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Job Update

A few weeks ago, I started my new job at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  My job title is instructional designer, and thus I will be working with the community college faculty across all subjects and disciplines.  Kirkwood has a large ESL program, but I have not yet had the chance to visit the department yet.

Because of my new job and my current dissertation research project, I will not be writing too much on this blog for the next year.  For all things English language teaching, my time will be spent on my dissertation and Twitter @slagoski23.  I expect to blog here a few times, especially when I encounter an engaging question or a brilliant idea.  In the meantime, I will be creating a new blog related to professional development in community colleges with an emphasis on education technology--like we need another edtech blogger.  When the blog is up and running, I will post the link here.


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What Is So Great About Extensive Reading?

I'm collaborating on a research and development project for integrating extensive reading into intensive English programs. After the initial review of the most recent literature, I was quite surprised at the overwhelming positive effects of extensive reading on reading proficiency, comprehension, and motivation. Although I'm still skeptical, I'd like to share the findings with you.

I looked at 17 articles published since 2012. Although this may not seem like much, 3 of these articles were meta-analyses, which investigated a much larger quantity of studies on extensive reading. Only one was not relevant to intensive English programs, bringing it down to 16 articles. Many of these articles came from the 2015 discussion forums in Reading in a Foreign Language. The majority of those discussion forum articles were not empirical studies, but they went in depth answering "What constitutes extensive reading?" After summarizing these answers, this blog post covers the res…

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Image from What is an Open Educator? According to a recently published article from the International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL):

An Open Educator chooses to use open approaches, when possible and appropriate, with the aim to remove all unnecessary barriers to learning. He/she works through an open online identity and relies on online social networking to enrich and implement his/her work, understanding that collaboration bears a responsibility towards the work of others.

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The passage above comes from Chapter 3: Spelling Tuesday, page 26. It's not a subtle attack on academics, specifically those whose goals are to get published to be accepted among an elite circle of scholars. This is particularly striking to me because, at this point in my life, I would like to gain acceptance among this elite circle, which I perhaps naively equate to tenured professors. However, I strive to make my life's work beneficial to English language te…