Sessions / Extensive Reading

09:00 Sun

Better than Book Whispering - Young Learners & ER #124

Presentation
Finished
Sun, Jun 21, 09:00-09:35 JST

Book whispering is a method teachers employ to recommend books to students for the purpose of motivating them to engage in extensive reading (Miller, 2010). This method entails teachers recommending books to students based on questionnaire results about their preferences. Miller popularized this method in her best-selling book, the Book Whisperer, and claimed her sixth grade students in Texas read 40 novels a year because of it. While the idea of book whispering is popular in the ER community, there is no evidence of its effectiveness with EFL young learners. The presenter will show results of an action research project conducted in an eikaiwa school in Japan, which showed that autonomy in choosing books for ER was very important to them. Students overwhelmingly responded negatively to having the teacher directly recommend books, which lead the presenter to abandon the initial plan to implement book whispering in classes. It was found that an indirect recommendation method called Teacher Read Alouds, where the teacher read aloud the first book in a series or the first chapter of a novel in a series and then made the series available for students to borrow, was received very positively. Analysis of book borrowing data show that students often borrowed books in the series read aloud by the teacher.

Book whispering is a method teachers employ to recommend books to students for the purpose of motivating them to engage in extensive reading (Miller, 2010). This method entails teachers recommending books to students based on questionnaire results about their preferences. Miller popularized this method in her best-selling book, the Book Whisperer, and claimed her sixth grade students in Texas read 40 novels a year because of it. While the idea of book whispering is popular in the ER community, there is no evidence of its effectiveness with EFL young learners. The presenter will show results of an action research ... more

Speaker: Lesley Ito

Lesley Ito is a well-known teacher, teacher trainer, school owner, and award-winning materials writer based in Nagoya. She has taught in Japan for over twenty years, won “Best of JALT” ... more

09:45 Sun

Snakes and Ladders: Drivers of Student Differences in Reading Amounts #123

Interactive Poster Session
Finished
Sun, Jun 21, 09:45-10:20 JST

The benefits of extensive reading are widely recognized in research (Day, 2010), but it can be challenging to get students to read enough to reap such benefits. While some students read much more than required by their assignments, others read the minimum amount or less. Student motivation to read has been investigated quantitatively using questionnaires (Mori, 2002; Takase, 2007), but less research has taken a quantitative approach. Milliner and Cote (2015) used focus group discussions to explore disengaged students’ perceptions of reading done on digital platforms.

This study explored factors that influence the amount of reading done as homework by students at a Japanese university using an English virtual library of graded readers. Semi structured interviews were conducted with 14 prolific readers and 16 reluctant readers in Japanese to identify factors that influenced the amounts they read. Students were selected from 352 freshman students across 10 classes varying in faculty and proficiency levels. Students whose reading word counts were within the top or bottom 5% of their respective classes were approached to participate in interviews conducted outside of regular class time. Audio recordings of the interviews were analyzed to identify common themes.

Based upon these themes, several recommendations are made to help reduce obstacles for reluctant readers as well as take advantage of the mindsets and strategies of prolific readers.

The benefits of extensive reading are widely recognized in research (Day, 2010), but it can be challenging to get students to read enough to reap such benefits. While some students read much more than required by their assignments, others read the minimum amount or less. Student motivation to read has been investigated quantitatively using questionnaires (Mori, 2002; Takase, 2007), but less research has taken a quantitative approach. Milliner and Cote (2015) used focus group discussions to explore disengaged students’ perceptions of reading done on digital platforms.

This study explored factors that influence the amount of reading done as homework by ... more

Speaker: Pat Conaway

I teach EFL classes to freshman students in the medical, agriculture, engineering, humanities, and education departments. It’s a lot of fun seeing the different personalities of the students with such ... more

10:30 Sun

Students’ perspectives of peer support in reading classes #191

Presentation
Finished
Sun, Jun 21, 10:30-11:05 JST

Do all students like reading classes? If not, what reading activities can teachers do to guide them in reading? It is natural for students who have a certain English competence to read through textbooks or extensive reading books actively, but is not easy for other students who have negative feelings toward reading. To solve this gap, group textbook reading activities are effective to use the power of peer support in classrooms. Especially, some students who are positive, can play significant roles to support other students who lack energy in group activities. In addition, students did extensive reading activities at their home and book-talk in classes regularly, so they gradually got used to read stories by themselves to describe the book contents and characters. Overwhelmingly negative attitudes which some students showed at the beginning disappeared in the classrooms. At the end of the semester, the students stated that they held self-esteem while participating in the reading classes on their self-evaluation sheets as formative assessment. This presentation is practice-oriented and explains the correlation between effective reading activities with peer support and students’ perspectives are taken from questionnaire and interviews.

