents, and academic writing are more, but they are generally designed to obfuscate rather than enlighten, so that is entirely understandable. You get my point.

      In order for the brain to process the language, the reader needs to get through enough words in the two seconds of working memory to be able to decipher it.

      Doing some calculations, this gives us reading speeds depending on how many words the reader can process at a time:


      1 word: 30 wpm

      2 words: 60 wpm

      3 words: 90 wpm

      4 words: 120 wpm

      5 words: 150 wpm

      6 words: 180 wpm

      7 words: 210 wpm


      Obviously readers have to know the words as well, but if they aren't reading at this speed, then they can't really be said to be reading fluently.  


      Mark


      Mark Brierley
      School of General Education
      Shinshu University
      Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
      +81 263 37-2923
      mobile 090 4464 6391

      --

      My blog about building a plus-energy house in Japan:
      http://minuszeroeco.blogspot.com/

      On Apr 7, 2013 5:10 PM, "Rob Waring" <waring.rob@...> wrote:
       

      Glen

      What would your parameters be for defining the mental processing aspect of ER?  In my definition, fluency would naturally include comprehension as one can't really 'read' fast without it.

      Rob Waring
      waring.rob@...
      www.ER-Central.com   Check it out!


      On Apr 7, 2013, at 2:39 PM, Glen Hill <glenahill@...> wrote:

       

      Hi, Rob,
      Is it really fair to use speed (fast reading = fluent reading) to label ER? I would hesitate to do so.
      Glenski




      --

      Mark Brierley
      School of General Education
      Shinshu University
      Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
      +81 263 37-2923
      mobile 090 4464 6391

      --

      My blog about building a plus-energy house in Japan:
      http://minuszeroeco.blogspot.com/










      --

      Mark Brierley
      School of General Education
      Shinshu University
      Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
      +81 263 37-2923
      mobile 090 4464 6391

      --

      My blog about building a plus-energy house in Japan:
      http://minuszeroeco.blogspot.com/










      --

      Mark Brierley
      School of General Education
      Shinshu University
      Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
      +81 263 37-2923
      mobile 090 4464 6391

      --

      My blog about building a plus-energy house in Japan:
      http://minuszeroeco.blogspot.com/




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