Friday, September 15, 2017

HANDOUT THE MISSING LINK: FREE VOLUNTARY READING Krashen

www.sdkrashen.com  twitter: skrashen

The reading hypothesis – reading: source of our reading ability, writing ability (writing style), vocabulary, spelling, grammar competence.  Most powerful form = free voluntary reading (FVR)
FVR as a bridge; makes demanding reading more comprehensible

WHAT THE RESEARCH SAYS
CORRELATIONAL/MULTIVARIATE STUDIES
Spanish as a foreign language - test of subjunctive was “monitor-free”;  Stokes et al.
One hour of reading = .6 points on TOEIC. Mason and Krashen, 2015.
Amount of reading & vocabulary size (English speakers, age 42):
(1) Reading at age 42 counts, independent of reading at 16 or younger & previous vocabulary.  (2) Fiction counts  (3) Reading counts even if control for parent occupation and parent education.  (4) reading counts more than your education.
Sullivan, A. and Brown, M. 2014.

SSR: SUSTAINED SILENT READING: Better than Traditional Instruction: 1st and 2nd languages, given a long enough program, access to good reading material

CASE HISTORIES: IMPACT OF FREE READING ON SCHOOL
PERFORMANCE Geoffrey Canada, Elizabeth Murray
Goeffrey Canada: "I loved reading, and my mother, who read voraciously too, allowed me to have her novels after she finished them. My strong reading background allowed me to have an easier time of it in most of my classes."
Liz Murray (Breaking Night): "Any formal education I received came from the few days I spent in attendance, mixed with knowledge I absorbed from random readings of my or Daddy's ever-growing supply of unreturned library books. And as long as I still showed up steadily the last few weeks of classes to take the standardized tests, I kept squeaking by from grade to grade."

Develops Knowledge: Stanovich & colleagues: readers know more about literature, history, science,  "cultural literacy," "practical knowledge." 
Career success: “omnivorous reading in childhood and adolescence correlates positively with ultimate adult success" (Simonton, 1988)
Michael Faraday (1791-1867): influence of working for a bookbinder for 7 years.

The Case for Fiction
1. Much of voluntary reading is fiction; Thus fiction responsible for literacy devevelpment, knowledge
2. Fiction > literacy development  The UK study: Sullivan and Brown
Mar & Rain, 2015: more fiction > better on vocabulary, tests of reading  (modest correlations) more non-fiction > no effect, even sometimes negative.


Habits of thought: understand others' points of view
More tolerance for vagueness, better able to deal with uncertainty
President Obama gives fiction the credit for his understanding that "the world is complicated and full of grays ... it's possible to connect with someone else even though they're very different from you."

Long-term effects of light/easy reading
1.    readers eventually choose "good books" (Schoovover, 1938)
2.    as students mature,  select more complex books and from a wider vareity of genres (LaBrant, 1958)
3.    Select at or above their reading level

Pleasure of reading - Nell (1988) citing Somerset Maugham – reading addiction
  Nell: reading before you go to sleep
Develops Knowledge (Stanovich): career success (Simonton)

The problem: Access to books. The solution: Libraries. poverty – little access to books at home,  school, in their neighborhoods
The Philadephia study: Neuman and Celano
The International PIRLS study (Krashen, Lee and McQuillan, 2012)


Combining self-selected reading with subject matter: The Book Whisperer (Donalyn Miller)

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Librarians!!! In Chgo Tribune, Sept 8


We still need librarians in public schools.
Published in the Chicago Tribune, Sept. 8, 2017

Congratulations to the Tribune for informing the public about the lack of school librarians in Chicago.

Not mentioned in the Sept. 5 article “Most of city's schools now lack librarians,” however, is the research showing that the presence of a credentialed school librarian is a significant predictor of reading achievement.

A recent study done by Scholastic tells us at least part of the reason why: School librarians connect young readers with books that are right for them.

This is crucial. Research also tells us that students who develop a reading habit read better, write better, spell better, have better control of grammar, and have larger vocabularies.  Readers also know more about a wide variety of subjects. It is therefore no surprise that they do better on standardized tests of literacy.

We cheerfully spend billions on unvalidated tests and untested technology, yet we ignore the impressive research  on libraries and librarians, and are unwilling to make the modest investments that will ensure that school libraries are well supplied with books and are staffed with credentialed librarians.

— Stephen Krashen, Los Angeles, professor emeritus, University of Southern California


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Don't allow Mandarin to become a "killer language."


