Date of Graduation
The present study has these objectives: (1) to determine the effects of extensive reading on reading comprehension, (2) on writing complexity, (3) to assess subjects' views of extensive reading, (4) and to determine if demography affected pre and posttest reading and writing. During the 1992-93 academic year at West Virginia University, eight classes of Spanish 4 students (four classes per semester) were involved in the study. Experimental group students were tested to see if reading extensively for main meaning would affect reading and writing skills. Experimental and control groups contained subjects of various ages, with varying degrees of experience in Spanish (N = 177). Two different graduate assistants taught each semester; each assistant taught one experimental and control group. Of all the classes involved, six met three times a week for 50 minutes, and two of the control groups met two times a week for an hour and 15 minutes. For the nine week treatment period experimental students read and summarized a variety of interesting material (see Appendix A) during the first 15 minutes of each class. Control groups spent the first 15 minutes of class practicing productive skills involving speaking or writing. Reading comprehension was measured using the 1984 Advanced Placement Spanish Language exam, which has a twenty-six item multiple-choice format. After evaluation of posttest means by way of a repeated measures analysis of covariance, it was found that one teacher's experimental group showed significant progress (Alpha =.05), and that there was a significant difference between total experimental and total control groups (Alpha =.10). Writing complexity was evaluated by comparing pre and posttest mean T-Unit lengths. A repeated measures analysis of covariance revealed no significant differences in writing scores. A seventeen-item Likert questionnaire, evaluated by means of a Chi-square test, showed that students thought reading helped reading and grammar skills. A one-way analysis of variance showed that age, sex, education, and language background did not affect subjects' scores. There were no significant differences. More research is need to determine if a prolonged treatment period would yield better results in favor of extensive reading.
Caruso, Johanna Marie, "The effects of extensive reading on reading comprehension and writing proficiency in foreign language learning." (1994). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8582.