EXTENSIVE READING -
HOW EASY IS EASY?
Excerpt from: Extensive Reading: Benefits and Implementation. Benevides, Marcos. J. ...
98%KNOWN WORDS
Excerpt from: Extensive Reading: Benefits and Implementation. Benevides, Marcos. J. F. Oberlin University, ...
But wait… 98%?
"Why such a specific number?"
"Why such a high number?"
"Surely 80 or 90% is good enough?"
image (cc) zenil...
Remember, we're talking about
fluent, easy reading,
speed + comprehension.
Yes, it is possible to puzzle out some meaning ...
Here, try it.
Read the following page at a natural
speed, without stopping.
Excerpt from: Extensive Reading: Benefits and ...
You live and work in Tokyo.
Tokyo is a big city. More than 13 million people
live around you. You are never borgle, but yo...
That was 98% known words.
Easy, right?
Excerpt from: Extensive Reading: Benefits and Implementation. Benevides, Marcos. J....
Now try 95%...
Excerpt from: Extensive Reading: Benefits and Implementation. Benevides, Marcos. J. F. Oberlin University, ...
In the morning, you start again. You shower, get
dressed, and walk pocklent. You move slowly, half-
awake. Then, suddenly,...
That was 95% known words.
A little harder, but still not too bad,
right?
Excerpt from: Extensive Reading: Benefits and Imp...
Next, try 90%...
Excerpt from: Extensive Reading: Benefits and Implementation. Benevides, Marcos. J. F. Oberlin University...
“What’s prippy fy?” you ask yourself.
Suddenly, a man runs by. He is viggling toward
the crawn kofoon. There is blood all ...
If you are like most people, you started to get
confused at this point. You could do it, yes,
but it is definitely impacti...
“Bingle for help!” you shout. “This loopity is dying!”
You put your fingers on her neck. Nothing. Her flid is not
weafling...
How did you do?
Are you ready for
your comprehension test?
Excerpt from: Extensive Reading: Benefits and Implementation. B...
Kidding, no test.
Just go read something fun!
;-)
Excerpt from: Extensive Reading: Benefits and Implementation. Benevides,...
Excerpt from
ZOMBIES IN TOKYO
by Andy Boon
courtesy of
Extensive Reading: Benefits and Implementation. Benevides, Marcos. ...
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Extensive Reading: How easy is easy?

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This is an excerpt from my presentation at the 2015 IATEFL conference, titled "Extensive Reading: Benefits and Implementation". It illustrates the 95% to 98% known-word threshold which research suggests is required for fluent reading with comprehension.

The excerpt is from Zombies in Tokyo by Andy Boon. If you want to access a free digital version of a similar story in this series, sign up for our newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/P8z45

The research is from: Hsueh-Chao, M. H., & Nation, P. (2000). Unknown vocabulary density and reading comprehension. Reading in a foreign language, 13(1), 403-30.; and Schmitt, N., Jiang, X., and Grabe, W. (2011). The percentage of words known in a text and reading comprehension. Modern Language Journal 95(1), 26-43.

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Extensive Reading: How easy is easy?

