TESOL 2018 Chicago

Sound and Simple Approach to an Extensive Reading Project
Sarah Grace Fraser  | Jordan Gusich

The evidence is undeniable that extensive reading (ER) improves reading comprehension, vocabulary, and motivation. Nevertheless, ER is often neglected in classrooms. In order to introduce ER to more teachers’ repertoires, this teaching tip will present a developed, principled, and practical ER project suitable for almost any classroom teaching situation.

Session Description:

For decades, extensive reading (ER), reading extended texts for long periods of time, has played an integral role in SLA and reading development. In his book, Reading in a Second Language: Moving from Theory to Practice, William Grabe (2009) asserts that ER contributes to reading comprehension improvement, vocabulary growth, and increased motivation (p. 313). Nevertheless, ER is often neglected in curricula due to time constraints, lack of material resources, and preference for teaching reading skills and strategies. In order to overcome these challenges, the presenters have developed a principled and practical ER project suitable for almost any classroom teaching situation.

The theoretical approach to this ER curricular component draws on Task Based Language Teaching (Ellis, 2003; Nunan, 2004). The specific design of the project draws on Ben Fenton-Smith’s (2010) book chapter which offers some convincing arguments for the use of follow-up projects in ER (pp. 53-54). Likewise, he offers a wide variety of the projects, which he calls “book reaction reports,” for teachers to use (p. 56). Based on solid theoretical principles and experience of multiple iterations of this project with a variety of students, this presentation will take the audience through designing, implementing, and assessing an effective ER project for classroom use, which includes:
  • ways to collect, gain access to, and organize graded readers (Hill, 2001, 2013)
  • facilitating students’ autonomous choice in finding a book
  • fostering and facilitating interactive and meaningful ‘reader circles’ among students
  • copious post-reading projects (Bramford & Day, 2004; Fenton-Smith, 2010)
  • ideas for ‘publishing’ students’ projects
  • rubrics and assessment techniques
  • maintaining engagement and avoiding pitfalls (Grabe, 2009)
  • student feedback
The audience will leave this presentation with the wherewithal to implement an ER project at their institutions and in their classrooms. Attendees will receive handouts including graded reader resources, activity descriptions, rubrics, and actual student examples.

Jordan G.,
Mar 28, 2018, 6:40 PM
Jordan G.,
Mar 28, 2018, 6:40 PM