Development of an e-Learning Program for Extensive Reading

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Language: English

© 2012


As extensive reading becomes more commonplace in the EFL/ESL classroom, there is a rise in the number of instructors and administrators who are looking for cost-effective and space-saving methods to carry out extensive reading activities. Two extensive reading systems to respond to such concerns were developed with the support of a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. PREMA (your Personal REading MAnager) and PREMA Beta, both allow online or offline texts to be used as extensive reading material, alleviating the need for libraries of graded readers. PREMA Beta is a web based program that allows for extensive and speed reading in English, and provides a management tool that both teachers and students can use to easily keep track of progress. The program runs in popular browsers such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. PREMA is a browser-type software which works on a stand-alone PC. This software allows students to utilize texts (of any size) that they find online or offline, automatically tracks the total number of words read and students' reading speed, and rates the relative difficulty of a particular text based on vocabulary lists. In both systems, information from the Internet is used as a source for reading, as opposed to physical books, therefore, students have a vast endless supply of up-to-date reading material. Intrinsic motivation to read becomes higher, since there is no limit on the choice of topics, and students can progress freely at their own pace. For instructors, classroom management is made easy as this software can be used in or out of class, and individual student progress can be tracked instantaneously. From an administrative standpoint, the lack of need to continuously buy graded readers or find space to house them is an enticing prospect. In this paper, the philosophy of development will be explained, features of PREMA will be overviewed, and the future target for this program will be shared.

Keywords: extensive reading, speed-reading, web-based, original browser.


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Okazaki, Hironobu; Hashimoto, Shinichi; Fukuda, Eri; Nitta, Haruhiko; Kido, Kazuhiko. (2012). Development of an e-Learning Program for Extensive Reading. In Linda Bradley, Sylvie Thouësny (Eds), CALL: Using, Learning, Knowing, EUROCALL Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden, 22-25 August 2012, Proceedings (pp. 228-233).

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