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Re: [ExtensiveReading] Re: Reading improvement w/E.R. at various levels

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  • Mark Brierley
    Hi Madeleine, My own experience in first and second year university classes in Japan (ie EFL rather than ESL) is that the weaker students (the ones who have
    Message 1 of 7 , May 20, 2013
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      Hi Madeleine,

      My own experience in first and second year university classes in Japan (ie EFL rather than ESL) is that the weaker students (the ones who have been proclaimed poor at English either by themselves or the system) respond better to ER, and seem to read more than the so called "advanced" classes. I think this may be because they are more willing to read the easiest books they can find having got little out of the grammar-translation teaching of their last 6 years, while the "advanced" students have done well in grammar-translation, and feel insulted by the low level of the books, even though their fluent reading ability is still very low in the grand scheme of things. So this is not so much comparing low and high level students, as high- and low-performing lower intermediate students. Not sure if that answers your question! 

      To give a historical perspective on the question, I think the conventional wisdom for non-native learners WAS that ER is for readers who have learned the the basics of the language. 

      Two recent developments have changed that: 
      1. an increase in published low-level readers (for example introduction of starter levels) 
      2. approaches (SSS in Japan) using very low level native-speaker children's books with older children and adults, and in the extreme case (Kunihide Sakai) not teaching any grammar, but allowing students to build up their language 

      Clearly reading is a great way to improve vocabulary for higher-level learners (including native speakers) so it's not as if there is a point at which we can tell students that they don't have to read any more!

      Another issue with language improvement is how visible it is. At the early stages, improvements can be very apparent, while at higher levels, there is a lot of time when it feels like we're just walking through forest, and all we can see is trees, so it's difficult to appreciate we are climbing the mountain. 


      On 17 May 2013 02:46, Sarah <sarahkirkbrowne@...> wrote:


      I'm working on a small project which is looking at introducing ER into an Elementary level class. So I've been searching for similar information. Here's a few things that you might find interesting:

      Sheu, S P-H, (2003) Extensive Reading with EFL Learners at Beginning Level, TESL reporter 36:2

      Takase, A, (2009) The Effects of Different Types of Extensive Reading Materials on Reading Amount,Attitude, and Motivation, http://jera-tadoku.jp/papers/2009-03-takase.pdf

      Bell, T, (1998) Extensive Reading: Why? and How?, http://iteslj.org/Articles/Bell-Reading.html

      Bell, T (2001) Extensive Reading: speed and comprehension, The Reading Matrix, 1:1

      Krashen, S, (2004) The Power of Reading

      There's also some useful info on: http://www.leslla.org/

      Would be grateful to hear of any others!


      --- In ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com, Murphy Ron <murphy.ronald_paul.mb@...> wrote:
      > I'm like Glen. Similar recollections, articles filed somewhere.
      > Ron
      > On May 16, 2013, at 8:50 AM, Glen Hill wrote:
      > >
      > > Madeleine,
      > > I can't speak for ESL students (those studying in a country where English is L1) specifically, but as far as I can recall, the answer is generally yes. Lower level students seem to benefit more, perhaps because they have more room for improvement. I can't recall the exact papers I've read, but there ***have*** been a few papers on the subject.
      > > Glenski
      > >
      > >
      > > On Tue, May 14, 2013 at 5:04 AM, Madeleine Schamehorn <mschamehorn@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > Do ESL students at lower levels seem to show more improvement through extensive reading than students at higher levels? I'd be interested to hear your experience with this. Thanks.
      > >
      > > Madeleine
      > >
      > >
      > >


      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:
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