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The impact and effectiveness of extensive reading in a Jordanian EFL classroom

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posted on 2023-08-30, 14:52 authored by Mohammed Ateek
Extensive reading, which implies reading large quantities of easy, comprehensible materials for pleasure, is widely believed to enhance foreign language learning through its wide range of benefits (e.g., increasing reading speed and vocabulary knowledge). Jordanian EFL students are reported to suffer from reading boredom, demotivation and lack of reading fluency and therefore this study proposed the extensive reading approach as a potential solution in a Jordanian EFL context. This study investigated the impact of an extensive reading approach on Jordanian EFL students’ reading speed, vocabulary knowledge, reading strategies, productive skills, motivation for and attitudes towards reading in the target language. A total of ten Jordanian EFL students participated in the study. They were situated in a print-rich environment, where they experienced flow reading and did various extensive reading activities in and out of class. A mixed methods action research design was employed over a 12-week extensive reading programme. Data were collected from multiple sources (e.g., tests, checklists, diaries, interviews and focus group) to add more credibility to the study. The resulting data were both statistically and thematically analysed. The findings of the study showed that the impact of the extensive reading approach was positive on the students’ language skills and motivation to read in the target language. The results also revealed a positive correlation between extensive reading and the language skills i.e., reading speed, vocabulary knowledge and reading strategies. As far as their productive skills were concerned, the results of the study showed little development in the students’ speaking skill and even less visible improvement in their writing skill. The implications of extensive reading in FL curricula are discussed.



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