The purpose of this research is to confirm the effects of extensive reading and think about how to raise students’ motivation of extensive reading. Recently, most universities in Japan accept extensive reading program because it is said that there are some benefits from extensive reading to improve reading skills. The reason is that the speed of students’ information processing can get faster by understanding English sentences directly from Extensive reading. (Nishizawa, 2009)
Now, I’m studying English education in Gunma university. There are some extensive reading programs and some students are trying to read more than 150,000 words in the first semester. However, there are some people who don’t like extensive reading and don’t understand the effective points of extensive reading. We can say the same things in high schools and junior high schools in Japan. I like to read extensively, but not sure that there are some benefits from extensive reading. If I confirm the effects of extensive reading, I will get some hints to raise students’ motivation toward extensive reading. So, I decided to make research papers about this topic.
2 Current situations of extensive reading programs in Japan
There are many schools which introduce extensive reading program. In my case, I have the programs when I was a high school student. I couldn’t have the program in my junior high school, but there are some junior high schools in Japan which take the programs into the English classes. Also, many universities in Japan introduce extensive reading programs. As I mentioned above, Gunma university has extensive reading programs. There are differences of thinking about extensive reading among people who receive extensive reading program. Some students, who think extensive reading is an effective way to improve reading skills, are willingly to read books. On the other hand, some people, who think it is not an effective way, might give up to read easily. English teachers should teach them the benefits of extensive reading and raise their motivation toward the extensive reading.
３ Research Questions
I have two Research questions. First, What are good points of extensive reading? It’s said that extensive reading can improve reading skills. I wander there are other good points of extensive reading. Second, How can I raise students’ motivation of extensive reading? There are students who think extensive reading is boring or not good way to improve reading skills. So, I want to think about how to raise their motivation.
4 Confirmation of Extensive Reading’s good points and Thinking about How to Raise Students’ Motivation for Extensive Reading
4-1 Continuous reading can improve students’ reading skills and their reading speed.
In Gunma University, most of the freshmen are given the assignments of extensive reading every week. However, they tend to stop reading when they advance to the next grade. I also stopped reading books after becoming a sophomore. There are no assignments of extensive reading, so we can’t raise our motivation toward extensive reading. Students can’t improve reading skills when they don’t try to continue reading after finishing the assignments. For improving students’ reading skills, I think that English teachers have to give assignments of extensive reading continuously. Also, we can say teachers should take extensive reading programs into the classes. (Nishizawa, 2009)
At the same time, they have to think about the amounts of the assignments. If students have many assignments of extensive reading, they might give up to read. So, the teachers have to give the students the moderate amounts of the assignments.
4-2 Extensive reading can improve students’ self-efficacy.
What is self-efficacy? It means that we know our own possibilities of accomplishing things. If a student has a strong self-efficacy, he or she really can do something. One of the papers I researched “reports the results of research on the effectiveness of attribution retraining through the in-class extensive reading (ER) program in improving students’ self-efficacy with English learning.” (Nakayama, 2018, p.27) Self-efficacy is derived from four major sources. They are “Performance accomplishment”, “Vicarious experiences”, “Verbal persuasion”, and “Physiological state”. (Nakayama, 2018, p. 30) With these things in extensive reading program, students can improve students’ self-efficacy. For example, in “performance accomplishment”, participants in Nakayama’s study could choose any books they liked. When teachers don’t limit choices of books students choose, the students read books more aggressively.
4-3 Extensive reading can develop students’ linguistic knowledge and reading abilities.
Aka Natsuki’s article shows that the effects of extensive reading on the development of Japanese high school learners’ linguistic knowledge and reading abilities. (Aka, 2019) In the paper, she divided two groups to investigate their grammar knowledge. She found that the group, who received a year of extensive reading, could get higher score than the one, who received grammar instruction instead. So, students can get grammar skills not only by grammar instruction but also by extensive reading. Also, we can say extensive reading is more effective way to get grammar knowledges than grammar instruction.
4-4 Extensive reading can be a way to get high scores on TOEIC
As I mentioned in 4-1, continuous reading can improve students’ English skills. Also, students who take extensive reading classes can get higher scores on TOEIC. (Nishizawa, 2009) Students in the classes have to read English books and continue to read. The students can read many books which are easy to understand, so they feel easy to continue to read the books. Nishizawa’s survey had continued extensive reading programs for 5 years. The subjects read easy books not only in the classes but also outsides of the classes.
Extensive reading have to be introduced into the school curriculum because there are the effects
of extensive reading for improving students’ reading skills. It is important for English teachers
to raise students’ motivation, so they have to do extensive program continuously.
Does Extensive Reading Promote Reading Speed?
EXTENSIVE READING: THEORY, RESEARCH AND IMPLEMENTATION
Response to the critiques of the Aka (2019) article, “Reading performance of Japanese high school learners following a one-year extensive reading program”
The Effectiveness of an Extensive Reading Program with Attribution Retraining in Improving Students’ Self-efficacy with English Learning
What Motivational Strategies Can Teachers Use to Encourage Reading in an L2 for Pleasure?