Extensive reading (also known as Sustained Silent Reading or Free Voluntary Reading), the idea of having students read text of their own choosing without necessarily having to do book reports, etc, is an important instructional strategy that many of use. Its academic benefit has been widely documented, especially by Stephen Krashen.
I thought it would be useful to pull together some of research that backs-up its effectiveness.
Feel free to offer additional suggestions.
You might also be interested in My Best Posts On Books: Why They’re Important & How To Help Students Select, Read, Write & Discuss Them.
Here are my choices for The Best Resources Documenting The Effectiveness of Free Voluntary Reading:
81 Generalizations about Free Voluntary Reading is by Stephen Krashen.
Extensive Reading: Why? and How? is by Timothy Bell.
Extensive Reading: Why? and How? and is another study on extensive reading and ELL’s.
Promoting Extensive Reading among ELT students is an ELT Chat Summary.
What Should Teachers Be Doing During Student “Free Voluntary Reading” Time?
Study: Reading For Pleasure Makes Your Brain Grow (Literally)
Another Study Shows The Benefits Of Reading For Pleasure
Scholastic has unveiled a new website focused on the joy of reading. It includes a number of materials, including videos and a free downloadable book with contributions from educators about their own reading experiences.
In my mind, though, the most valuable part of it is a Reading Research Summary on the “Joy and Power of Reading.” I don’t think you’re going to find a better compilation anywhere.
Statistic Of The Day: New Scholastic Study On Reading
Quote Of The Day: Research Supports Independent Reading
American Educator, the quarterly magazine of the American Federation of Teachers, always has interesting and useful articles in it, and the Spring 2015 edition is no different.
The most useful one to teachers, though, is clearly the one by Daniel Willingham. For The Love Of Reading: Engaging Students in a Lifelong Pursuit is a must-read article for every educator. It’s adapted from his new book, Raising Kids Who Read: What Parents and Teachers Can Do.
Extensive #reading: Here’s another blog post in addition to my program development tips at https://t.co/mV6K6gluSh https://t.co/hJYscu2FWJ
— Jeremy Slagoski (@jdslagoski) August 27, 2016
Sustained Silent Reading: Effects are substantial, it works, & leads to more reading. Response to Shanahan (2016). https://t.co/JW6zJ1ofg8
— Stephen Krashen (@skrashen) October 11, 2016
Independent Reading: A Research Based Defense is from Russ on Reading, and provides a lot of “ammunition” for those of us who advocate for students reading books of their choice.
What Does Research Say Adolescent Readers Need? is from Lucy Calkins.
A Trial of Tiers: Why Silent Reading Beats Other “Tier 1” Interventions All Day Long is from The Backseat Linguist.
New Research Quantifies The Vocabulary Improvement Generated By Reading – Here’s How I Plan To Use It In Class
A5 We cite voluminous research including Anderson, Wilson, and Fielding’s 1988 study establishing that the amount of time students spend reading independently outside of school is the best predictor of achievement. #FromStrivingtoThriving pic.twitter.com/6ZLMcOPKuf
— Annie Ward (@AnnieTWard) January 17, 2018
The Benefits of Reading for Fun is from Edutopia.
Motivate Readers Now! is from Language Magazine.
Independent Reading (IR)📚has many benefits📈for #ELLs Our #ELL2point0 infographic includes
✔️IR activities that are based on #Blooms ✔️research on its benefits
✔️suggestions on how to best implement it in a classroom
📌https://t.co/mgToUNkcMU @michelleshory @skrashen pic.twitter.com/frstyeCd0s
— Irina McGrath, Ph.D. (@irina_mcgrath) September 13, 2022
THE VALUE OF INDEPENDENT READING is form Houghton Mifflin.
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Thanks for compiling this research for us! I love to allow my students to free read in my class, though I often have to cut it short since our class periods are only 45 minutes long. It is nice to know I don’t have to feel guilty for giving up instruction time for reading.
My inexperienced and very young principal refused to allow me to provide 10 minutes of silent reading time to my students during our 55 minute class. I had students who had never finished a book enthusiastically engaging in this activity…I teach 9th grade English in Houston, TX. Even though I advocated for my students, I received no support.