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Extensive Reading Activities

Extensive Reading Activities
Won, Bo Ra
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외국어교육특수대학원 TESOL학과
이화여자대학교 외국어교육특수대학원
Laura Eunae Park
1. Introduction The English education system in Korea has focused much on reading and grammar that are designed for exams. As a result, students’ speaking and listening abilities are relatively lower than their reading and listening skills. In order to address this problem, the Ministry of Education has been making considerable efforts to develop a curriculum to help students to enhance all four language skills at the same time. Furthermore, the need to address all four language skills simultaneously is increasingly becoming a stronger concern because of the upcoming changes in the National English Ability Test (NEAT) which requires students to be tested on all four skills. Considering this situation, the purpose of my textbook proposal is to promote extensive reading in a Korean EFL middle school. Hafiz & Tudor (1990) found that ER programs help students to improve all four of the language skills, especially writing. Also, Day and Bamford (1998) suggest that extensive reading could positively affect student’s attitude towards reading in a second language, which would eventually increase their motivation. Along with the improvement of writing and reading skills, researchers revealed that retelling the stories after ER extends to improving speaking skills as well (Asraf & Ahmad 2003, p.9). The group of students that I seek to address is middle school students whose proficiency level is at B1 according to the Council of Europe Common European Framework. The class is quite large and has 33 students in one class and held for 45 minutes. I have chosen this target group of students because they need to prepare for the new changes implemented in the NEAT which will begin in 2013. This portfolio has a combination of task based activities and an extensive reading program conducted in a secondary school in Gyeong-gi, Korea, aimed at motivating the students to read extensively in English. Green (2005, p. 309) claimed that ER must be incorporated fully into a task-based curriculum in order to produce optimal results. Task-based approaches permit reading materials to be discussed and to be used with interaction and negotiation in pairs or groups, and reading extensively provides opportunities for students to encounter differences in their comprehension of the target languages usage. Therefore, this portfolio will combine ER and Task-based approaches as an activity that students need to do after reading extensively. In addition, Willis (2007, p. 35) noted that while reading materials without specific aims or challenges can be ineffective, reading with tasks or goals is valuable because it has a purpose to accomplish. The reading materials for the ER in this portfolio is from the Oxford Bookworms Series. It is made for ER and has been modified in word count and genres. There are four different kinds of genres in this book including classics, human interests, crime & mystery, and thriller & adventure. Although it is important to expose students to authentic materials, it is even more important to encourage students to develop a self-motivated reading habit; if it is necessary to start out with graded reading materials rather than reading authentic materials better comprehension, then using graded materials may be an option for an ER program. Waring (1997) suggested that using graded reading materials can lead to positive effects on minimizing problems and confusion while reading a book. Since graded reading materials consist of simplified sentences, high-frequency words, and expressions, students may read through the text fluently and develop a strong motivation to continue reading as well as a higher level of confidence in reading itself. Therefore, I will create activities such as writing letters to the characters, summarizing the stories, making different endings, and making different stories with the words from the books that students have read. In the writing part, oral reading reports and role-play in the speaking part, reading record, comprehension tests, guessing the story via book cover in the reading part will be used as instructional activities. This class will be conducted every Tuesdays and Fridays for two hours a day. Each unit is categorized by themes such as classics, human interests, crime and mystery, and thriller and adventure and the total length for a unit is eight hours (2 hours x 4 classes) for 2 weeks with one storybook. As the unit progresses, the level of texts gradually increases. The word count is 240 headwords in unit 1 and unit 5, and unit 6 to unit 10 includes 400 headwords. Mason & Krashen (1997) stated that extensive readers who summarize a book that they have read in English improve more than those who participate in cloze exercises. Therefore, there will be many writing tasks in the textbook. As already stated, integrating extensive reading and task based language teaching is very important in this portfolio. Students will be assessed formatively individually and they will also have an opportunity to evaluate their understandings by having discussions with their peers at the end of each unit. 3. Expected outcomes By studying with my textbook, students will be able to improve reading, writing, and speaking. Extensive reading activities will encourage students to read by themselves with a lot of motivation, and students will know what and how well they are reading by keeping track of their reading record. Moreover, students will improve their oral fluency and understand the story better through oral reading report and role-play. Furthermore, they can improve their own writing skills such as summarizing, paraphrasing, genre writing, creating a story, and describing pictures while figuring out all the writing activities in this textbook. 4. Conclusion In conclusion, this portfolio is designed for enhancing writing and speaking skills in response to the upcoming implementation of the NEAT, which will replace the current Korean SAT. Through extensive reading and a variety of activities based on task based language teaching approaches, students will not only be able to prepare for the new upcoming test strategically but also develop a strong interest and motivation to read and write outside of the classroom.
☞ 이 논문은 저자가 원문공개에 동의하지 않은 논문으로, 도서관 내에서만 열람이 가능하며, 인쇄 및 저장은 불가합니다.
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