Extensive Reading MotivatingStudents to Read Dr. Vivienne Yu © Vivienne Yu 2002
The value of extensive reading • How to encourage students to read extensively • Integrating extensive reading into the TBL curriculum
It provides exposure to extensive comprehensible language and is therefore highly beneficial for language acquisition and literacy development Extensive - a wide range of texts a large number of books Comprehensive - of the right level • Revisiting vocabulary and structures in different books and contexts • reinforcing understanding of story structure ie. introduction, setting (place and time), characters, plot (problem or goal), episodes or events, resolution • Extensive practice of reading skills such as word attack skills, meaning attack skills, prediction skills → fluent reading • Extensive exposure to language not usually encountered in textbooks and simplified readers
It is an important source of ideas and information It can nurture a good reading habit
Read faster Learn more Enjoy more Language improvement Sustained exposure / reading habit Cycle of growth Extensive reading – increased exposure – cycle of growth (Nuttall 1996) Extensive reading helps student to become fluent, independent readers who are interested in reading. Read more Enjoyment
Improving the extensive reading lessons and encouraging students to read extensively
Problems identified by teachers: Lower forms No interest in reading Some books are boring Reading-related activities are boring e.g. taking tests Lack of vocabulary knowledge and so find reading difficult Upper forms No time to read : need to prepare for examinations Reading materials are too difficult General Not motivated Not aware of the benefits of ERS Lack confidence in reading
Implications • Books / reading materials need to be interesting and not too difficult • Students need to develop reading skills - e.g. how to guess words from context, activate background knowledge, read for implied meaning etc • Reading-related activities should be interesting and creative • A reading culture should be developed in the school
1. Choosing suitable reading materials for an extensivereading programme • Compare passages in the course books with stories for extensive reading. Are they different? Which are more interesting? • What kinds of books are suitable for extensive reading? • How do we find out about the interests of the students? • How do we grade books? Note that the input must be ‘comprehensible’!
Characteristics of good books The content is rich and varied • Entertaining Contain interesting and imaginative characters, themes, events and situations The illustrations are attractive and provide appropriate support The language is rich and creative Good books? Children can respond to them
What books / materials? • L2 readers Reading schemes for English-speaking children (including picture books) L1 books for leisure reading adolescent literature movie books popular series – teenage fiction non-fiction Magazines / CD-Roms / websites
Secondary • Allow ‘subliterature’ e.g. movie books (Home Alone, Jurassic Park), the Apple series, The Bailey school kids, Goosebumps etc. • Let your students choose topics / authors they like • Get them hooked onto a series!!!
Finding out about the interests of students • What do you like to do in your spare time? • Do you enjoy reading? • Which of these do you like to read? Tick in the columns
If you like stories, what sort do you like? What sort of books do you like best of all? If you like to read books about true things, what kind of things do you enjoy? What T.V. programmes do you enjoy watching?
2. Helping students overcome reading difficulties Problems • Too bottom-up in approach – too much concentration on individual words. If they get stuck with a word, they do not know how to go on. (Even place or people’s names) • Do not know how to activate background knowledge in reading • Do not know how to work out ‘implied meaning’
Suggestions for helping students overcome these problems Cloze reading (to develop ability to tolerate vagueness and to guess words from context) Think-aloud protocol (to help develop awareness of the importance of background information) Predicting the ending of short stories Discussion of plot, characters, setting, problem, resolution etc through story frames and story maps Read more!!! ‘We learn to read by reading’ (Smith 1978, Nuttall 1996) References Nuttall, C (1996) Teaching Reading Skills in a Foreign Language. London: Heinemann Smith, F (1978) Reading. Cambridge: CUP
3. Including reading-related activities that are interesting and enjoyable inyour extensive reading lessons in addition to USSR (Uninterrupted sustained silent reading) Teachers acting as facilitator and motivator (Readers are made by readers) Suggestions: Introducing stories and recommending books in class Using a multimedia approach - watch a related movie etc Psychological preparation Discussing a book with students (small group or individual conferences) Teacher reading a book herself
Creating a reading community in class (Peer support and sharing are essential)SuggestionsLiterature circlesReaders’ and writers’ workshopsReaders’ theatreConferencing with and writing to book authorsPublishing students’ stories in the form of ‘small books’
Providing a print-rich environment (Easy access to books is important) Suggestions: Class libraries Display corner for ‘Book of the month’, ‘Author of the month’ Display corner for students’ work e.g. letters to the authors, book cover design.
4. Developing a reading culture in school A whole school approach Eg. Book week to celebrate literacy: - Book character day - Graphic display of number of books read by the entire school in the form of a bookworm that ‘grows’ around the school - Book talks by authors and community leaders
Display of English books in the library – a book corner (Change it every month) – can adopt a theme (Detective stories) or an author approach (Roald Dahl) Display of students’ work, like book reviews, letters to the authors, book cover designs Board displays with slogans – e.g. Reading is fun! Activities to promote reading e.g. story-telling competition, drama competition, book report competition, best readers of the class, the form, the month etc.
Surveys on books Teachers’ recommendations (the ten best books) in school newsletters Opportunities to borrow books in the summer and the holidays Enlist the help of parents
Why? Extensive reading is an important source of ideas and language for carrying out tasks in the English language curriculum
For example Task: Write a letter to a friend asking for help and advice Students each choose a character from a book they have read. They pretend to be the character and write the letter e.g. The Pied Piper of Hamelin - The mayor of the town asks a friend to suggest ways of getting rid of the rats. The Three Little Pigs – The pigs ask for ways to protect themselves from wild animals Task: Produce a radio play Students who have read the same book can work as a group to produce a radio play based on the book ie. different groups will produce different plays
Task: A project based on the theme ‘Animals’ Students can make use of the animal stories / books they have read in doing some of the tasks, e.g. they create / publish their own animal stories in the form of small books. Task: The most popular character Each student nominates a character from the books he/she has read and draws a picture / writes a short description of the character. The whole class vote to decide on who the most popular character is
Task: Students create a new ending to a story they have read Task: Students design new book covers, book marks or cartoon strips based on a story they like There is more variety in the students’ work because they have read different books
Extensive reading materials should be actively used in completing tasks in the TBL curriculum Students will be motivated to read if: • The books / reading materials chosen are interesting and of appropriate level • They are helped to develop reading skills • The reading-related activities are interesting and creative • There is a reading culture in school