The Use Of Portable E-readers In An ESL Extensive Reading

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  • Portable electronic devices are generally untapped reading tools that have the potential to produce beneficial results in English as a Second Language (ESL) extensive reading programs. However, few guidelines are available to assist instructors in using these tools, as there is a lack of research conducted with learners in an ESL context. The purposes of this project were to determine the impact of using portable e-readers for extensive reading on ESL learners’ reading attitudes, behaviours and skills, and to ascertain the learners’ and instructor’s satisfaction with the use of the Sony e-readers and the extensive reading program. All students (n = 21) in one ESL reading and writing Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 class at NorQuest College participated in this study. Data were gathered over eight weeks through a pre-study questionnaire in paper-form, student reading logs, instructor observation, and a post-study questionnaire via SurveyMonkey®. Data obtained from the pre- and post-questionnaires and the weekly reading logs were analyzed using simple descriptive statistics; data gathered from the observation field notes were coded using thematic analysis. The results show that the participants were overall highly satisfied with the extensive e-reading program and the use of e-readers. The extensive e-reading program was considered clearly defined and enjoyable, but limited in the selection of e-books. The e-readers were viewed as being portable and environmentally friendly when compared with reading paper-based books. Participants felt the use of e-readers enhanced their enjoyment and increased their frequency and volume of reading. However, participants thought they made the lowest gains in comprehension, felt restricted by not using Wi-Fi, and experienced difficulties reading in dark places. An instructor’s general guide for using e-readers in extensive e-reading programs based upon the results is included.

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    Research Material
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International