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Setting your Compass for Reading. Dr. Rob Waring. The goals of language teaching. Ensure they can read, write, speak and listen Build pragmatic, cultural as well as linguistic knowledge Develop learning strategies Develop independence Develop a sense of ownership of the language

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the goals of language teaching
The goals of language teaching

Ensure they can read, write, speak and listen

Build pragmatic, cultural as well as linguistic knowledge

Develop learning strategies

Develop independence

Develop a sense of ownership of the language

Build confidence and a ‘can do’ attitude

what do learners need to know linguistically
What do learners need to know linguistically?
  • The grammatical systems
  • About 2000 everyday words occur in all types of English.
  • A word’s form-meaning relationship (its pronunciation, spelling and meaning)
  • The deeper knowledge of a word
    • its different meanings
    • its derivations (useful, useless, uselessness, etc.)
    • if it’s typically spoken, or written
    • if it’s useful or rare, polite or rude
    • the topic are we usually find it in (e.g. science, music, biology)
    • its collocations and colligations
why can t korean students read listen speak and write well
Why can’t Korean students read, listen, speak and write well?

Their language knowledge is often abstract, separated, discrete and very fragile to forgetting

There’s too much work on “the pieces-of-language” and not enough comprehensible, meaningful discourse

They haven’t met the words and grammar enough times to feel comfortable using it

They CANNOT speak until they feel comfortable using their knowledge

Not enough exposure. To acquire a 7000 word vocabulary requires them to meet about 10-15,000,000 words. A typical high 3-year course book series has 250,000 words.

They haven’t developed a‘sense’ of language yet


Short texts

Many exercises

A Typical Reading Text

Many difficult words

Definitions given

how are students typically taught to read
How are students typically taught to read?

From textbooks with short difficult texts

Doing lots of exercises to practice the grammar and vocab, reading skills and strategies

All students read the same teacher-selected material

All students read at the same pace

All students read at the same difficulty level

The text may or may not interest all learners

It’s hard to develop fluent eye movements – fluency and reading speed – too many ‘reading speed bumps’

intensive reading
Intensive Reading

Provides good for the teaching of discrete language points

Few chances for the development of fluent eye movements

Few chances to learn the patterns in the language

Little allowance for student interest in what is read

Little allowance for reading at their own ability level

Often difficult for students to add new language to the existing store of language because the material is too difficult

typical korean reading texts
Typical Korean reading texts

In Middle School

-teaches the first 1000 words quite well

- readability seems adequate – short passages, easy

vocabulary, picture support

In Senior High School

- radical change to low frequency vocabulary

- hundreds of the most important 2,000 words aren’t met

why build reading speed
Why build reading speed?

Natives read at 250-300 words per minute

Many non-natives read at less than 100 words per minute

If they can read faster, they will

-read more naturally

-process the language more effectively and efficiently

-understand more

-remember more

-read more text

-be able to finish tests faster

how well does that course present the language students need
How well does that course present the language students need?

Research suggests an average language course:

-does not systematically recycle the grammatical forms outside the presentation unit / lesson

-has an almost random vocabulary selection without much regard to frequency or usefulness (mostly based on topic)

-rarely, if ever, recycles taught words either later in the unit, the book, or the series

-provides minimal additional practice in review units or workbooks

has an overwhelming focus on new material in each lesson

a linear structure to our syllabuses
A linear structure to our syllabuses

Unit 3

Present continuous

Sporting activities

Unit 1

Be verb

Simple adjectives

Unit 2

Simple present

Daily routines

Unit 4



Unit 5



Little focus on the recycling of vocabulary, grammar and so on

The theory is “We’ve done that, they have learnt it, so we can move on.”

what happens to things we learn
What happens to things we learn?

We forget them over time unless they are recycled and memories of them strengthened.

Our brains are designed to forget most of what we meet - not to remember it.


The Forgetting Curve


what will naturally happen to the learning
What will naturally happen to the learning?

Unit 3

Present continuous

Sporting activities

Unit 1

Be verb



Unit 2

Simple present

Daily routines

Unit 4



Unit 5



what is extensive reading
What is Extensive Reading?

Fast, fluent reading of story books with high levels of comprehension

Focus on comprehension and enjoyment, not language learning

Aim is to deepen already met language through massive exposure

Typically this is done with ‘graded readers’ or ‘leveled readers’

Extensive reading (ER) and Intensive reading (IR) are two sides of the same coin.

Intensive Reading builds language, Extensive Reading practices it.

IR and ER work TOGETHER, they are NOT opposites

what are graded readers
What are graded readers?

