Compulsory versus voluntary extensive reading: Investigating English learners' perceptions, proficiency and school banding

Art TSANG, King Tat Daniel FUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Reading is a core element in language education. Despite extensive research in second/foreign language (L2/FL) reading, relatively little is known about the differences between two common practices: Compulsory reading (i.e. reading assigned by teachers) and voluntary reading (i.e. self-initiated reading). This article reports two related quantitative studies (n = 124; n = 498) investigating learners' out-of-class compulsory and voluntary English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) story reading frequencies in Hong Kong. Learners' perceptions, EFL proficiency and school banding were analysed in relation to reading frequencies. It was found that the frequencies of engaging in both kinds of reading were very low. Reading frequencies and favourability towards story reading were found to be mildly to moderately correlated with proficiency. Among these variables, however, only voluntary reading significantly predicted proficiency. Students who were academically more competent showed greater favourability while those in the middle school banding reported a higher frequency of reading. The findings are discussed and implications are drawn. Copyright © 2023 British Educational Research Association.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-183
JournalThe Curriculum Journal
Volume35
Issue number2
Early online dateJul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

Citation

Tsang, A., & Fung, D. (2024). Compulsory versus voluntary extensive reading: Investigating English learners' perceptions, proficiency and school banding. The Curriculum Journal, 35(2), 168-183. https://doi.org/10.1002/curj.218

Keywords

  • EFL proficiency
  • EFL reading
  • Extensive reading
  • Learners' perceptions
  • Learning beyond the classroom

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