Do all students like reading classes? If not, what reading activities can teachers do to guide them in reading? It is natural for students who have a certain English competence to read through textbooks or extensive reading books actively, but is not easy for other students who have negative feelings toward reading. To solve this gap, group textbook reading activities are effective to use the power of peer support in classrooms. Especially, some students who are positive, can play significant roles to support other students who lack energy in group activities. In addition, students did extensive reading activities at their ... more

Speaker: Yoko Takano

Yoko Takano has been teaching English in her small school :OKIDOKI Eigo School for 24 years in Nagoya. After obtaining MA TESOL from NUFS, she started providing communicative language teaching ... more

11:15 Sun

L2 readers’ attitude & its effect on word count #125

Interactive Poster Session
Finished
Sun, Jun 21, 11:15-11:50 JST

Even though it is logical that students who have a good reading attitude should read more books, that truism still needs to be investigated in detail. The presenter verified whether Nuttall(2005)’s virtuous circle is true by asking two research questions : (1) Does a student's reading attitude influence the amount of reading they can accomplish? (2) How does the amount of reading affect their reading attitude? Questionnaires based on Lee and Schallert (2014) were given to fifty-five university freshmen before and after a fifteen-week extensive reading program. One of the constituents of reading attitude, i.e. conative (behavioral intentions) factor, was analyzed by investigating the correlation between the subjects’ answers and their total reading word count. Statistically significant relationships between the variables were found. The English proficiency level of the subjects was ranging from false beginner to lower intermediate. The number of words they read during the semester was recorded by MReader. The average word count was 105,147. The scores of TOEIC Bridge test was also scrutinized. The findings indicated that the subjects’ word count steadily increased even when they did not start with a positive reading attitude. On the other hand, it was determined that increasing the amount of reading promoted a more positive reading attitude. The findings imply that the total amount of reading increases even if readers do not have a positive reading attitude at the outset, but the increased amount of reading will then have a marked influence on the subjects’ reading attitude.

Even though it is logical that students who have a good reading attitude should read more books, that truism still needs to be investigated in detail. The presenter verified whether Nuttall(2005)’s virtuous circle is true by asking two research questions : (1) Does a student's reading attitude influence the amount of reading they can accomplish? (2) How does the amount of reading affect their reading attitude? Questionnaires based on Lee and Schallert (2014) were given to fifty-five university freshmen before and after a fifteen-week extensive reading program. One of the constituents of reading attitude, i.e. conative (behavioral intentions) factor, ... more

12:00 Sun

ER SIG forum #126

SIG Forum
Finished
Sun, Jun 21, 12:00-13:20 JST

Conducting classroom-based research on extensive reading allows language teachers to contribute to knowledge about a valuable approach to language learning; however, a strong understanding of research methodology is essential to execute meaningful studies. Greg Sholdt reports on a unique professional development project that helps language teachers gain skills and knowledge related to conducting quantitative research. He provides an overview of the project and explains benefits of this approach to professional development. Following the presentation, Pat Conaway will lead a discussion on how the ER SIG can replicate the project framework to increase the opportunities to conduct research and raise its quality.

While results from research can support using ER in the classroom, It is also important for teachers to get their students interested in extensive reading with engaging classroom activities. The final part of the seminar will be a slam session in which teachers will have a maximum of five minutes to explain a successful ER activity they have used: Making picture dictionaries, Reader's theater, Pattern seekers - teaching and testing scanning, the Extensive Reading Foundation placement test, and using the V-Check level test.

Conducting classroom-based research on extensive reading allows language teachers to contribute to knowledge about a valuable approach to language learning; however, a strong understanding of research methodology is essential to execute meaningful studies. Greg Sholdt reports on a unique professional development project that helps language teachers gain skills and knowledge related to conducting quantitative research. He provides an overview of the project and explains benefits of this approach to professional development. Following the presentation, Pat Conaway will lead a discussion on how the ER SIG can replicate the project framework to increase the opportunities to conduct research and raise its ... more

Speaker: Mark Brierley

Seminar co-chair. Editor of Extensive Reading in Japan.

Speaker: Parisa Fardad

I majored in Linguistics and have more that 15 years of English teaching experience at universities and language schools and currently teach at MY English school and Miyagi Gakuin University. ... more

Speaker: Greg Rouault

I have been teaching English as a foreign language in Japan since 1999. In higher education, I have taught 4 skills, study abroad test prep, EAP, and content-based courses with ... more

Speaker: Greg Sholdt

I am currently based at at Konan University and have over 20 years of language teaching experience. My interests include classroom-based research methods, extensive reading, and English for academic purposes. ... more

Speaker: Guy Cihi

EdTech Entrepreneur - Producer of WordEngine. Attention ER advocates: Use the free VCheck lexical test to ensure that your students are reading at the optimal level based on their ... more

Speaker: Glen Hill

I have a master's degree in science, but I've been teaching English in Japan since 1998. For the past 15+ years, I've been a tenured professor at a science university, ... more

Speaker: Pat Conaway

I teach EFL classes to freshman students in the medical, agriculture, engineering, humanities, and education departments. It’s a lot of fun seeing the different personalities of the students with such ... more