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This study aims to investigate whether extensive reading (ER) have a facilitative effect on the development of reading comprehension among Japanese EFL learners and what are the reading behaviors of learners whose reading proficiency improvement was lower than others after a one-year ER program. To this end, 196 Japanese EFL learners in one-year ER programs participated in the study and 152 Japanese EFL learners in intensive reading programs participated as a control group. A mixed between/within-subject analysis of variance was conducted to assess the impact of ER. ER participants’ reading logs were analyzed to examine learners’ reading behaviors at different reading proficiency levels at the onset of the study. Results showed a significant main effect of Group on reading comprehension performance and the within-subject effects showed a significant interaction between Time and Group. This indicates that participants’ reading performance in the ER and control groups differed. Patterns of successful and unsuccessful readers emerged through a close examination of the ER participants’ reading logs.
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