ADMC Reads – Student VoicesHelene Demirci and Maree Starck
At Abu Dhabi Men’s College, Foundations students involved in the ADMC Reads extensive reading program select and read graded readers which they find easy to read and which are of their particular interest. In doing this students are able to review known vocabulary and learn new vocabulary while also reviewing basic grammar. Word automaticity is also enhanced as is reading speed.
When students have read a book they complete a quiz to earn points using the free online tracking system – M-reader. The words read in the book are converted to points and the points earned are used to compete both within the college each cycle to receive certificates, medals, trophies and gift vouchers. The competition also takes place on an international level, and many ADMC students have achieved recognition for their achievements in reading extensively on the M-reader international leaderboard.
From past experience using the competition and prizes to ignite a reading spark has been successful in not motivating students to read extrinsically, but it has also been instrumental in improving intrinsic motivation to read in English. This became even more evident when students were asked to write a reflection of their experiences within the extensive reading program at the end of Cycle 1, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
Students commented on how their English had improved. One student wrote ‘Before M-Reader I don’t read one book but before five weeks I read four books about different topics and I think improved my reading and grammar and step by step…’. Another commented ‘…before the college start I was in National Service… and I forgot all information about reading and writing, but I learn when I took the books in library’. One student also realized how reading affects many aspects of language learning, with the reflection ‘I learned many vocabulary and how I can read and spelling the word’.
Students explained how their future reading habit would change. A student commented ‘…I learned new grammar and new vocab, and I did my best to get the points and learn more and more because I want a good future but to do that I have to … develop my skill in the read…”. Reflections such as ‘When I start reading books my English language improved…. I think I’m gonna read more books to help me to improve my English language very fast’ show realization of the power of being able to read.’
Many students have found this program to useful in developing a love of reading. One student reflected that while at first he thought it was hard to read and chose books at too high a level just to try to get points, he then ‘took the book like my level. I read the book. I found it easy, so I felt good and happy. Then I liked it.’ Another student observed ‘I think some students they don’t read any book and now they know how to read and I think they enjoy with this.’The insights provided by the students about the ADMC Reads extensive reading program provide further support of the effectiveness of the program in engaging students in reading and promoting teacher and learner awareness of how extensive reading positively affects learners’ ideas about themselves as readers and their about language acquisition.