Kindra Santamaria and Marie Schein. Texas Christian University. 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. ID: 142016
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EXTENSIVE READING ON A BUDGET
Kindra Santamaria and Marie Schein
Texas Christian UniversitySlide2
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 classroomSlide3
a solution: extensive reading
Extensive reading is gaining recognition as one possible way to engage students in the language outside of class (i.e.
, 2000; Tanaka & Stapleton, 2007).
Extensive reading = reading for enjoyment
Quicker than intensive reading (reading to learn)
One important benefit – vocabulary acquisitionSlide4
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-
, 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;
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 &
(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 (
& 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 genreSlide7
Fluency can be expensive: non-english studies
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
( 2004) created two fourth semester Spanish courses that contained both self-selected readings and assigned readings
They purchased authentic and graded textsSlide8
Our modified program
No money to create the extensive reading library?
We adhered to all of Day &
characteristics except the first.
Instead of purchasing level-appropriate texts, we had our students read from journals and newspapers
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
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 abilitySlide10
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 accuracySlide11
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 othersSlide12
Our study: design
The library provided online access to all of these publications except
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
We selected a text from
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
Participants were more accurate on their responses to posttest comprehension questions than they were on their pretest responses
Participants also significantly increased the number of words they read when reading for comprehension
the posttest summaries included
a chronological order
more detail, they understood the gistSlide15
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
Student brings his/her reading log each class period and a copy of his/her
article and dictionary on free reading days.
Student selects a level-appropriate article that relates to the chapter theme.
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
writes a 3-5 sentence, level-appropriate summary
Student writes a
5 sentence reaction
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 suggestedSlide18
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 opinionsSlide19
Qualitative results: common threads
Participants took advantage of the stress-free writing environment and focused more on articulating their thoughts than producing accurate grammarSlide20
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 sentencesSlide22Slide23
RECURRENT PATTERNS IN THE REACTION PARAGRAPHS
= thus par
= for example
= Also en fait= in fact
avis= in my opinion
= then Bien
Verbs that address the author’s intentions:
= to show
= to bring
= to give the impression that
= to bring to light
Expressions used with the Subjunctive tense:
= to wonder
=to think that
= to like that
= it is certain thatSlide24
Can students benefit from reading texts that are not level-appropriate?
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 waysSlide25
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 moneySlide26
POSSIBLE EXPANSION ACTIVITIES
1. Schedule whole-classroom roundtable discussions of the articles;
2. Create content-specific mini-lessons to expand field-specific vocabulary ;