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Extensive reading

Assignment 5

Created & submitted by @adi_rajan (blog link) on Oct 31, 2016 for the
ESL/EFL Task-based approach to reading MOOC on Coursera.

The benefits of extensive reading


Improved performance
Longer term extensive reading interventions that spanned 2 years or more resulted in
students outperforming peers who were not enrolled in a similar program across
reading comprehension, drama, listening comprehension and writing.
Deepening of word knowledge
While there is a limit to how much lexis you can acquire through extensive
reading, it strengthens the knowledge of words that learners have already
encountered through repetitions in different contexts and with different co-texts.
Enhanced fluency
Shorter extensive reading interventions, while not as significantly impactful,
have positive effects on reading rate and fluency.

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2
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Improved
performance

Deepening of
word knowledge

Enhanced
fluency

Engaged attitudes
Extensive reading enables students to engage with reading more
meaningfully and helps them develop reading habits, contributing towards
creating lifelong readers with a positive attitude towards reading.

Engaged
attitudes

Created & submitted by @adi_rajan (blog link) on Oct 31, 2016 for the
ESL/EFL Task-based approach to reading MOOC on Coursera.

Read easy, read a lot


Lexical familiarity
Learners need to be familiar with between
95-98% of the words that appear in a text in
order to read it with ease. This means a
maximum of 1 or 2 unfamiliar words per page
to make reading a sustainable and
pleasurable activity.

300K over a year isnt a lot


Studies by Nation, Belgar & Hunt suggest that
lower proficiency learner ought to read
between 200 and 300,000 words a year to
learn 1000 word families. This works out to
7-10 minutes of reading a day at an average
reading speed of 150 words per minute.

A virtuous cycle
When learners read easier texts, they
process, read and enjoy what theyre
reading with greater immediacy. This
compels them to read more which leads
them to automatize word recognition which
in turn increases reading speed.

Automatization
Repeatedly encountering the same
words in easy, level appropriate texts
increases the probability of learning and
retaining them due to the higher
probability of encountering these words
in different contexts.
Created & submitted by @adi_rajan (blog link) on Oct 31, 2016 for the
ESL/EFL Task-based approach to reading MOOC on Coursera.

Task based elements of extensive reading


The two most frequently used post-extensive reading activities pose pedagogical challenges. Quizzes have no real world corollary and serve no purpose
other than checking whether learners have read the text. Book reports may be somewhat more meaningful but they reorient the objective of reading to
writing. As a result, students read for the sole of purpose of completing a writing task. Some alternatives include:

Reading circles

Book cover designs

Web-based reviews

Summary with a twist

Dont do anything

Corresponds to real
world reading groups.
Students can take on
different roles to share
views and opinions about
what theyre reading.

Learners design new


book covers for the books
theyre reading or
evaluate a series of
existing covers to
determine suitability.

Ask learners to write


reviews on the books
theyre reading for a private
online class forum or for a
public book site like
Goodreads.

Learners write summaries


for each other which
contain a mistake that their
peers must read and
identify lending the task a
gamified feel.

Give learners the


opportunity of not doing
anything post-reading,
letting the act of reading
become both the means
and the end.

Created & submitted by @adi_rajan (blog link) on Oct 31, 2016 for the
ESL/EFL Task-based approach to reading MOOC on Coursera.

Overcoming obstacles to extensive reading


Learners prefer movies
What? Students dont like reading.
Theyd rather watch a movie.
How? Combine reading a book with
watching its film adaptation.

Books are expensive


What? Even with sponsorship programs, theres a limit to how
many you can acquire because books tend to be expensive.
How? Ask learners to write stories for each other within the
same class or across levels and store these electronically.

Perceived low value


What? Exam oriented systems & stakeholders
perceive extensive reading as having negligible value.

How? Demonstrate its cross-curricular impact


through data

In-class reading time


What? Many schools translate extensive reading into
scheduled time slots within lessons for reading but a
successful reading program needs to go beyond that.
How? Teachers create engaged reading
communities within their classes and across levels.

Access to lots of books


What? A lack of a well stocked library may
be seen as a barrier to implementing
extensive reading.
How? Get the community to sponsor the
program or get students to donate books or
incorporate a book box scheme where a box
of books shuttles between classes.
Created & submitted by @adi_rajan (blog link) on Oct 31, 2016 for the
ESL/EFL Task-based approach to reading MOOC on Coursera.