||Applying Modified Extensive Reading to College-Level EFL Students: A Study on Attitudes, Reading Habits, and Reading Performances
||Department of English
low or pre-intermediate EFL college students
||本研究採用課堂行動研究，輔以量化與質化研究法探討廣泛閱讀(extensive reading)教學對中低英文程度大學生在學習態度、閱讀習慣及閱讀能力表現的影響。研究將廣泛閱讀結合傳統精讀(intensive reading)教學課程，探索使用分級讀本及兒童英文繪本對學習態度與閱讀習慣的影響，事後並針對閱讀理解及閱讀流暢度進行施測，檢視廣泛閱讀的成效。
本研究共分三個階段：「預試一」、「預試二」及「主要研究」。「預試一」的目的在於了解研究者所服務之科技大學學生的閱讀習慣及態度，以及閱讀理解能力，以規劃適合的廣泛閱讀活動及挑選合適的教材;「預試二」的目的在於設計及選擇適當的測驗工具，以客觀檢測受試學生的閱讀理解表現。「主要研究」受試者為113位非應英系大二學生，共分四班，其中二班廣泛閱讀組(一班高級班、一班中級班)除了每週二節課使用學校指定的教科書並施以傳統精讀教學外，第三節課主要採用分級讀本及兒童英文繪本與持續安靜閱讀(sustained silent reading)活動之方式進行;另外二班傳統精讀組(一班高級班、一班中級班)除了每週二節課使用學校指定的教科書外，第三節課主要以練習本複習上過的課程內容之方式進行，研究為期一學期。資料收集包括前一學期(Fall 2012)的班級學期成績(即大二英文統一線上測驗期中考加期末考成績平均數)、英文詞彙量、英文閱讀理解及速讀測驗、英文閱讀習慣與學習態度前後測問卷、教師課堂日誌、學生讀書心得報告等。研究資料分析採二因子變異係數分析統計及成對樣本T檢定重複量數分析，比較高級班、中級班各兩組學生在閱讀能力測驗之得分差異與閱讀習慣、對廣泛閱讀活動及英文學習態度之差異。
||The study explores the effects of extensive reading (ER) on EFL college students of elementary or pre-intermediate level in learning attitudes, reading habits, and reading performances by undertaking a classroom action research in conjunction with both quantitative and qualitative methods. The ER practices were integrated in existing intensive reading (IR) curriculum, to investigate the influence on the students' learning attitudes and reading habits with the use of graded readers (GR) and books for native English speaking children (BNESC). The students' reading proficiency and reading fluency were also explored after the treatment.
The study was divided into three stages—Pilot Study One, Pilot Study Two, and the Main Study. Pilot study one aimed to recognize the college students' reading habits, learning attitudes, and reading proficiency, which helped the teachers tailor appropriate instructional approaches and class materials. Pilot study two aimed to design and select eligible test instruments in order to objectively assess the participants’ reading proficiency. A total of 113 non-English major sophomores from four intact classes participated in the main study which lasted for a semester. There were two ER classes (1 Level A class, and 1 Level B class) and two IR classes (1 Level A class, and 1 Level B class). The ER groups were exposed to GR and BNESC during sustained silent reading (SSR) session in the last hour of the weekly three-hour course following the two-hour skills-based or IR instruction, adopting a school-designated textbook. The comparison groups were taught with the school-designated textbook in the first two-hour, and were directed to review the reading texts in the textbook and complete a workbook exercise in the last hour of the weekly three-hour course session. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected, including the class term grades of the first semester in Fall 2012 (i.e., mean scores combining the unified online midterm and final exam grades) before treatment, Vocabulary Size Test, several English reading comprehension tests, a speed reading test, pre- and post-treatment surveys, teacher’s logs, and students’ written reports. The study adopted a two-way ANOVA with repeated measure analysis to examine the effects of ER on reading proficiency, reading habits, and attitudes toward the ERP and toward English learning in general.
