Type JournalArticle
Date 2002-04
Volume 14
Number 1
Tags language learning, Japanese, extensive reading, learner diary
Journal Reading in a Foreign Language
Pages 66--81

Extensive Reading and Language Learning: A Diary Study of a Beginning Learner of Japanese

Over the past decade or so, there have been numerous studies reporting that extensive reading not only benefits learners of different ages, but also in different contexts. In addition to the gains in reading proficiency, positive affect, and reading habits (Camiciottoli, 2001; Nash & Yuan, 1992; Renandya, et al., 1999; Tse, 1996), other benefits of extensive reading also include gains in listening proficiency (Elley & Mangubhai, 1983), writing ability (Mason & Krashen, 1997; Tsang, 1996), reading speed (Bell, 2001; Walker, 1997), and even spelling (Day & Swan, 1998; Krashen, 1989).

Through this study, we can see that the key element in the success of extensive reading is having access to a large quantity of reading materials geared to an individual's level of proficiency and interest.


Motivated by the continued growth of research on extensive reading as well as the positive results from a variety of studies (e.g., Bell, 2001; Camiciottoli, 2001; Elley & Mangubhai, 1983; Mason & Krashen, 1997; Nash & Yuan, 1992; Renandya, Rajan, & Jacobs, 1999; Tse, 1996; Walker, 1997), an investigation was conducted on the impact of extensive reading on an adult's self-study of Japanese over a 20-week period. Data were collected from multiple sources, including a learner diary, audio-recordings from several private tutorial sessions, and vocabulary tests. The results of this study show that extensive reading can enhance vocabulary acquisition and reading comprehension, and promote a positive attitude toward reading. The challenges that the learner encountered during the extensive reading process and how they were dealt with are also addressed.

Name Role
Ching Yin Leung Author