A Thank You to Rocky

This semester I am undertaking to teach a twenty week course in Extensive reading. I am working under the mentoring of professor Rocky Nelson who has over fifteen years experience in both implementing and running Extensive Reading courses. Unfortunately Rocky will retire in December this year leaving a void at my university.

This blog is intended for me to keep a record for not only myself in the future but also any other teachers or students interested in developing or partaking in a solidly designed Extensive Reading course, especially for those in Korea. I will try to provide a weekly plan synopsis as I teach the classes and provide links to materials and other supplements.

I hope this site is useful for those that visit.

Extensive Reading Central -The New Extensive Reading Portal

I want to put at the top of this blog the new main Portal for Extensive Reading developed by Dr Robert Waring. Please click the link below.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The First Week

Our extensive reading classes run for four hours per week usually split into two two hours sessions.

The first thing that we do is give the students an Edinburgh Project on Extensive Reading (EPER) test. The test has copy-write so I can't upload it here but I have included a link in the links list where you can order the test materials. The EPER test lets students know what level of graded readers they should start with.

The next thing we do is a previewing exercise. It is important for students to be able to assess a book quickly so they can choose a book they want to read. The previewing exercise is done as follows:
  • The teacher selects a pile of graded readers (more than he has students in the class).
  • The teacher chooses books of several different genres: mystery, romance, historical fiction and so on.
  • The teacher chooses books he thinks will be an unknown story to his students.
  • The teacher models doing a preview focusing on;
    • looking at the books cover
    • reading the back matter
    • looking at the chapter index
    • flicking through the book noticing any pictures
    • checking for a glossary
    • noticing the genre of the book
    • authors name
  • The teacher must stress the most important thing is to decide if you would want to read the book or not.
  • Students then receive a book from the teacher to preview.
  • After students preview the book they then are given 1-2 minutes to discuss the book in pairs.
  • This is repeated two or three times. 
I found it useful to write several different genre on the board to help students classify the books more. Then I would ask students if their partner wanted to read the book they had. 

After the previewing activity we take the students to the library, show them the graded readers section and explain the levels between different publishers. Students then set up their library cards, borrow some books and start reading.

The next class we do a titles and blurbs activity to let students see that they can read and do activities. It also is a reinforcing exercise for showing different genre of books.  Before we do some Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) students are shown the recording form to track the number of pages they read and how to fill it in. Our students have a goal of 1000 pages over the 20 week program. Finally, let the SSR begin! 


  1. I'm happy to get to know about graded readers. I've taken over an English book club at my school since 2011, and over the years it was always burdensome to choose the best books for my students. Though each student's language level was different, I picked one and only book each semester for everyone and had them fit in. The books were usually quite thick for them like Newberry medal winners or Roald Dahl books. I feel sorry for them since I now put myself into their position.

  2. Blake, remind me this week to give you the business card for English Plus near Sinsaegae. They have a lot of different readers to choose from and will make up 'school packages' too if you want. Mention you are a teacher and you can get a twenty percent discount too.