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An Integrated Extensive and Intensive Reading Textbook for Middle School Students
- An Integrated Extensive and Intensive Reading Textbook for Middle School Students
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- 외국어교육특수대학원 TESOL학과
- 이화여자대학교 외국어교육특수대학원
- Deborah Sukyung Chin
- English is deemed an indispensable tool for success in virtually all walks of life in Korean society. As Extensive Reading(ER) has emerged as an important issue in learners language education, young Korean students have had the opportunities not only to improve their language level and but also increase their motivation to read further. As soon as they enter middle school, however, they focus on studying and preparing for the national college entrance examination. According to Shin (2014), Korea’s competitive education system still relies on standardized tests which are grammar-based examinations focusing on reading and listening comprehension. Korean students in reading course in school read texts they do not enjoy. Every reading material is already chosen in advance by the curriculum or the teacher. Yoon (2015) states in this situation, students can hardly find motivation to read. As a result, they lose a chance to become autonomous readers. In other words, they have a poor image of English, which is caused by teacher-center lessons focusing on grammar-translation. However, the motivation aspect of ER is viewed as its primal benefit in developing positive attitudes toward the foreign language and increases motivation to study this language (Bamford & Day, 1998). Thus, Korean students need to be exposed to read a wide variety of extensive reading texts to create positive attitude towards reading.
The group of students I seek to address is 7th to 8th grade middle school students whose language proficiency level is high-intermediate according to the ACTFL proficiency guideline. They are accustomed to intensive reading pedagogy in the classroom, whereby grammar is the focus of the lesson. Unfortunately, classroom reading material is generally restricted to the school curriculum and all the students in school are provided a textbook with the same level of difficulty regardless of their language proficiency. Since most teachers choose to do their lesson targeting the middle group, the lesson inevitably bores both high performing students and lower ones. In order to address this problem, I have chosen this target group of students to not only increase their motivation in learning English but also improve reading skills through my textbook.
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