EXTENSIVE READING ON A BUDGET

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EXTENSIVE READING ON A BUDGET




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Presentations text content in EXTENSIVE READING ON A BUDGET

Slide1

EXTENSIVE READING ON A BUDGET

Kindra Santamaria and Marie Schein

Texas Christian University

Slide2

Increasingly common budget cuts

Budget cuts and program reductions are common in foreign language programs

Educators must choose among the time and resources they have to spend on each of the four skills

Teachers are beginning to look for opportunities to supplement language instruction outside of the classroom

Slide3

a solution: extensive reading

Extensive reading is gaining recognition as one possible way to engage students in the language outside of class (i.e.

Elley

, 2000; Tanaka & Stapleton, 2007).

Extensive reading = reading for enjoyment

Quicker than intensive reading (reading to learn)

One important benefit – vocabulary acquisition

Slide4

The vocabulary deficit: learning to read in the l2

The L2 learner has

An implicit understanding that all languages have morphology, syntax, and phonology

Previous experience with literary genres

L1 reading strategies

Hardly any vocabulary

children learn1,000 - 5,000 words per year in their L1 (Graves & Watts-

Taffe

, 2002), with many of those estimates between 2,000 and 4,000

L2 students cannot acquire this many new words each year

unless they read in the L2 a great deal

outside of the classroom (Cunningham, 2005;

Grabe

, 2009).

Slide5

Characteristics of an extended reading program (day & bamford, 2002)

The reading material is easy.

A variety of reading material on a wide range of topics must be available.

Learners choose what they want to read.

Learners read as much as possible.

The purpose of reading is usually related to pleasure, information and general understanding.

Reading is its own reward.

Reading speed is usually faster rather than slower.

Reading is individual and silent.

Teachers orient and guide their students.

The teacher is a role model of a reader.

Slide6

Fluency can be expensive

The goal of Day &

Bamford’s

program is

fluency

(students reading rapidly and automatically).

They argue that fluency cannot be achieved unless students are reading level-appropriate texts.

They must understand 98% of the vocabulary in the text (

Hu

& Nation, 2000).

To acquire L2 level-appropriate texts, one must purchase a library of graded and/or authentic texts that vary in level and literary genre

Slide7

Fluency can be expensive: non-english studies

Hitosugi

and Day(2004) created an extensive reading program for second semester learners of Japanese

They used a grant to fund the purchase of Japanese children’s books.

Rankin (2005) designed a program for an honors intermediate German course

He purchased varying levels of two different graded German easy reader series

Rodrigo,

Krashen

, and

Gribbons

( 2004) created two fourth semester Spanish courses that contained both self-selected readings and assigned readings

They purchased authentic and graded texts

Slide8

Our modified program

No money to create the extensive reading library?

We adhered to all of Day &

Bamford’s

characteristics except the first.

Instead of purchasing level-appropriate texts, we had our students read from journals and newspapers

already present

in our university library

Can students benefit from reading texts that are not level-appropriate?

Slide9

Another modified extensive reading program: arnold (2009)

for advanced learners of German

Students read online articles of their choice for seven 75 minute periods during the semester.

Students were allowed to use dictionaries

Results

Students picked a wide variety of topics that may not have been available in a graded reader program.

Students enjoyed the program and reported understanding 84% of what they read.

Some students selected more difficult material in order to challenge their linguistic ability

Slide10

Additional goals

This project would provide our students with the opportunity to

explore the French and Francophone cultures on their own time but continuously throughout the semester

visit our library, grab one of the French newspapers or magazines that we had suggested, find a comfortable seat, and start leafing the publication in search of an article that caught their attention

generate curiosity in class and raise interesting questions regarding aspects of the French culture not necessarily incorporated in the curriculum

create a non-intimidating venue where students would feel encouraged to express their views freely but would also pay attention to accuracy

Slide11

our study: Participants

Third semester learners of French

They had already learned and applied the past tense forms that frequently appear in these types of texts

They have already been exposed to some L2 reading strategies

The cultural content in the course could be found rather easily in articles

13 students participated in the quantitative portion (pretest-posttest)

24 students participated in the qualitative portion (reading log)

Those in the quantitative study and 11 others

Slide12

Our study: design

Publications available:

France-

Amèrique

,

Le Devoir

,

Le

Nouvel

Observateur

,

L’Express

, and

Le Monde

The library provided online access to all of these publications except

Le Devoir

.

Like Arnold (2009), we permitted our students to use a dictionary.

Students read an article of their choosing for 15 minutes during class

They could spend an additional 30 minutes reading at home if they did not finish

5 articles over the semester (once a chapter)

Slide13

Quantitative assessment

We selected a text from

L’Express

for both the pretest and the posttest.