Comment on Can Putonghua Relieve Poverty?  (Language Magazine, August 30: https://www.languagemagazine.com/2017/08/can-putonghua-relieve-poverty/#comment-546481)

Stephen Krashen

Mandarinization of China, and other countries speaking Chinese languages, has clear advantages, but it should not result in the death of local languages. There are many advantages in maintaining and even promoting "heritage" languages and there are no disadvantages:  it promotes bilingualism, which has positive effects on cogntive development (one I am particularly interested in is that it delays dementia),  has economic advantages, promoting business activity in the larger regions as well as locally, and gives the younger generation access to the wisdom of their elders. 
Use of the home language in school makes acquisition of the second language (Mandarin in this case) much  easier. It is easier to develop literacy in a language you already understand, and once you can read in any language, it transfers across languages. Also, subject matter knowledge learned in the first language will make instruction in the second language more comprehensible. This has been confirmed in many studies.
China should not allow Mandarin to become a "killer language," eliminating local languages.  This has happened in Singapore: the push for Mandarin has resulted in a huge reduction in the use of Hakaan, Cantonese and other Chinese languages in homes.  Fortunately, other Chinese languages seem to be making a come-back in Singapore as people realize the benefits: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/26/world/asia/singapore-language-hokkien-mandarin.html?mcubz=3


Monday, September 4, 2017

Credentialed school librarians: What the research says



Sent to the Chicago Tribune, Sept 4, 2017
Original article: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-cps-librarian-cuts-met-20170902-story,amp.html

Congratulations to the Tribune for informing the public about the lack of school librarians in Chicago.  Not mentioned in "Information literacy lost" however, is the research showing that the presence of a credentialed school librarian is a significant predictor of reading achievement.

A recent study done by Scholastic tells us at least part of the reason why: School librarians connect young readers with books that are right for them.

This is crucial. Research also tells us that students who develop a reading habit read better, write better, spell better, have better control of grammar, and have larger vocabularies. They also know more about a wide variety of subjects.  It is therefore no surprise that they also do better on standardized tests of literacy.

We cheerfully spend billions on unvalidated tests and untested technology, yet we ignore the impressive research on libraries and librarians, and are unwilling to make the modest investments that will ensure that school libraries are well supplied with books and are staffed with credentialed librarians.

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California

Sources:  

Keith Curry Lance and associates (http://www.baltimorelibraryproject.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2013/09/Library-Impact-Studies.pdf and http://keithcurrylance.com/school-library-impact-studies/ 


Kachel, D. and Lance, K. 2013. Latest study: A full-time school librarian makes a critical difference in boosting student achievement. http://www.slj.com/2013/03/research/librarian-required-a-new-study-shows-that-a-full-time-school-librarian-makes-a-critical-difference-in-boosting-student-achievement/

Small, R. V., Snyder, J, and Parker, K. 2009.  The impact of New York's school libraries on student achievement and motivation: phase I. American Association of School Librarians. http://www.ala.org/aasl/slmr/volume12/small-snyder-parker





Saturday, September 2, 2017

Is "informational literacy" all that school librarians teach?


Comment on: Maughan, S. 2017. School librarians are teaching digital citizenship. Publishers Weekly, August 18, 2017. https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/libraries/article/74535-school-librarians-are-teaching-digital-citizenship.html#comments



Posted on Publishers Weekly website

I am in favor of librarians contributing to the development of technological and informational literacy. But statements like "information literacy" is our curriculum, and it is "what school librarian teach" concern me. They seem to say that this is all librarians do.

I hope librarians don't forget what their most important job is: connect young people with books for self-selected reading. The research is overwhelming: Self-selected reading is the best route to advanced reading ability, writing, vocabulary, spelling and grammar, and leads to substantial growth in knowledge of many different kinds. Recent studies show reading, especially fiction, leads to positive "habits of mind," including the ability to emphasize with others, and the development of a tolerance for vagueness.  Readers, it is likely, develop a great deal of the competence that underlies information literacy.

For many young people today, the library is their only source of reading material, and librarians are a major source of information about books.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Norwich 2 2017


The INTERMEDIATE LEVEL: READING

Special case of the comprehension hypothesis: the reading hypothesis – reading: source of our reading ability, writing ability (writing style), vocabulary, spelling, grammar competence.  Most powerful form = free voluntary reading (FVR)

FVR as a bridge: 3 stage hypothesis
1.     stories
2.     FVR
3.     Special reading
In each stage, highly intersting
In (2) and (3), narrow, self-selected

WHAT THE RESEARCH SAYS
CORRELATIONAL/MULTIVARIATE STUDIES
Spanish as a foreign language - test of subjunctive was “monitor-free”;
Predictor
Beta
p-value
Study
0.0052
0.72
Residence
0.051
0.73
Reading
0.32
0.034
subjunctive study
0.045
0.76
From: Stokes, Krashen & Kartchner, 1998

Amount of reading & TOEIC scores: each hour of reading = .6 points gain. Mason, B. M. and Krashen, S. 2015. Can second language acquirers reach high levels of proficiency through self-selected reading? An attempt to confirm Nation's (2014) results. International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching 10(2):10-19.  One hour of reading = .6 points on TOEIC

Amount of reading & vocabulary size (English speakers, age 42)
1. Reading at age 42 counts, independent of reading at 16 or younger & previous vocabulary.
2. Fiction counts 
3. Reading counts even when you control for parent occupation and parent education.

