A Case Study on Extensive Online Reading in Higher Education

A Case Study on Extensive Online Reading in Higher Education

Diana Presadă (Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti, Romania) and Mihaela Badea (Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti, Romania)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3476-2.ch056
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Abstract

The authors have noticed that students tend to focus exclusively on syllabus reading materials, ignoring reading for pleasure outside the classroom. Rarely taught in ordinary university classes, extensive reading skills may play an important part in the foreign language teaching and learning process. Given these facts, the authors decided to pilot an extensive reading program at the academic level, the ultimate aim being to implement it in the future. In addition, the pilot was continued with postgraduate students two years later. Therefore, the purposes of the chapter are to discover students' attitudes towards extensive reading and to assess the results of the pilot as reflected in their opinions with a view to conceiving a large-scale future reading program. The study attempts to shed light on the issues triggered by the introduction of such a program into the curriculum of Humanities students, being mainly concerned with the practical side of the phenomenon and highlighting the interdependence between the findings and the latest theories in the field.
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Background

Before discussing the role of extensive reading in developing students’ mastery of English, it is important to highlight the psychological mechanism that leads to successful language acquisition. That is why, before tackling the issue of extensive reading, it is essential to explain what motivation means.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Graded Reading: Reading according to the students’ language level.

Extensive Reading: Reading in quantity, outside the classroom, to get a general understanding of a text.

Language Motivation: Various factors, such as willingness, desires and attitudes, determining students to learn a second language.

Intensive Reading: Reading in the classroom in order to get a detailed understanding of a text.

Online Library: List of links to download reading material.

Fictional Texts: Types of texts including poems, short stories, novels and plays.

Reading Level: The level at which a reader understands a text.

Non-Fictional Texts: Types of texts including newspapers, magazines, textbooks, etc.

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