ESL Speed Readings: the app
Speed reading is an important skill for language learning. It falls into Paul Nation's fluency strand of language learning. Speed reading is considered a fluency activity because there should be no unknown vocabulary, or at least very little, in the readings. With an understanding all of the words, learners can focus on increasing their reading speed, instead of slowing down to guess the meaning of unknown vocabulary. At the English Language Institute, Victoria University of Wellington, teachers have been incorporating speeding reading for years. Over the years, Sonia Millett, Paul Nation, and Emmy Quinn have written over 100 stories for the speed reading component at the Institute. Each of these stories has a comprehension quiz which consists of 10 multiple-choice questions. Until recently, these stories were only available in PDF format. This presentation introduces the newest format for the speed readings. The speed readings have been used to create a mobile app titled 'ESL Speed Readings'. This is a free app and is available for Android and iOS devices. The app comes with 100 stories at four different graded levels. The app takes care of the entire speed reading process, including automatic quiz scoring and data visualization. By doing so, learners can focus on increasing their reading speed without worrying about writing down their reading time or grading their own quizzes. Additionally, the app uses standard words per minute, has a reading timer that is accurate to 0.4 words, and provides frequent customized feedback to the learner based on their past performance. The presenter, who is the developer of the app, will demonstrate the app, detail its mechanics, discuss implications for research and pedagogy, and highlight future updates.