933 words (read for comprehension not speed)

Topic: a trip several scientists took to learn more about baobabs

Students read the article for 15 minutes and answered 5 comprehension questions about the article and wrote a summary in French.

They marked the last word they read when they were told to stop.

The summaries were compared for an understanding of what happened and why as well as depth of expression.

Slide14

Quantitative results

Participants were more accurate on their responses to posttest comprehension questions than they were on their pretest responses

p

< .01,

d

= 1.12

Participants also significantly increased the number of words they read when reading for comprehension

p

< .01,

d

= .45

the posttest summaries included

a chronological order

more transitions

more detail, they understood the gist

Slide15

Qualitative assessment

Students turned in reading logs after each reading

We evaluated the reading log based on content rather than grammar.

Students had an opportunity to

summarize short articles in French and express their candid responses to what they had read

produce meaningful observations within a stress-free writing environment

practice the subjunctive tense with verbs and expressions that indicate will, doubt, preference, etc…

Slide16

Reading log rubric

Study participation

Points given

Student brings his/her reading log each class period and a copy of his/her

article and dictionary on free reading days.

1 point

Student selects a level-appropriate article that relates to the chapter theme.

1 point

Reading log includes a word bank with 5 vocabulary

words that the student plans to start using in class. Each entry includes gender, number and function (noun, verb, etc.) as well as a definition that best fits

the context.

1 point

Student

writes a 3-5 sentence, level-appropriate summary

1 point

Student writes a

5 sentence reaction

1 point

Slide17

Qualitative results: general observations

11 students consistently produced brief summaries of no more than 4 sentences and brief reactions not exceeding the 5 sentences required

13 students produced more elaborate summaries and clearly more engaged reaction paragraphs of between 5 and 8 sentences

Many students preferred perusing the online versions of the newspapers and magazines we had suggested

Slide18

Qualitative results: common threads

Most participants tended to select articles in popular music, film, sports

Participants demonstrated varying degrees of understanding of the details in their articles but grasped the core ideas

All participants offered some reactions to and observations about their articles

Most participants compared the ideas presented in the articles with events and trends in the US

All participants attempted to use the subjunctive tense with verbs and expressions of opinions

Slide19

Qualitative results: common threads

Participants took advantage of the stress-free writing environment and focused more on articulating their thoughts than producing accurate grammar

Slide20

SAMPLE PARAGRAPHS

Slide21

RESULTS BY TYPES OF LOG ENTRIES

Students who produced brief summaries and reactions tended to compose short sentencesThese students seldom used transition words to connect their thoughtsThey were able to identify the main ideas but could not address the details of their articlesTheir reactions to the reading were not engaged or personal

Students who produced longer summaries and reactions had annotated their articles and left evidence of sustained vocabulary search2. These students captured the core ideas of their article and were able to discuss some of the detailsThe responses showed greater lexical and grammar accuracy4. The students used some transition words to make their paragraphs more coherent

Entries 5 sentences or less

Entries longer than 5 sentences

Slide22

Slide23

RECURRENT PATTERNS IN THE REACTION PARAGRAPHS

Transitions:

Donc

= thus par

exemple

= for example

Aussi

= Also en fait= in fact

À

mon

avis= in my opinion

Toutefois

= however

Ensuite

= then Bien

que

= although

Verbs that address the author’s intentions:

Montrer

= to show

Apporter

= to bring

Donner

l’impression

de/

que

= to give the impression that

Exposer

= to bring to light

Expressions used with the Subjunctive tense:

Se demander

que

= to wonder

Penser

que

=to think that

Aimer

que

= to like that

Il

est

certain

que

= it is certain that

Slide24

Conclusions

Can students benefit from reading texts that are not level-appropriate?

Yes!

We found our modified extensive reading program to be a success

Students improved in accuracy and reading rate from pretest to posttest

Participants were able to summarize and compare ideas they gleaned from the article in the reading log

Students of differing abilities and interests were able to approach and react to the articles in unique ways

Slide25

Conclusions

It is important to note that we did not have a control group

We wanted to evaluate whether students would indeed be able to understand and benefit from material that was not level-appropriate

We plan to do a replication study with a control group in the future

It is our belief that extensive reading provides an excellent opportunity for students to interact with the language in a meaningful way outside the classroom.

While an extensive reading program does take work to establish, it may not take a lot of money

Slide26

POSSIBLE EXPANSION ACTIVITIES

1. Schedule whole-classroom roundtable discussions of the articles;

2. Create content-specific mini-lessons to expand field-specific vocabulary ;


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