Extensive Reading Approached Critically with Literary Theory

  • Neil Addison
Keywords: Graded readers, extensive reading, critical reading


This paper argues that English students need to acquire critical and cultural perspectives to achieve broader competence of graded readers, and outlines course design undertaken at a Japanese university where students were taught mediated, simplified literary criticism such as Marxism, Feminism and Post-colonialist theory. Learners were then encouraged to apply these theoretical reading approaches when discussing personally selected graded readers, and additionally when answering essay assignment questions about the meanings of the texts they had read. Corpus analysis of the vocabulary employed in these assignments discusses whether students were able to use such ideas to engage with graded readers more dynamically and analytically, while post course qualitative and quantitative questionnaire response data is also examined and discussed.