Graded readers are story books written for learners of English written at various difficulty levels

Level 1 books have very few words and only the simplest grammar

Level 2 books have slightly harder vocabulary and grammar

Level 3 increases the difficulty … and so on

The students progress through the levels reading books that mirror what they learnt in their course work

graded readers are graded
Graded readers are GRADED



Phonics Easy vocab More difficult vocab

Easy grammar More difficult grammar

course work and graded readers work together
Course work and Graded Readers work together

Introducing language

Unit 1

Be verb

Unit 2

Simple present

Unit 3

Present continuous

Unit 4


Unit 5


Consolidating and deepening language knowledge

Extensive Reading

features of extensive reading
Features of Extensive Reading

All the students read different books

Student selected material

Wide variety of material (genres)

The reading will probably interest the student

Longer texts

Very few difficult words

Reading at the student's fluent reading ability level

Mostly out-of class reading

Emphasis on the skill of reading

All reading is in the second language – no Korean needed

New words are often met in later chapters

Emphasis on reading for comprehension / enjoyment

Provides input for speaking and writing 

when reading extensively students should read
When reading extensively, students should READ
  • It is CRUCIAL that learners read at the RIGHT level
    • Read something quickly and
    • Enjoyably with
    • Adequate comprehension so they
    • Don’t need a dictionary
when reading extensively students should read1
When reading extensively, students should READ

If they need a dictionary, it’s too hard and they will read slowly, get tired and stop

Their aim is fluency and speed, not learning new language

Typically students read at home or out of class- it doesn’t take much class time for HUGE benefits

We add the reading to our existing program, we don’t replace it.

how do intensive and extensive reading fit together
How do Intensive and Extensive Reading fit together?

Intensive reading

(Instructional level, can learn new words and grammar)

Speed reading practice

(very fast, fluent, high comprehension, natural reading, enjoyable)



(too hard, poor comprehension,

high effort,


Extensive reading

(fast, fluent, adequate comprehension, enjoyable)





% of known vocabulary



Reading speed




fluency reading class
Fluency Reading class


Choose reading materials where they can read quickly

Have a wide variety of books – something interesting for everyone

Have a wide variety of difficulty levels – easy to difficult

Most of their time should be reading

-not translating

-not answering questions

-not doing reports

Reading should be pleasurable

Reading should be motivating

Reading should be inspiring

Reading is more than language practice

summary of extensive reading
Summary of Extensive Reading

Massive language exposure at the student's level of understanding

Excellent chances for the development of fluent eye movements (fluent reading) because the text is easy leading to faster reading

Excellent chances to learn the patterns in the language because the student is reading a lot

High probability the student is interested in what is read and that she will become a more confident reader

young learners classic readers
Young Learners Classic Readers
  • Enjoyable and easy reading practice of famous stories Develops their vocabulary and reading fluency with the easy-to-read adaptations
  • 60 classics
  • A short introduction
  • A picture gallery of characters
  • A story including full-color illustrations and highlighted dialog
  • A short playlet
  • A picture dictionary
  • Audio recordings
compass classic readers
Compass Classic Readers

Extensive Reading Practice• Fundamental reading fluency practice• Extension & consolidation of vocabulary• Repeated exposure to common grammar structureAcknowledged Education Value• Accessible adaptations of the world’s greatest literary works• Cultural and historical contexts for broader understanding of the world

compass classic readers1
Compass Classic Readers

Why Compass Classic Readers?Grasp both Language Learning and Content LearningEach Reader Includes:• Carefully graded retold-stories using appropriate vocabulary and sentence structure• Motivating full-color illustrations (excluding level 5 & 6)• Discussion questions before and after each chapter• A short playlet for fun classroom activities• A glossary of key vocabulary words• An MP3 CD 

what is reading oceans
What is Reading Oceans
  • Online extensive reading program containing
    • 3-D animated nursery rhymes and songs
    • Complete phonics course with 70 decodable readers
    • 600 stories from a wide range of genre at 30 levels of difficulty
    • Read, listen or watch
    • Comprehension check follow-up
    • Learner management system allows teachers to track each student
    • Placement Level Test and achievement tests
placement test

Placement test

Flashcard test

English to Korean receptive test

Reading Comprehension test

-> Test results

www keera or kr

A new organization dedicated to developing Extensive Reading in Korea

September 14-15th, 2013. Second World Congress on Extensive Reading at Sookmyung university

www er central com
  • Free not-for-profit website to promote Extensive Reading
  • Hundreds of articles and links to ER information
  • Blogs and comments
  • Online Graded Text Editor
  • Information for researchers
  • ER and EL Videos
  • Advice Center (coming soon)
  • ER/EL Calendar
  • Advice for publishers and authors
help needed
Help needed
  • Need help to translate parts of the site to Korean and other languages.
  • Upload any Korean ER materials
  • Send us links to things in Korean
  • Publishers can send product announcements