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ERIC Number: EJ869034
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 20
ISSN: ISSN-1094-9046
Anything but Reading
Krashen, Stephen
Knowledge Quest, v37 n5 p18-25 May-Jun 2009
Both the popular media and professional literature are filled with suggestions on how to improve reading, but the one approach that always works is rarely mentioned: provide readers with a supply of interesting and comprehensible books. Instead, people are given advice that is dead wrong as a means of improving reading (e.g., roller skating and chess)--advice that leads only to reading-like behavior (intensive phonics), or advice that teaches students to use strategies that are innate (e.g., prediction), or that they will acquire anyway as they read. Briefly, studies show that those who read more read better. They also write better, spell better, have larger vocabularies, and have better control of complex grammatical constructions. The research literature also contains a number of case histories, cases in which self-selected voluntary reading resulting in unmistakable improvement in reading and other aspects of literacy. These studies are "scientific" in that there was no other possible source of the improvement other than reading. Even more convincing are experimental studies in which students who do self-selected reading for a given amount of time are compared to students who devote the same amount of time to "regular" instruction. Self-selected reading has been a consistent winner in these studies, in first and second language, for children and older students, and in widely differing circumstances. In this article, the author presents only a small portion of this research in an area that has not received much attention: studies of students of English as a foreign language. These studies are of interest for practical reasons, of course, in that English is studied worldwide. They are also of theoretical interest, as most subjects in these studies have little access to English outside of class. It is thus a "clean" experimental situation. The author also discusses non-reading approaches to improving reading. (Contains 2 tables and 1 footnote.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan; Philippines; Taiwan; Yemen