Research-y Evidence Supporting Extensive Reading in an ELF Setting (-1)


For a recent presentation on the importance of students’ stories and feedback in implementing an extensive reading program, I also put together this table, just in case people might be a little more comfortable with hard data/numbery kinds of stuff.  The table is an expansion of the one found in Bamford and Day’s (1998) indispensable Extensive Reading in the Second Language Classroom. It is in no way meant to be definitive and was put together with my fellow English teachers in Japan in mind. That being said, I would be happy to add to it to make it more inclusive.  There is also a downloadable PDF version available here: evidence of positive ER impact

Report Title

Authors & year



The long-term effects of a book flood on children’s language growth Elley, W. B., & Mangubhai, F. (1981)

EFL; primary; Fiji

Gains in reading and general proficiency, including listening and writing; growth in positive affect

Extensive Reading vs Skills Building in an EFL Context Robb, T. N. & Susser, B. (1989)

EFL; university; Japan

Gains in reading comprehension comparable with skills-based procedure. Positive affect.

Graded readers as an input medium in L2 learning Hafiz, F.M. & I. Tudor (1990)

EFL; primary: Pakistan

Gains in both fluency and accuracy of expression

The effect of a summer reading course on reading and writing skills Lai, FK. (1993)

EFL; secondary (JHS); Hong Kong

Quantity of reading positively correlated with reading comprehension gains and reading speed

Extensive Reading in English as a Foreign Language Mason, B. & Krashen, S. (1997)

EFL; university; Japan

Gains in reading proficiency (measured by pre- and post- cloze test); positive affective gains; writing 

Extensive Reading: Speed and Comprehension Bell, T. (2001)

EFL; professional adults; Yemen

Gains in reading comprehension; proficiency as measured on cloze test; reading comprehension

Developing reading fluency in EFL: How assisted repeated reading and extensive reading affect fluency development Taguchi, E., Takayasu-Maass, M., & Gorsuch, G.J. (2004)

EFL; university; Japan

Self-reported gains in positive affect: increase in willingness to read and enjoyment in reading long passages. Improved ability to deal with unknown words.

Learning L2 vocabulary through extensive reading: a measurement study Horst, M. (2005)

ESL; adult learners; Canada

This study showed gains in incidental vocabulary acquisition.  More importantly, it highlights some of the difficulties in how to measure such acquisition through ER.

Extensive reading and development of different aspects of L2 proficiency Yamashita, J. (2008)

EFL; university; Japan

Significant improvements in general reading ability.

Developing reading fluency: A study of extensive reading in EFL Iwahori, Y. (2008)

EFL; secondary (HS); Japan

Improvement in reading rate. (note: no control group in this study)

The effects of 10-minute extensive reading on the reading speed, comprehension and motivation of Japanese high school EFL learners Fujita, K. & Noro, T. (2009)

EFL; secondary (HS); Japan

improvements in reading speed (note: no control group in this study)

The impact of a 4-year extensive reading program Nishizawa, H., Takayoshi, Y., & Fukuda, M. (2010)

EFL; university; Japan

Strong correlation between TOEIC Test scores and amount of reading done by students in an 4 year ER program

The effect of pleasure reading on Japanese university EFL learners’ reading rates Beglar, D., Hunt, A., & Kite, Y. (2012)

ELF; university; Japan

Gains in both reading comprehension and reading rates.  

Effects of extensive reading on reading attitudes in a foreign language Yamashita, J. (2013)

EFL; university; Japan

Positive gains in affect around comfort, and intellectual value as well as a decrease in anxiety




1 thought on “Research-y Evidence Supporting Extensive Reading in an ELF Setting (-1)

  1. Pingback: My Extensive Reading Blueprint ;) | ROSE BARD – Teaching Journal

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