The JALT Extensive Reading SIG

The JALT ER SIG exists to help promote Extensive Reading (ER) in Japan and via our website, our newsletter, the ERJ Journal, and presentations throughout Japan we aim to help teachers set up and make the most of their ER programmes.

全国語学教育学会多読分野別研究部会「JALT ER SIG」は、講師達がERプログラムをスムーズに始められるよう、またそれを有効的に利用できることを目的に活動しています。またこの概念を元に、私達のウエブサイト、会報、ERJ雑誌、プレゼンテーションなどを通じERの促進を促しています。

Establishment of the SIG and Past List of Officers

History: The Extensive Reading Special Interest Group (ER SIG) of the Japan Association of Language Teaching (JALT) was established in 2008 by Daniel Stewart who helped build it into one of the strongest groups within JALT. Daniel was coordinator of the SIG from 2008 until ....... He was the Editor of the Journal of Extensive Reading in Japan (ERJ) from its inaugural Volume 1 Number 1 in Summer of 2008 until Volume 4.3 of 2011. He also established and maintained the SIG's first website, The front page can still be accessed HERE.

Below is a snapshot of the formation of the SIG and the past officers who have given of their time, effort and expertise over the years. It is a work in progress and any corrections or further details are welcome. As coordinator, Daniel was succeeded first by Mark Brierley, next by Bjorn Fuisting from 2011 ~ mid-2012 and then Thomas Bieri (mid-2012~2017). Mark Brierley took over as Editor for the ERJ from Volume 5.1 in June, 2012 to the present. Peter Hourdequin established our peer-reviewed online publication in OJS, The Journal of Extensive Reading, which published its first article in 2013.

Past Officers


What is Extensive Reading (ER)?

Extensive Reading is often referred to but it is worth checking on what it actually involves.  Richard Day has provided a list of key characteristics of ER (Day 2002). This is complemented by Philip Prowse (2002). Maley (2008) deals with ER comprehensively. The following is a digest of the two lists of factors or principles for successful ER

  1. Students read a lot and read often.
  2. There is a wide variety of text types and topics to choose from.
  3. The texts are not just interesting: they are engaging/ compelling.
  4. Students choose what to read.
  5. Reading purposes focus on: pleasure, information and general understanding.
  6. Reading is its own reward.
  7. There are no tests, no exercises, no questions and no dictionaries.
  8. Materials are within the language competence of the students.
  9. Reading is individual, and silent.
  10. Speed is faster, not deliberate and slow.
  11. The teacher explains the goals and procedures clearly, then monitors and guides the students.
  12. The teacher is a role model…a reader, who participates along with the students.