Sessions / Extensive Reading
The digital age, in particular, ubiquitous access to the Internet has revolutionized every aspect of language education. Often with just an app on their smartphone, students are now able to improve their vocabulary knowledge, reading ability, grammar, and even pronunciation. However, the downside of digital technology is that it also enables unscrupulous students to find novel ways to cheat. Common methods of cheating by students include the use of translation software, Line groups in which students share answers with each other, and even purchasing answers from online marketplaces. In this session, the presenters will discuss a specific incident in which over 1400 students from 90 institutions in Japan were caught cheating on Xreading, a popular online platform for extensive reading. They will explain how the cheating was discovered, and the surprisingly wide range of reactions from academic institutions after they were informed about their students’ misbehavior. Finally, based on their experience, the presenters will provide useful tips to minimize cheating, detect cheaters, and the most effective ways to deal with students who have been caught cheating.
Nishizawa et al. (2010)では、英語運用試験のスコアや英語の運用能力に、顕著な向上が見られるには、授業時間外も継続的に英文読書を続ける必要があることが示されている。そのためには、学生が英文読書に対して肯定的な印象を受ける必要がある。本研究は、令和2年度秋学期に大学１年生対象の共通科目の英語の授業（2クラス39名）で実施された。研究参加者はEichhorst and Shearon (2013)で提案された方法をベースに、60分の英語多読学習を14週に渡って行い、毎週の読書量が評価の対象となった。本発表では多読授業の実践とその運用方法について報告を行う。さらに、１５週目に実施したアンケートの結果を分析し、多読が学生の読書に対する態度にどのような影響を与えるのかを考察する。
The purpose of this presentation is to show the effect of ER on English proficiency in remote classes. First, the presenter will show how English proficiency influenced the result of ER. Then the effect of ER on English proficiency will be discussed. The participants in the study were 57 Japanese university-level engineering students who studied remotely in one semester and face-to-face in another semester. The study employed a method of dividing samples into three groups: low (less than 60,000words/yr), middle (60,000-150,000), and high (more than 150,000) amount of reading. The presenter examined the relationships and interactions of the two variables (ER and proficiency test scores) over a one-year treatment, using ANOVA. The number of words students read was counted with MReader, and TOEIC Bridge tests as pre-test/post-test were administered. The results of a one-way ANOVA revealed significant differences. In the result of the pretest, the low group and the middle group were significantly different. This result suggests that initial English proficiency was the cause of the difference in the amount of reading. On the other hand, ANOVA revealed no differences in the result of the posttest. It is suggested that the gap between the middle group and the low group disappeared and that ER was effective for the improvement of English proficiency.
Language teachers often struggle to inspire student interest. To solve this problem, we present a “story frame” for engaging learners. More than just using stories, the story frame helps us plan lessons and guide learning. For instance, we can use the story frame “character + conflict + attempted extrication” (Gottschall, 2012) to guide discussion. Students read about a man (character) who gets sick (conflict) from eating fast food daily. Students suggest five things he can do to live a healthier life (attempted extrication). Even with grammar lessons, we can add story spice. Often, students do dull dialogs. But with a story frame, teachers can give students example sentences and images in a story nutshell. For the present continuous, students see a surfer (character). He is surfing a dangerous wave (conflict). The teacher asks, “What’s he doing?” Answer: “He’s surfing.” In the next picture, the surfer is about to fall. The teacher asks, “What’s he doing?” Answer: “He’s falling.” While these ideas are not new, we provide a story frame for teachers to use in every aspect of teaching because story works as the most powerful form of communication, and enhances every form of linguistic interaction.
English reading materials pertaining to global issues tend to be short, non-fiction articles in textbooks. In the case of graded readers they are often low level, factual non-fiction or narratives at a level too challenging for most of our learners for extensive reading purposes. Considering that ER programs usually have learners ‘self-select’ the books to read, non-fiction is not often chosen as they may not ‘appeal’ as interesting reading material or may even resemble similar content in other intensive reading classes. Learners are often looking for narratives or strong stories at an appropriate and often lower level. To fill this gap, the authors of this new series of global issues readers will introduce original and compelling narratives that learners may be more inclined to choose and thus become aware of important global issues. Due to the sensitive nature or even invisibility in society of some of the topics, there is often no material at all. This platform provides an opportunity to introduce the topics in a non-threatening, non-graphic and accessible way. This presentation will highlight the issues embedded in the ‘braided reader’ stories, the motivation for writing them and the process involved from pen hitting the paper to publication.