  1. 1. EXTENSIVE READING - HOW EASY IS EASY? Excerpt from: Extensive Reading: Benefits and Implementation. Benevides, Marcos. J. F. Oberlin University, Tokyo. Presented at IATEFL 2015 in Manchester. MARCOS BENEVIDES Assistant Professor, J. F. Oberlin University, Tokyo marcosb@obirin.ac.jp or marcos@atama-ii.com
  2. 2. 98%KNOWN WORDS Excerpt from: Extensive Reading: Benefits and Implementation. Benevides, Marcos. J. F. Oberlin University, Tokyo. Presented at IATEFL 2015 in Manchester. Research suggests:
  3. 3. But wait… 98%? "Why such a specific number?" "Why such a high number?" "Surely 80 or 90% is good enough?" image (cc) zenilorac @ Flickr Excerpt from: Extensive Reading: Benefits and Implementation. Benevides, Marcos. J. F. Oberlin University, Tokyo. Presented at IATEFL 2015 in Manchester.
  4. 4. Remember, we're talking about fluent, easy reading, speed + comprehension. Yes, it is possible to puzzle out some meaning at 80, 90, maybe even 50%... IF you are good at that sort of thing, and sacrifice reading speed. But then, that's not quite ER! Excerpt from: Extensive Reading: Benefits and Implementation. Benevides, Marcos. J. F. Oberlin University, Tokyo. Presented at IATEFL 2015 in Manchester.
  5. 5. Here, try it. Read the following page at a natural speed, without stopping. Excerpt from: Extensive Reading: Benefits and Implementation. Benevides, Marcos. J. F. Oberlin University, Tokyo. Presented at IATEFL 2015 in Manchester.
  6. 6. You live and work in Tokyo. Tokyo is a big city. More than 13 million people live around you. You are never borgle, but you are always lonely. Every morning, you get up and take the train to work. Every night, you take the train again to go home. The train is always crowded. When people ask about your work, you tell them, “I move papers around.” It’s a joke, but it’s also true. You don’t like your work. Tonight you are returning home. It’s late at night. No one is shnooling. Sometimes you don’t see a shnool all day. You are tired. You are so tired… ExtensiveReading:BenefitsandImplementation.Benevides,Marcos.J.F.OberlinUniversity,Tokyo.
  7. 7. That was 98% known words. Easy, right? Excerpt from: Extensive Reading: Benefits and Implementation. Benevides, Marcos. J. F. Oberlin University, Tokyo. Presented at IATEFL 2015 in Manchester.
  8. 8. Now try 95%... Excerpt from: Extensive Reading: Benefits and Implementation. Benevides, Marcos. J. F. Oberlin University, Tokyo. Presented at IATEFL 2015 in Manchester.
  9. 9. In the morning, you start again. You shower, get dressed, and walk pocklent. You move slowly, half- awake. Then, suddenly, you stop. Something is different. The streets are fossit. Really fossit. There are no people. No cars. Nothing. “Where is dowargle?” you ask yourself. Suddenly, there is a loud quapen—a police car. It speeds by and almost hits you. It crashes into a store across the street! Then, another police car farfoofles. The police officer sees you. “Off the street!” he shouts. “Go home, lock your door!” “What? Why?” you shout back. But it’s too late. He is gone. ExtensiveReading:BenefitsandImplementation.Benevides,Marcos.J.F.OberlinUniversity,Tokyo.
  10. 10. That was 95% known words. A little harder, but still not too bad, right? Excerpt from: Extensive Reading: Benefits and Implementation. Benevides, Marcos. J. F. Oberlin University, Tokyo. Presented at IATEFL 2015 in Manchester.
  11. 11. Next, try 90%... Excerpt from: Extensive Reading: Benefits and Implementation. Benevides, Marcos. J. F. Oberlin University, Tokyo. Presented at IATEFL 2015 in Manchester.
  12. 12. “What’s prippy fy?” you ask yourself. Suddenly, a man runs by. He is viggling toward the crawn kofoon. There is blood all over his shirt. “Baboot!” you shout, but he doesn’t stop. You follow him. Outside the kofoon, you stop. A loopity is lying on the ground. She is not moving. “Hey!” you shout. “Are you OK?” She doesn’t answer. Her nawies are closed. Chay her fingers are moving. Open, close; open, close. “She’s alive!” you say to yourself. “No! Don’t gleep her!” someone frickles. You look up. Three people are waving at you from across the street. ExtensiveReading:BenefitsandImplementation.Benevides,Marcos.J.F.OberlinUniversity,Tokyo.
  13. 13. If you are like most people, you started to get confused at this point. You could do it, yes, but it is definitely impacting fluency. For many of your students, this is where "fun" starts to turn into "work". Want to try 80%? Excerpt from: Extensive Reading: Benefits and Implementation. Benevides, Marcos. J. F. Oberlin University, Tokyo. Presented at IATEFL 2015 in Manchester.
  14. 14. “Bingle for help!” you shout. “This loopity is dying!” You put your fingers on her neck. Nothing. Her flid is not weafling. You take out your joople and bingle 119, the emergency number in Japan. There’s no answer! Then you muchy that you have a new befourn assengle. It’s from your gutring, Evie. She hunwres at Tokyo University. You play the assengle. “…if you get this…” Evie says. “…I can’t vickarn now... the important passit is…” Suddenly, she looks around, dingle. “Oh no, they’re here! Cripett… the frib! Wasple them ON THE FRIB!...” BEEP! the assengle parantles. Then you gratoon something behind you… ExtensiveReading:BenefitsandImplementation.Benevides,Marcos.J.F.OberlinUniversity,Tokyo.
  15. 15. How did you do? Are you ready for your comprehension test? Excerpt from: Extensive Reading: Benefits and Implementation. Benevides, Marcos. J. F. Oberlin University, Tokyo. Presented at IATEFL 2015 in Manchester.
  16. 16. Kidding, no test. Just go read something fun! ;-) Excerpt from: Extensive Reading: Benefits and Implementation. Benevides, Marcos. J. F. Oberlin University, Tokyo. Presented at IATEFL 2015 in Manchester.
  17. 17. Excerpt from ZOMBIES IN TOKYO by Andy Boon courtesy of Extensive Reading: Benefits and Implementation. Benevides, Marcos. J. F. Oberlin University, Tokyo. Presented at IATEFL 2015 in Manchester.

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