There are several types of Extensive Reading program. The one you select will depend on your goals, the institution’s needs and so forth. There are generally four types of ER program in terms of their focus, not their size. Each type might be labelled ER but sometimes this can lead to considerable debate!
Purist ER program
Lots of self-selected reading at home with no / little assessment or follow up. Often is a stand-alone class. This version of ER is best presented by Stephen Krashen and his followers. This type is the one most ER practitioners know from the 10 features of an ER program in Day and Bamford’s book whereby the read should
Integrated ER program
This type of ER is one that works in tandem with normal classes. Typically students have a course work and lots of ‘study’ either as with the same teacher or with others. There tends to be a lot of self-selected reading at home and in class. There are often follow up exercises / reports which aim to build the 4 skills.
Class reading – study
In this type of ER, students read the same book at or about the class’ level and work through it slowly. This is a very high-control form of ER and the book the class reads is likely to be the only one they read in the semester. The book is often treated as a serial story with one chapter read every week or fortnight. It often involves a lot of work on the vocabulary follow up exercises, tests and so forth. Lots of follow up / comprehension work and exercises.
ER as ‘literature’
This is similar to Class Reading in that the students read the same book but they discuss it as if it were a work of literature.
The following table summarises these four types.
|Purist ER||Integrated ER||Class Reading||ER as literature|
|Style||Individual – just reading for enjoyment||Individual||Lock-step. Comprehension questions and language exercises||Lock-step. It sees the book as a work of literature|
|Amount of reading||Lots||Lots||Little||Little|
|Speed||Fast||Fast||Slow – all students go the same speed||Slow|
|Follow up assessment||Little or none||Little||Lots – comprehension qs and language work.||Lots – discussions, reports, etc.|
|Materials||Library||Library||Class sets||Class sets|
|Skill work||Reading only||3-4 skills||3-4 skills / language||1-3 skills|
|Class time needed||Little||Little||Lots||Lots|