Stories of avid extensive readers in a university-level EFL course

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Brett Milliner


This study follows the cases of six students identified as extensive reading outliers—learners who read significantly more than their peers at a Japanese university. Following an inquiry into good or successful language learners, the researcher was interested in what insights avid extensive readers could teach, and whether these insights could help develop classroom approaches. In this paper, the process by which ER was implemented in the EFL course for Japanese university students precedes a narrative detailing each student’s story. The analysis revealed some similarities between each of the learners—(1) many were avid readers in their L1, (2) most established personal goals to help reach the class reading targets, and (3) passing the post-reading quizzes appeared to elevate the self-efficacy of the learners. There were, however, more differences than similarities, which led the researcher to advocate a range of strategies for encouraging more reluctant or less motivated EFL readers to read extensively.

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