4. reading counts more than your own education, AND is independent of your educational level
Sullivan, A. and Brown, M. 2014. Vocabulary from Adolescence to Middle Age. Centre for Longitudinal Studies, University of London




SSR: Sustained silent reading
I: Better than Traditional Instruction

The Fiji Island study (RRQ, 1983): Elley & Mangubhai: gains in RC
grade
ALM
SSR
Big Books
4
6.5
15
15
5
2.5
9
15
year 2: larger differences, readers better in writing, listening and grammar

Reviews of SSR studies with second language acquirers
Effect Sizes for Three Recent SSR Meta-Analyses: English as a foreign language (EFL)

Vocabulary
Reading Comprehension
Krashen (2007)

.87 (15)
Nakanishi (2015)
.18 (9)
.68 (15)
Jeon and Day (2016)
.47 (17)
.54 (46)
Number of studies analyzed in parentheses (  ).

CASE HISTORIES: IMPACT OF FREE READING ON SCHOOL PERFORMANCE
Geoffrey Canada:"I loved reading, and my mother, who read voraciously too, allowed me to have her novels after she finished them. My strong reading background allowed me to have an easier time of it in most of my classes"

Elizabeth Murray (Breaking Night):  "Any formal education I received came from the few days I spent in attendance, mixed with knowledge I absorbed from random readings of my or Daddy's ever-growing supply of unreturned library books. And as long as I still showed up steadily the last few weeks of classes to take the standardized tests, I kept squeaking by from grade to grade."

HOW ABOUT FAKE READING?
Krashen, S. 2011. Nonengagement in sustained silent reading: How extensive is it?
What can it teach us? Colorado Reading Council Journal 22: 5-10.
Rare, especially if you wait a few weeks.
When it occurs, SSR principles violated
evaluation or fear of evaluation/ books too hard/not interesting/rigid rules/finish what you start/books only

COMIC BOOKS?
Spider-Man in the Library: Dorrell & Carroll (1981) placed comic books in a junior high school library, but did not allow them to circulate; students had to come to the library to read the comics.
74 days while comics in library, 57 days before
Circulation of noncomic book material: 30% increase Visits: 82% increase
Dorrell, I. and E. Carroll, 1981. Spider-Man at the library. School Library Journal 27: 17-19. School Systems. New York: Elsevier Science. pp. 89-122.

Comics as a conduit: Bishop Desmond Tutu described his father as “very patriarchal,” but tells us that “One of the things I am most grateful to him for is that, contrary to educational principles, he allowed me to read comics. I think that is how I developed my love for English and for reading.”

Ujiie and Krashen (1996) seventh grade boys who reported more comic book reading also reported for pleasure reading in general. Similar results similar middle class children, those from  low-income families.
OF INTEREST: heavy comic book readers from low-income families reported more overall reading than the occasional and non-comic book reading middle class boys.

GRAPHIC NOVELS
Ramon:  Came to US after 6 years of education in Mexico, knew little English in grade 9. In less than 2 years: read Percy Jackson.
Home run experiencie: Naruto (teenage ninja), winter break of grade 9.  Had been watching TV series in Mexico. Started reading manga in English, borrowed from public and school libraries, online versions.
Self-selected and narrow.  A year and four months after starting to read Naruto manga, he was still reading them. Added Percy Jackson novel after reading them in graphic novel format.
Language Development. In less than two years: just below reclassification level,  Grade 10: earned all A's and B's in his courses, regular subject matter classes with some accomodation for speakers of English as a second language.
Henkin, V. and Krashen, S. 2015. The Naruto breakthrough: The home run book experience and English language development. Language Magazine 15(1): 32-25, published as "The Home Run book experience."
The Long-Term ELL Hypothesis

MAGAZINES Rucker (1982) provided junior high school students with two free magazine subscriptions relating to their personal interests for periods of a year and a year and a half > superior gains on standardized tests of reading (but not on a test of “language,” i.e. mechanics and spelling).