The overall results of the study displayed that, after the treatment, (1) the ERP had a positive influence on the college students of elementary or pre-intermediate level in reading comprehension based on a norm-referenced test result (i.e., CSEPT). In particular, the Level A ER group (or E1) made a significant gain in comparison with the other three groups. (2) Both of the ER groups outperformed the IR groups on the teacher-designed post-reading test while no significant difference was detected between the groups of different levels. (3) The Level B ER group (or E2) made a significant gain on the publisher’s custom-made reading test compared with their counterpart group (or C2) while no significant difference was found between the ER groups. (4) The reason for the non-significant difference between the ER groups on the teacher-designed post-reading test and publisher’s custom-made reading test could be attributed to the fact that E2 read much more GR than E1. (5) Neither ER nor IR groups demonstrated any significant differences in terms of their reading speed after receiving the instructions. However, groups of different levels showed significant difference. (6) There was significant improvement on both ER groups in reading habits, attitudes toward the ERP and English learning in general. (7) Students expressed that teacher-selected class readers were harder than and not as interesting as those selected by themselves. (8) Reading paper-back GR or BNESC was more suitable and viable than reading free online books for the students in the study. Pedagogical implications were proposed for teachers at technological universities or technical colleges in similar educational contexts alongside the research findings.
TABLE OF CONTENTS vii
LIST OF TABLES xiv
LIST OF FIGURES xvii
CHAPTER 1 Introduction
1.1 Statement of the Problem 1
1.2 Background and Motivation 3
1.3 Purpose of the Study 9
1.4 Research Questions 9
1.5 Significance of the Study 10
1.6 Definition of Key Terms 11
1.7 Organization of the Study 15
CHAPTER 2 Literature Review
2.1 An Overview of Reading 18
2.1.1 The models of reading 19
The bottom-up reading model 20
The top-down reading model 21
The interactive model 22
Anderson and Pearson’s schema-theoretic view 25
2.1.2 First language reading and second (or foreign) language
2.1.3 Approaches to teaching reading (intensive versus extensive) 32
2.1.4 Reading is developmental 34
Readers make progress by reading more 34
Skills required for proficient reading 35
2.1.5 The current reading habits among students in Taiwan 40
2.2 Extensive Reading (ER) 43
2.2.1 Principles of ER 44
2.2.2 Why ER? 50
2.2.3 How to implement ER? 53
2.2.4 Previous studies on ER 56
2.2.5 Issues pertaining to ER 62
Authentic materials and graded readers 62
Attitude and the significance of ER 65
The ER Bootstrap Hypothesis and Pleasure Hypothesis 66
Performance evaluation 67
Approaches to evaluate language learners’ performance 67
2.3 Current English Teaching and Learning Circumstances in Taiwan 70
2.4 Modified Extensive Reading Program (Modified ERP) 72
2.4.1 How much “extensive reading” is enough? 73
2.4.2 Reading materials and students’ language proficiency 74
2.4.3 Classroom action research (AR) 75
2.5 Summary 79
CHAPTER 3 Pilot Studies
3.1 Pilot Study One 82
3.1.1 Participants 83
3.1.2 Aims of pilot study one 84
3.1.3 Research questions 84
3.1.4 Methods 85
Reading materials 85
Modified ERP 86
3.1.5 Data collection of pilot study one 88
Pre- and post-reading tests 88
Pre- and post-reading questionnaires 89
3.1.6 Data analysis 90
3.1.7 Results of the questionnaires 91
3.1.8 Interviews 95
3.1.9 Findings and implications for the main study 96
3.2 Pilot Study Two 97
3.2.1 Setting and participants 97
3.2.2 Aims of pilot study two 98
3.2.3 Test materials 99
3.2.4 Procedures 100
3.2.5 Results of pilot study two 100
3.2.6 Implications for the main study 102
CHAPTER 4 The Main Study
4.1 Rationale of the Study 106
4.2 Aims of the Study 106
4.3 Research Methodology 107
4.3.1 Participants and research setting 107
4.3.2 Research design 109
4.3.3 Treatments 110
ER groups 110
Comparison (IR) groups 112
4.3.4 Materials 112
Teaching materials: College English 2 112
Reading materials 113
4.3.5 Instruments 115
Teacher’s logs 121
Students’ written reports 121
4.3.6 Procedures 122
