Mobile-based Extensive Reading: An Investigation into Reluctant Readers

Mobile-based Extensive Reading: An Investigation into Reluctant Readers

Brett Milliner (The Center for English as a Lingua Franca, Tamagawa University, Machida, Japan) and Travis Cote (The Center for English as a Lingua Franca, Tamagawa University, Machida, Japan)
DOI: 10.4018/IJCALLT.2015100101
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Abstract

Mobile devices have sweeping repercussions in education and suggest shifting content-engagement paradigms. Extensive reading (ER) is not unaffected by the many evolving aspects of mobile technology in second language classrooms. This paper reflects on Xreading®, an online graded reader (GR) and learning management system (LMS) designed for digital ER. Students at a private university in Tokyo had access to this online library using mobile devices. While overall reflections were positive, actual engagement with GR's and the software, was significantly lower for a surprising number of participants. Focusing on those reluctant readers (RRs) this study investigates the basis for disengagement, both with ER and perhaps with mobile technology. Using a post-pilot questionnaire and focus group discussion, the authors attempted to understand reasons behind the disconnect. Key findings for why students neglected this system included: insufficient software training, misconceptions about reading extensively and ineffective exploitation of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators.
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Er And Digital Reading

Benefits of ER

The contribution of ER on English language students’ language development has been recognized by a number of researchers. Reading proficiency (Beglar & Hunt, 2014; Mason & Krashen, 1997; Nation, 2009; Renandya, Rajan & Jacobs, 1999; Robb & Kano, 2013), vocabulary knowledge (Beglar & Hunt, 2014; Chen, Chen, Chen & Wey, 2013; Day & Bamford, 1998; Krashen, 2004; Nation & Wang, 1999), improved oral skills (Cho & Krashen, 1994) and promotion of writing skills (Krashen, 2004; Mason & Krashen, 1997) are examples of the impact ER can have on language development. Renandya (2007) even noted “the benefits derived from diverse studies on extensive reading in many diverse contexts are so compelling that it would be inconceivable for teachers not to make it an important feature of their teaching (p.133).” Despite these rewards, teachers have struggled to implement effective ER programs (Renandya & Jacobs, 2002).

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