Date of Award

5-2015

Culminating Project Type

Thesis

Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.

Department

English

College

College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Choonkyong Kim

Second Advisor

James Robinson

Third Advisor

Tim Fountaine

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Abstract

Research has shown a wide variety of the advantages of Extensive Reading (ER) in the second language development. However, the use of ER has not gained popularity in high stake testing EFL settings due to the skepticism about its effectiveness. This study investigates how an ER program can be incorporated in a regular Korean high school English curriculum. At the end of an ER program over one school year period, the 260 first year high school students were invited to a survey. The survey was designed to collect information about their L2 learner characteristics, their evaluation on the ER program, their motivations for reading in L2, and their perceived benefits from the course. In addition, the student’s reading activity records during the ER program and the two standardized test scores administered in June and November, 2014, were gathered. A series of quantitative analysis were carried out to examine the associations among the variables. Results indicate that students have very positive attitude toward the ER program compared to the traditional approach. The participants perceived the benefits of ER in their reading fluency, vocabulary growth, reading attitude, and other skill areas such as speaking and writing. Among the L2 leaner factors, intrinsic motivation was significantly correlated with both their perceived benefits and reading amounts. However, none of years of living in an English speaking country, years of studying English, L1 reading habits, English studying hours, and hours of formal instruction had a significant correlation with either perceived benefits or reading amounts. Furthermore, in spite of the commonly-held skepticism against ER, both t-tests and regression analysis revealed that the students’ reading amounts have significant effects on their performance in the nationwide standardized tests. Based on the findings from analyses, the feasibility of ER in regular Korean high school settings is further discussed.

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