My “soon to be” ER program

                                                                                                                                                                                                              5 of our 7 bookcases                                                                          

Enjoying English      Books of the month

Building an Extensive Reading (ER) Library is a lot of work! I’ve been researching it and piloting it for about a year, and now as the new books finally begin to arrive, I hope to have it up and running as soon as the girls get back from summer vacation. There are many good people, papers and books describing how to get started, so I’ll just mention a few that got me going:

In Japan, Atsuko Takase has many years of ER experience and is tirelessly helpful. Rob Waring is also a wonderful resource person. I’ve used Marc Helgesen’s many practical articles. Julian Bamford and Richard Day wrote 2 very useful books and Akio Furukawa has a lot to offer through this Extensive Reading Website. The excel page of reading levels is wonderful. The other big webpages are the Extensive Reading Net and Rob Waring’s  ER Resources page. If that doesn’t keep you going for a while, nothing will.

Ideas that have worked well so far:

1200 Books to start – Oxford Reading Tree/Fireflies, Thomson Foundation Readers, Penguin Readers, Macmillan Readers, many Scholastic Readers, Longman Readers, Mr. Men/Little Miss series, I Can Read series, Frog and Toad series, etc.

Chu 1, 2, 3 – Reading ORT books to them, reading/looking at books as a treat at the end of class, relating the “fun” the high school girls are having with ER

Ko I, II, III – Doing 45 minute Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) to develop a reading habit. Measuring reading speeds (words per minute). Doing an Oral presentation (2 -3 minutes) of things learned from the ORT series as the Mid-term Test, i.e. character descriptions, story summaries, comparisons of their family/my family, cultural differences, and grammar points I noticed while reading (the best one so far was the self-satisfaction on Keiko’s face when she noticed the difference between What..? and “What a nice day!”). Challenging the girls to read 100 ORT books and write their own original Floppy/Kipper story (see pics).

Finally, just a few general comments from my students:

The Oxford Reading Tree (ORT) Floppy books are fun and interesting as starters to build confidence,

The Thomson Foundation Library Readers are the most popular because they are a little more mature than ORT,

Reading easy books is fun… much better than studying!

My comment:

“Rarely do I see everyone engaged in my regular Oral lessons. When I get 80% of the girls on track, I know I’m doing extremely well with both the topic and the appropriate level. So far with the ER lessons, I’ve consistently had over 95% of the girls engaged in reading, thinking and learning. It’s a joy to witness.”

Cheers for now,


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