Extra-Curricular Reading in Taiwan

| October 29, 2014
Extra-Curricular Reading in Taiwan

Keywords: EFL, English learners, extensive reading, extra-curricular input, college English

I-Chin Nonie Chiang
National Chengchi University, Taiwan


I-Chin Nonie Chiang earned her doctoral degree in applied linguistics at the Newcastle University, UK, and she now works as an assistant professor for the Foreign Language Center, National Chengchi University, Taiwan. She is an experienced teacher of over 16 years. Her research interests include extensive reading, second language acquisition, second language reading, teaching English as a foreign language to Chinese speakers, young learners, College English courses and reading habits. E-mail: nnchiang@nccu.edu.tw



Abundant exposure is one of the keys in language acquisition. Learners need large amount of exposure to the target language, and generally speaking the more the better. Among the many plausible ways to increase language input and exposure, extra-curricular reading is comparatively less researched but of paramount importance. Nonetheless, reading in a foreign language is complicated and difficult, and thus often causes reluctant readers, even for students at the tertiary level. To solve the problem, extensive reading approach and free voluntary reading are mostly mentioned and implemented for their theoretical and practical merits to independent reading outside the class. This study investigates the English extra-curricular reading of 143 undergraduate participants in the Taiwanese context. Through questionnaire and interview, this study attempts to answer two research questions: (1) students’ extra-curricular reading amount and habit, and (2) the relationship among students’ reading attitude, motivation and achievement. Results suggest that participants are generally lack of extra-curricular exposure, possess both integrative and instrumental motivations, value English and show low anxiety in reading. However, no sign of extra-curricular reading habit is observed. Correlations exist between learning achievement and several factors investigated, such as value, integrative orientation, and effort of learning. Interview results reveal that passive learning still dominates, learners have problem lasting interest in learning and learners stress the importance of input being ‘of interest’ and ‘with easy access’. Extra-curricular autonomous reading to foster the habit should be promoted for an input-rich environment through extensive reading. Pedagogical implications and limitations are also discussed.

See page: 4-33

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