The goal of this study is thus to compare the impact of extensive reading with three kinds of supplementation: students writing summaries in their primary language (Japanese) of what they have read, a condition that relies only on reading for language development; students writing summaries in English, a test of the hypothesis that supplementation using writing will enhance the power of reading, and students writing summaries in English, having their errors corrected, and rewriting the summaries. The rewriting condition was included because of claims that correction alone is insufficient: It has been claimed that students must also rewrite and incorporate the corrections in a subsequent version of their paper (Chandler, 2003). This third condition tests the hypothesis that additional writing plus grammar correction will enhance the power of reading.
Because of the claim that error correction might have different effects on different measures, three different tests were used, including one that allowed a considerable amount of focus on form under conditions similar to those present during the treatment, grammatical accuracy in writing.
An interesting feature of the design was that it was possible to ensure that students were in agreement with each method of supplementation; those who wrote English summaries agreed that this was an effective plan, and those who had their errors corrected were unanimous in their desire to receive grammar correction. In a sense, this loaded the study for success, reducing the chance that a negative result was due to students' discomfort with the method used.
The participants in this study were 104 first-year female English majors in an extensive reading (ER) class at a junior college in Osaka, Japan. Their average scores on the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) were 123.64 (SD = 35.19) for the reading section and 153.62 (SD = 47.51) for the listening section out of a possible score of 495 for each section. The TOEFL equivalent of the total score would be approximately 351-371 (Axe & Belle, 2004).