The Extensive Reading classes formed themselves into three experimental groups in the following manner: A few weeks after the beginning of the ER class in April, the students in one class (henceforth class JSG, Japanese Summary Group) requested that they write their summaries in Japanese rather than English, because they felt that it was too difficult to write in English. Another class (henceforth class CORRECTION) requested that their English summaries be corrected. Other classes did not request anything beyond the required work. A third class (henceforth class ESG, English Summary Group) was selected to be a third experimental group that would write their summaries in English. Class ESG was chosen because classes JSG, COR and ESG all met in the afternoon. Thus, the three groups were: (a) a group that read extensively and wrote book summaries in Japanese (JSG: Japanese Summary Group, n = 34), (b) a group that read extensively and wrote book summaries in English (ESG: English Summary Group, n = 34), and (c) a group that read extensively, wrote book summaries in English, received corrective feedback from a native speaker of English, rewrote the corrected summaries, and submitted the rewritten summary (Correction Group, n = 36). Thus, participants in this study chose their treatment, and were not forced to do anything that they did not agree to do.
An experienced teacher, a native speaker of British English with a master's degree in Second Language Acquisition provided corrective feedback on the summaries written by the correction group. He had been at this junior college for over ten years. We agreed on the following points regarding the feedback. He would:
|(a)||concentrate on global errors that affect overall meaning and organization,|
|(b)||mark the error and sometimes supply the correct form, and sometimes not, using his own judgment as to whether it was necessary to provide the form,|
|(c)||indicate when he did not understand the story line,|
|(d)||note whether the story was coherent or complete,|
|(e)||point out grammatical errors that he feels are necessary for the learner to pay attention to, but|
|(f)||not correct every grammatical error.|
Errors were corrected 25 times over three semesters for participants in the Correction group who submitted summaries.