Four speakers will present in this Forum.
Kimberley Rothville will speak about her work collecting resources for extensive reading in Japanese and the difficulty of finding sufficient materials at the right difficulty levels for learners. Although there is a great wealth of material available for English language learners for extensive reading, the same cannot be said for Japanese. When collecting materials for Japanese learners for extensive reading, there are three main problems to overcome. Firstly, there are few Japanese materials developed for the purposes of extensive reading, meaning that any extensive reading programme cannot avoid using native speaker materials. Secondly, the materials specifically developed for non-native speakers for ER are often based on the vocabulary list published as a guide for the Old Japanese Language Proficiency Test, rather than the frequency of vocabulary in texts produced for native Japanese speakers. There are therefore many questions about the extent to which these texts overlap with “real world” texts, and how well they prepare students to read texts written for native speakers. Finally, the vocabulary knowledge of learners of Japanese with regard to the most frequent Japanese words is unknown, meaning that the overlap between their word knowledge and the different materials available is also unclear.
Jared Turner and John Pasden will talk about the creation graded materials for the learning of Chinese. Successful application of extensive reading assumes the L2 learner will be able to infer the meaning of unknown words provided there is sufficient comprehensible context for the reader. However, the Chinese logographic writing system presents situations where even if a reader is able to infer a probable meaning of a given character, they are still unable to produce an oral representation of the character or, in other words, “match a sound with the squiggle.” Except for advanced learners, it is near impossible for most learners to decode a character that has not been actively studied. John Pasden and Jared Turner of Mind Spark Press, publisher of the Mandarin Companion Chinese graded reader series, have published 17 Chinese graded readers for L2 Chinese learners. Pasden and Turner will discuss how a leveling system was developed from a corpus of L2 Chinese language instructional materials, how stories are selected for the writing process, how new or unknown characters are introduced into stories, the double-edged sword of pinyin (the official romanization of standard Mandarin Chinese), and the writing, editing, and review process required to produce Chinese graded readers that are comprehensible and engaging to L2 Chinese learners. Jared Turner will speak about his work on developing graded reading materials for the learning of Chinese.
Mitsue Tabata-Sandom will open by suggesting extensive reading in Japanese is in its infancy, compared to that of English. NPO Tadoku (ER) Supporters, pioneers in Japanese graded reader (GR) publishing, had published 134 hard copies of GRs at six levels by 2016. Although other groups have added, or are trying to add, more hard copy GRs, there is a definite shortage of Japanese graded readers. The endeavour of publishing hard copy Japanese GRs seems to constantly face reluctance by publishers due to its limited market. In response to such an undesirable situation, some researchers including this presenter have started providing Japanese GRs online. Beneath these steady efforts of increasing the number of Japanese GRs are fundamental problems. They include a weak awareness of the importance of level appropriacy, a lack of word lists based on a reliable corpus, a shortage of competent writers who can create beginner materials, insufficient funds to secure illustrators, and an ironic situation that the availability of free online GRs keeps some teachers from obtaining hard copy GRs. In this talk, the presenter shares her experiences of providing level appropriate online GRs, using her peer’s corpus of Japanese written words for her ER website, while reporting what her fellow Japanese GR creators go through.
Sophie Muller will share her experience translating the Cengage Foundation Reading Library series written by Rob Waring and Maurice Jamall into French. She hopes to highlight that beyond translation, a thorough work of grading or leveling is required to make the translations adequate material for extensive reading. She will explain the work done for vocabulary, grammar, proper names and pictures in order to inspire similar endeavors for other languages which are lacking true beginner stories.
Xreading, is a digital library that provides students with unlimited access to over thousand graded readers, and allows teachers to track their students' reading progress. The system is constantly evolving and growing in terms of the number of books and features. In this presentation, the founder of Xreading will explain the new functionality that has been added over the past year, and what is planned for the future. Current users of the system are encouraged to provide feedback and suggestions based on their experience.