Evaluation of the Cognitive and Affective Advantages of the Foundations Reading Library Series

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Stuart McLean

Abstract

This paper provides criteria and methodology for an evaluation of graded readers following a review of the cognitive and affective aspects of L2 reading material, offering a different perspective on their readability and entertainment value as perceived by proficient English readers. Cognitive strengths are evaluated considering the degree to which they encourage the automatization of reading, dual coding and generative use. Affective strengths are evaluated considering comprehensibility, interest to readers, and reading support, in line with the recommendations of Hill (1997) and Claridge (2012). The author feels that native English speakers and proficient non-native speakers are unable to assess the level of interest that graded readers, especially easier ones, may provide. As a result, the degree to which books are considered interesting was established through Japanese readers’ opinions, which follows Hill’s (1997) recommendation that when assessing readers’ enjoyment of graded readers, we should simply ask: Are they a good read? The Foundations Reading Library series was found to be highly suitable for Japanese university students with little or no extensive reading experience.

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Author Biography

Stuart McLean, Temple University student

Stuart McLean, Temple University student