Issues in SSR (Sustained Silent Reading) Krashen
"They won't read." When students don't read during SSR
1. The books are too hard. (Relax, students will choose harder books as they progress)
2. Fear of evaluation: Marshall: her practice of having group discussions in which she asked students "informal questions about what they were reading, whether they liked their books, and whether they had recommendations for others" (p. 6) was counterproductive; the discussions "made them feel as if they were being 'tested'" (p. 8). (No accountability.)
3. Too early in the school year. (Don't expect reading right away: It takes time to find the right book.)
4. Rigidity: e.g. desk must be clear, can't leave your desk. (COMFORT & FLEXIBILITY.)
5. Disruption, even from the teacher. (Keep it quiet. F. Shin: A separate time to discuss. Books.)
6. Must finish every book they start: "Abandoning a book that a reader doesn't enjoy (is) a smart move, not a character defect." Nanci Atwell. (Students are free to abandon a book.)
7. Books not of interest. "There is no such thing as a kid who hates reading. There are kids who love reading, and kids who are reading the wrong books." James Patterson (Wide selection; time to browse; try the Star Method)
8. Restriction to books only (no magazines, graphic novels): (Not just books. Free voluntary surfing also ok.)
9. Massed, not distributed sessions. (A few minutes a day, not all at once.)
10. Students have to bring their own books. (Have a good supply of reading material available close by!)
Standard objections to self-selected reading.
1."They read only easy books."
Not true: Self-selected reading is as hard or harder than assigned (LaBrant, 1958; Southgate, Arnold and Johnson, 1981; Shin and Krashen, 2007, Scholastic: 7% choose below reading level).
2. "They read low-quality books." But: Schoonover, 1938. – Over 70% on recommended reading lists.
3. "They will only read fiction."
Not true (La Brant, 1958), but even if it were ...
(1) value of FVR studies based largely on fiction
(2) Fiction contributes to an expanded "theory of mind" = understand others' states of mind, ways of thinking, compared to nonfiction. (Kidd & Castono, 2013)
(3) Fiction readers have more tolerance for vagueness, better able to deal with uncertaincy (Djikic, Oatley, and Moldoveanu, 2013).
"They stick to the same authors and genres."
The advantage of narrow reading
1. Good readers are narrow readers (Lamme, 1976)
2. More comprehensible! (and compelling)
1. Read alouds
2. Access/Time/Place to read
3. The star method
4. The Book Whisperer approach
Home Run Book: One positive reading experience enough to create interest in reading: Trelease.