Current Practice of Extensive Reading in Asia: Teachers’ Perception
Anna C-S Chang and Willy A Renandya
This study investigated teachers’ perceptions of the practice of extensive reading (ER) in the Asian context. One hundred and nineteen L2 teachers in Asia responded to an online questionnaire that probed into their reasons for implementing ER, the difficulties they encountered, and their perception about the effectiveness of different ways of organizing reading materials. The results show that L2 teachers in Asia held strongly positive beliefs about the effectiveness of ER in improving students’ overall language competence. However, many reported encountering numerous difficulties in implementing ER, which mainly stemmed from students and teachers themselves. Student-related difficulties included lack of interest in reading, not used to doing independent reading, and reluctance to do voluntary reading. Teacher-related difficulties were mostly concerned with the difficulty of monitoring the type and quantity of books that students actually read. Another key finding of the study is that teachers perceived wide reading (reading a variety of texts) to be more effective than narrow reading (i.e., reading genre-specific texts). We conclude by offering a set of suggestions that could help ER practitioners implement their reading program more efficiently and effectively.