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Written by Bill Pellowe   
Sunday, 08 September 2013 19:15

NewsOn Saturday, October 26th, we'll give a presentation on a MOARS plug-in at the JALT International Conference.

Title: Monitoring Extensive Reading using Mobile Phones

Trevor Holster (Fukuoka Women's University), William Pellowe (Kinki University), J. Lake (Fukuoka Women's University)

12:45 PM - 1:10 PM, room Sumire

Extensive reading programs aim to increase students' reading automaticity through processing large quantities of text. To achieve this, students should choose books that are both interesting and of the appropriate difficulty. Common ways of monitoring student reading include quizzes, book reports, and word counts. However, these may result in intensive (rather than extensive) reading, which in turn reduces long-term motivation. Instead, the presenters developed an extensive reading module for an open-source audience response system. Students report which books they have read, and rate the books' difficulty and interest level. Classroom teachers can access summaries of the number of books each student has read, as well as popularity ratings for the books. Those doing research can easily access data files formatted for Rasch analysis, providing measures of the reading ability of individual students and difficulty of book titles. Piloting of the system in 2012 provided data from 122 students and 197 books, with reliability coefficients of .91 for students and .84 for books, sufficient to inform text recommendations and future purchasing decisions. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology provided a research grant to develop and operationalize the system. Results from operational use of the system in the first semester of 2013 will be presented, comparing the difficulty of books as rated by students with publishers' claimed difficulty levels. Predicted gains in reading speed will be investigated using pre-test and post-test measures of reading speed based on Quinn and Nation (1974).