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ERIC Number: EJ1098678
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Apr
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: EISSN-1539-0578
The Importance of Supporting Inferences with Evidence: Learning Lessons from Huffman (2014) in the Hope of Providing Stronger Evidence for Extensive Reading
McLean, Stuart
Reading in a Foreign Language, v28 n1 p143-147 Apr 2016
Stuart McLean refers in this commentary to Jeffrey Huffman's article "Reading Rate Gains during a One-Semester Extensive Reading Course" (v26 n2 p17-33 Oct 2014) [See: EJ1044344], in which Huffman reports that extensive reading (ER) was an effective way to provide large amounts of comprehensible input to foreign language learners, but that many teachers and administrators remained unconvinced, and that there was still insufficient evidence to support the claims that have been made regarding its benefits. McLean infers that Huffman's research methodology included a number of novel characteristics that future ER research would benefit from utilizing. However, a significant difference in time on task between groups, combined with weekly timed-reading practice by only the ER group participants, results in the presence of not one independent variable (ER versus IR) but three (ER versus IR, weekly timed reading practice versus a lack thereof, and time on task). As a result, McLean argues that Huffman cannot validly infer so strongly that ER more effectively develops learners' reading rate than IR. McLean hoped that this discussion will encourage researchers to make appropriate inferences, and so provide stronger evidence for the inclusion of ER in language programs.
Reading in a Foreign Language. National Foreign Language Resource Center, 1859 East-West Road #106, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A