Using Free Online Technology to Improve English Ability: Extensive Reading through MReader to Encourage Autonomous Learning
Teaching reading to students as a second or foreign language can be a challenge for teachers as many students tend to find reading itself a dull and boring activity; however, reading also has many benefits that aid students in developing their overall English ability. This paper investigates how extensive reading (ER) with the free online application of MReader benefits students in reading and other English language skills. Through a quantitative survey and two reading-speed tests conducted over a period of one academic year, the findings show that the students improved in their reading speed, and felt improvement in their overall English ability including vocabulary, speaking, and confidence. The findings show that through ER and MReader, students can gain motivation and become autonomous learners outside the classroom. This paper also introduces ways for teachers and schools to implement reading programs into already established academic programs without interruption or burden through online technology.