KNOWLEDGE: Stanovich & colleagues: those who read more know more about literature, history, science,  "cultural literacy," "practical knowledge." 
Free voluntary reading & career success: “omnivorous reading in childhood and adolescence correlates positively with ultimate adult success" (Simonton, 1988)

The Case for FICTION
1. Much of voluntary reading is fiction
Thus fiction responsible for literacy devevelpment, knowledge
2. Fiction > literacy development
The UK study: Sullivan and Brown
Mar, R. and Rain, M. 2015  "Narrative fiction and exposity nonfiction differentially predict verbal ability." Scientific Studies of Reading 19: 419-433
University undergrads reported on their reading preferences (1-7 scale) = SR, or took author recognition test

Measure
SR-fiction
SR-nonfiction
ART:fiction
ART:nonfiction
Synonyms
0.32
0.04
0.35
-0.03
Analogies
0.11
0.06
0.17
-0.04
 sentence completion
0.31
0.19
0.35
0.02
reading compr
0.32
0.09
0.32
-0.31
SR= self-report; ART = author recognition test
Table contains partial correlations, controlled for gender, age, yrs of English fluency, foils, other genre).
RESULTS: more fiction > better on vocabulary, tests of reading  (sentence completion; reading comrehension), very modest correlations; more non-fiction > no effect, even sometimes negative.

Other benefits of fiction:
Habits of thought: understand others' points of views, "the capacity to identify and understand others’ subjective states" (Kidd and Castano, 2013).
More tolerance for vagueness, that is, fiction readers are better able to deal with uncertainty, important for problem-solving (Djikic, M., Oatley, K. and Moldoveanu, M. 2013).
President Obama gives fiction the credit for his understanding that "the world is complicated and full of grays ... (and that) it's possible to connect with someone else even though they're very different from you." (The Guardian, Oct 23, 2014).

Long-term effects of light/easy reading
Schoonover (1938)  those who participate in self-selected reading programs eventually choose what experts had decided were “good books.”
LaBrant, 1958: as students mature, they select more complex books and select from a wider vareity of genres
When allowed to select their own books, young readers typically select books that are at their reading level or are harder (Southgate, Arnold, and Johnson, 1981; Shin and Krashen, 2007).
Krashen, Lee, Lao (in press): young readers choose books that are harder as they mature

Pleasure of reading
The extreme pleasure of self-selected reading
- Nell (188): “reading removes me ... from the irritations of living ... for the few hours a day I read ‘trash’ I escape the cares of those around me, as well as escaping my own cares and dissatisfactions."
- Somerset Maugham, in Nell (1988): “Conversation, after a time, bores me, games tire me, and my thoughts, which we are told are the unfailing resources of a sensible man have a tendency to run dry. Then I fly to my book as the opium-smoker to his pipe ...” (p. 232).
Nell: reading before you go to sleep - level of arousal increased during reading, declined just after reading below original level
- 24/26 pleasure readings read in bed “nearly every night” or “most nights” (p. 250).
“Even if I read for only five minutes, I must do it - a compulsion like that of a drug addict!”  “My addiction to reading is such that I almost can’t sleep without a minimum of ten minutes (usually 30-60 minutes) of reading” (Nell, p. 250).

Libraries!
The problem: Access to books. The solution: Libraries. Children of poverty – little access to books at home,  school, in their neighborhoods
Philadlephia: "Children in middle-income neighborhoods were likely to be deluged with books. However, children from poor neighborhoods would have to aggressively and persistently seek them out" (p. 15).  Neuman, S. & Celano, D. (2001). Reading Research Quarterly, 36(1), 8-26. 

The importance of access/libraries: Major source for those in poverty.
Predictors of reading - The PIRLS 2006: over 40 countries, tested in first language
Predictor
eta
P
SES
0.41
0.005
Independent reading
0.16
0.14
Library: 500 books
0.35
0.005
Instruction
-0.19
0.085
r2 = .63  from:Krashen, S., Lee, S.Y. and McQuillan, J. 2012. Is the library important? Multivariate studies at the national and international level. Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 8(1): 26-36.





What about Ebooks? (from Krashen and McQuillan, submitted for publication)

Percentage who have read a print or e-book in the last 12 months.
income 
print book
e-book
below 30,000
69
19
30,000 - 49,999
68
26
50,000 - 74,999
69
33
above 75,000
73
40
N = 1520 adults,  March, 2016   From: Pew Research Center, 2016

Percentage of adults with E-Book-Readers, tablets, computers, smartphones:

Computers
Smartphone
E-Readers
Tablets
Below 30
50
52
14
28
30-49,999
80
69
16
44
50-74,999
90
76
22
51
75 & more
91
87
27
67
Pew Research Center, 2015.
n = 959 adults,  interview during March/April 2015. 

E-Books
School libraries: 12% of collection, 3% of circulation
Public libraries: 7% of collection, 5% of circulation
E-book readers to take home
School libraries: 12%  Public libraries: 38%


Jim Trelease, and Stephen Krashen. " Eating and reading in the library. Emergency Librarian 23.5 (May-June 1996): 27. 
Benefits   It will bring them into the library, tell them we value reading.
With good food, contribute to their well-being and health.
Possible objctions: The mess, the money, parents will take advantage.