Friday, September 15, 2017


The reading hypothesis – reading: source of our reading ability, writing ability (writing style), vocabulary, spelling, grammar competence.  Most powerful form = free voluntary reading (FVR)
FVR as a bridge; makes demanding reading more comprehensible

Spanish as a foreign language - test of subjunctive was “monitor-free”;  Stokes et al.
One hour of reading = .6 points on TOEIC. Mason and Krashen, 2015.
Amount of reading & vocabulary size (English speakers, age 42):
(1) Reading at age 42 counts, independent of reading at 16 or younger & previous vocabulary.  (2) Fiction counts  (3) Reading counts even if control for parent occupation and parent education.  (4) reading counts more than your education.
Sullivan, A. and Brown, M. 2014.

SSR: SUSTAINED SILENT READING: Better than Traditional Instruction: 1st and 2nd languages, given a long enough program, access to good reading material

PERFORMANCE Geoffrey Canada, Elizabeth Murray
Goeffrey Canada: "I loved reading, and my mother, who read voraciously too, allowed me to have her novels after she finished them. My strong reading background allowed me to have an easier time of it in most of my classes."
Liz Murray (Breaking Night): "Any formal education I received came from the few days I spent in attendance, mixed with knowledge I absorbed from random readings of my or Daddy's ever-growing supply of unreturned library books. And as long as I still showed up steadily the last few weeks of classes to take the standardized tests, I kept squeaking by from grade to grade."

Develops Knowledge: Stanovich & colleagues: readers know more about literature, history, science,  "cultural literacy," "practical knowledge." 
Career success: “omnivorous reading in childhood and adolescence correlates positively with ultimate adult success" (Simonton, 1988)
Michael Faraday (1791-1867): influence of working for a bookbinder for 7 years.

The Case for Fiction
1. Much of voluntary reading is fiction; Thus fiction responsible for literacy devevelpment, knowledge
2. Fiction > literacy development  The UK study: Sullivan and Brown
Mar & Rain, 2015: more fiction > better on vocabulary, tests of reading  (modest correlations) more non-fiction > no effect, even sometimes negative.

Habits of thought: understand others' points of view
More tolerance for vagueness, better able to deal with uncertainty
President Obama gives fiction the credit for his understanding that "the world is complicated and full of grays ... it's possible to connect with someone else even though they're very different from you."

Long-term effects of light/easy reading
1.    readers eventually choose "good books" (Schoovover, 1938)
2.    as students mature,  select more complex books and from a wider vareity of genres (LaBrant, 1958)
3.    Select at or above their reading level

Pleasure of reading - Nell (1988) citing Somerset Maugham – reading addiction
  Nell: reading before you go to sleep
Develops Knowledge (Stanovich): career success (Simonton)

The problem: Access to books. The solution: Libraries. poverty – little access to books at home,  school, in their neighborhoods
The Philadephia study: Neuman and Celano
The International PIRLS study (Krashen, Lee and McQuillan, 2012)

Combining self-selected reading with subject matter: The Book Whisperer (Donalyn Miller)

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