Nagoya Institute of Technology, Japan
The benefits of extensive reading are well documented and extend beyond the skill of reading. Nunan (2003) describes reading as comprehension where readers combine their own background knowledge with information from a text to construct meaning. The skills learners develop from reading will improve their total language competence. This paper will detail the progress that Nagoya Institute of technology has achieved in developing its extensive reading program. Research concludes that participation in an extensive reading program was the most effective predictor of oral communicative ability (Huang & Van Naerssen, 1987). On tests that incorporate writing, the benefits of extensive reading are also clear. According to Hafiz & Tudor (1990), extensive reading “led to significant improvement in writing ability.” According to Gradman & Hanania (1991), extensive reading “was the most important direct contributor to TOEFL test score performance.” In fact, several studies including Green & Oxford (1997) concluded that extensive reading “was the most highly correlated with proficiency.” Because of the clear benefits, NITech in 2005 began its extensive reading program. This paper describes the progress of the program since that time, including explanation of the problems overcome, such as book selection, evaluation and quantifying the gains in language ability.
Extensive reading, English education, TESOL