SIG Focus: Extensive Reading (ER) SIG

ER Publications & Contact Information

  • Biannual newsletter: Extensive Reading in Japan (ERJ)
  • Online journal: Journal of Extensive Reading (JER)
  • Web:

Extensive Reading (ER), in its purest form, is reading large amounts of text in order to improve second language reading fluency. Using graded readers specifically written for L2 learners has been proven to help them acquire vocabulary. There is a vast range of interpretations of what can be classified as ER. As with many areas of language study, it is an expansive and expanding field. It is almost impossible to ignore the explosion of ER programs across a broad educational spectrum, both here, in Japan, and across the EFL and ESL community around the globe. 

With the proliferation of ER programs comes the need for greater academic debate on the theory which bolsters ER, and on the more practical aspects of actually setting up and running ER programs. 

The JALT ER SIG has existed since 2008 to help promote Extensive Reading (ER) in Japan. Through our website, our bi-annual newsletter, Extensive Reading in Japan (ERJ), our online Journal of Extensive Reading (JER), our regular, monthly e-newsletter, our grant programs, and presentations throughout Japan we aim to help teachers set up and maintain their ER programs. This is where the strength of the ER SIG lies—it provides both practical ideas and the theoretical frameworks needed to help researchers and practitioners fulfill their goal of seeing genuine improvements in students’ language through the implementation of ER programs. We encourage members, both new and old, to engage in the discussion. 

The ER SIG hosts several events throughout the year. The ER Colloquium at the JALT2015 International Conference attracted an audience of 60, with presentations from varied contexts, from children through to adults, and in private and public schools. The presentations provided valuable information into actual programs already implementing ER as part of their curricula. The ER SIG also holds the annual Extensive Reading Seminar In Japan, focusing on research and practice related to ER. This year will see the ninth ER Seminar held at Nanzan University in Nagoya from October 1–2. We encourage interested parties from all educational contexts to put in proposals for the seminar. See our website at <> for the latest information.

We look forward to continuing the discussion in Nagoya at the JALT2016 International Conference, and invite anyone interested in ER to stop by the ER booth for a chat. We encourage anyone involved in the field of ER to put in proposals for both the JALT International Conference and the Pan-SIG Conference (see <> for more information on submitting proposals). The ER SIG has also supported the ER World Congress. The first Congress was held in Kyoto in 2011, attracting over 400 participants from around the globe. We continue to support the congress, and look forward to the next one in 2017 (see <> for further details).

As well as regular e-newsletters, the ER SIG has two publications. ERJ (Extensive Reading in Japan) comes out twice a year and is mailed directly to SIG members, given out to interested teachers, and is also available online. It gives practical support to teachers, both new to ER, and experienced practitioners. The Journal of Extensive Reading (JER) is an online publication for research papers on Extensive Reading and Extensive Listening. JER is peer-reviewed and seeks rigorous research, while ERJ is open to more practical articles that will help teachers in the classroom. More information can be found on the SIG website. 

The ER SIG provides conceptual, practical, and financial support (see <> for details) to achieve the best results for both teachers and students in their unique local contexts. If you are interested in getting involved in the SIG, or joining the ER conversation, we encourage you to come meet our big friendly SIG. Our officers are approachable and knowledgeable, and we are always looking for others to join our team. Do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about the SIG or ER in general. We look forward to meeting you.