4.3.7 Data analysis 126
CHAPTER 5 Results
5.1 Results of the Preliminary Analysis between ER and IR groups 128
5.1.1 Term grades of GE 2 of fall 2012 128
5.1.2 Homogeneity analysis for the Vocabulary Size Test
(5,000 words) 130
5.1.3 Homogeneity test and current reading ability from CSEPT
5.2 Language Development 135
5.2.1 Results of CSEPT R2 135
5.2.2 Results of the teacher-designed post-reading test 138
5.2.3 Results of the publisher’s reading comprehension test 140
5.2.4 Results of the reading fluency test 142
5.3 Attitude and Reading Habit Development 145
5.3.1 Comparison between the pre- and post-treatment surveys 145
5.3.2 Attitude toward the ERP 148
5.3.3 Students’ feedback toward English learning and the ERP 150
5.4 Teacher’s Logs 155
5.5 Students’ Written Reports 159
5.6 Summary 165
CHAPTER 6 Discussions and Conclusion
6.1 Discussions 168
6.1.1 Reading performances 169
6.1.2 Reading habits and learning attitudes 174
6.1.3 Teacher’s logs 178
6.1.4 Book features, number of books read, and time spent on
6.2 Pedagogical Implications 182
6.3 Limitations and Suggestions for Future Research 185
6.4 Conclusion 187
LIST OF TABLES
Table 2-1 Drawbacks of bottom-up and top-down models 22
Table 2-2 Comparing Extensive Reading with Intensive Reading 34
Table 3-1 Frequency of leisure reading in any language 92
Table 3-2 Frequency of leisure reading in English 92
Table 3-3 Students’ perceptions on reading habit formation for improving
general English ability 93
Table 3-4 Students’ attitudes toward GIR in forming a reading habit in English 94
Table 3-5 Students’ ability to choose appropriate reading materials 94
Table 3-6 Mean and SD of the Vocabulary Levels Test 101
Table 3-7 Mean and SD of the teacher-designed reading comprehension test 102
Table 4-1 Participants’ background information 108
Table 4-2 The GE 2 curriculum combined with ERP 125
Table 5-1 Descriptive statistics for GE 2 term grades of fall 2012 129
Table 5-2 Descriptive statistics for the Vocabulary Size Test 130
Table 5-3 Test of Homogeneity of Variances 131
Table 5-4 Result of two-way ANOVA for the Vocabulary Size Test 131
Table 5-5 Descriptive statistics for CSEPT R1 133
Table 5-6 Test of Homogeneity of Variances 133
Table 5-7 Result of two-way ANOVA for CSEPT R1 134
Table 5-8 Descriptive statistics for CSEPT R2 135
Table 5-9 Result of two-way ANOVA for CSEPT R2 136
Table 5-10 Pure main effect analysis for CSEPT R2 137
Table 5-11 Descriptive statistics for the teacher-designed post-reading test 138
Table 5-12 Result of two-way ANOVA for the teacher-designed reading test 139
Table 5-13 Descriptive statistics for the publisher-designed reading test 140
Table 5-14 Result of two-way ANOVA for the publisher-designed reading test 141
Table 5-15 Pure main effect analysis for the publisher-designed reading test 142
Table 5-16 Descriptive statistics for the reading fluency test 143
Table 5-17 Result of two-way ANOVA for the reading fluency test 144
Table 5-18 Paired samples statistics of pre- and post-treatment surveys 146
Table 5-19 Result of paired samples t-test of pre- and post-treatment surveys 146
Table 5-20 Paired samples statistics of pre- and post-treatment surveys 147
Table 5-21 Result of paired samples t-test of pre- and post-treatment surveys 148
Table 5-22 Attitude toward the ERP 150
Table 5-23 Frequency count of students’ positive comments 151
Table 5-24 Frequency count of students’ negative comments 153
Table 5-25 Students’ reports on type of books read and reasons for choosing them 160
Table 5-26 Time spent on each book (and number of books) 162
Table 5-27 Summary of main findings among the four groups 165
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 2-1 Collins and Quillian’s (1969) Semantic Network Model (SNM) 26
Figure 2-2 The Virtuous Circle of the Good Reader (Nuttall, 2005) 34
Figure 2-3 The Vicious Circle of the Weak Reader (Nuttall, 2005) 42
Figure 3-1 Frequency of leisure reading in English among the pilot students 91
Figure 5-1 Mean scores of E1 students’ reading habits and attitudes 146
Figure 5-2 Mean scores of E2 students’ reading habits and attitudes 147
Figure 5-3 Frequency count of students’ positive comments 152
Figure 5-4 Frequency count of students’ negative comments 154
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