An Interactive Extensive Reading Program for a Senior High School English Class in Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

Extensive reading has been considered the important key to developing language proficiency. Students can acquire vocabulary, word usage and grammatical knowledge naturally from texts while reading. Meanwhile, they will be oriented to the discourse structure of essays, news reports, stories, fictions, to learn global structure of different genres or rhetoric modes. Furthermore, students will be inspired to think over the issues in stories, news happenings and novels and gain independent thinking ability while reading widely and extensively. Therefore, extensive reading is a necessary top-down process for language learners or ESL/EFL learners to develop their language proficiency and independent thinking ability besides the bottom-up process, which focuses more on the word and sentence levels of reading. In this study, modified extensive reading integrated with group scaffolding interactions was applied to a class of eleventh grade students. Then it investigates the impact of the top-down process reading instruction. This interactive extensive reading was modified by the researcher to integrate extensive reading with group scaffolding interactions and discussions, in which students could interact with group members to discuss issues and problems in the storybooks which they were reading together. Thus, students could learn and inspire one another, and develop language proficiency as well as thinking ability. Students completed reading one book in about one month and answered questions on the worksheet. They read four books in the semester. To conduct the study, first, in the beginning of the semester, a background information questionnaire was conducted to collect the background information of the students, such as gender, their English learning habits, the length of their learning English, how much time they spent on studying English and the number of the students passing GEPT, etc. Then, modified interactive extensive reading with group interactions was implemented by using graded readers for 30 minutes or one session for group activities every week. After the practices of extensive reading for one semester, a survey was implemented to investigate the students’ concepts about this interactive extensive reading practice and their changes in attitude and motivation towards English learning. The data collected from the Background Information Questionnaire were presented through tables and graphs. Besides, a descriptive statistical analysis was employed to analyze the quantitative data collected from the Response Questionnaire to obtain mean, standard deviation, etc. The results show that the students responded to the interactive extensive reading program quite positively with a mean of 3.52 in terms of their attitudes toward English learning and 3.43 in terms of basic concepts in learning English. This result indicated that the students benefitted from the program. The paper was finalized with pedagogical implications and suggestions for future studies.

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Author
Yueh-miao Chen, Dr./Prof.