Reading in a Foreign Language    ISSN 1539-0578
Volume 19, Number 2, October 2007

Beginning to read extensively: A case study with Mako and Fumi
Takako Nishino

Research has shown that extensive reading offers a wide range of learning benefits to second language (L2) learners. However, most studies on L2 extensive reading are conducted collectively on groups of learners and do not provide a detailed picture of individual experience. Moreover, there are few studies conducted on the reading experiences of early L2 learners. This paper presents a longitudinal case study on the reading strategies and motivation of 2 Japanese middle school students beginning to read extensively in English. During this 2.5-year study, the researcher conducted interviews 4 times, gave tests regularly, and observed participant behavior in each reading session. The results show that the 2 participants used a variety of reading strategies and that their L2 reading motivation changed as they became increasingly fluent readers. The findings reveal significant individual differences in the use of reading strategies and support a dynamic view of L2 reading motivation.
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Implementing an extensive reading program and library for adult literacy learners
Victoria Rodrigo, Daphne Greenberg, Victoria Burke, Ryan Hall, Angelee Berry, Tanya Brinck, Holly Joseph, and Michael Oby

This article describes the implementation of an extensive reading (ER) program with 43 first language (L1) and second language (L2) adult literacy students. Among them, 16% were nonnative speakers of English. The main principles considered in the design of the program were (a) purpose of reading, (b) reading tactics, (c) material used, and (d) teacher role. The program included sustained silent reading, book talk, and reading aloud. Because a well-equipped library is essential for a successful ER program, this article discusses practical considerations for implementing a library and establishes principles that could guide others working on similar programs. This article also discusses criteria teachers should consider when selecting books for a reading-aloud activity as well as the books and genres that were popular with our sample.
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The effects of synonymy on second-language vocabulary learning
Stuart Webb

This article examines the effects of synonymy (i.e., learning words with and without high-frequency synonyms that were known to the learners) on word knowledge in a study of 84 Japanese students learning English. It employed 10 tests measuring 5 aspects of word knowledge (orthography, paradigmatic association, syntagmatic association, meaning and form, and grammatical functions) to assess learning. Both receptive and productive tests were used to measure each aspect of vocabulary knowledge. The participants encountered target words in 2 learning conditions: glossed sentences and word pairs. The results showed that the learners had significantly higher scores for the words that had known synonyms on productive knowledge as measured using syntagmatic association and paradigmatic association tests and on receptive knowledge as measured using an orthography test. The findings indicate that learning synonyms for known words may be easier than learning words that do not have known synonyms.
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