The Influence of Graded Reading on Senior High School Students' Reading Ability

Academic Paper, 2022

26 Pages



Lists of Tables

1. Introduction
1.1. Background of the study

2. Literature Review
2.1. Graded Reading
2.2. Study on relevant graded reading at home and abroad
2.2.1. Previous study on graded reading studies abroad
2.2.2. Previous study on of domestic graded reading studies

3. Research and Design
3.1. Research Issues
3.2. Study Subjects
3.3. Study Methods
3.4. Data analysis

4. Analysis of the Effect of Graded Reading on Reading
4.1. The impact of graded reading on students' learning interest
4.2. Effect of graded reading on students' academic performance

5. Conclusion

6. References

7. Appendix


The objective of this study was to investigate the impacts of graded reading on the students reading in high school, Graded reading was another method of teaching that make students find it easy and fun to learn and more about texts by getting information from many sources. The subjects of the study were 27 students who were experimented with a quasi-experimental technique by use of a quantitative approach. The instrument was using questionnaires and test observation. The technique of data analysis was by use of paired t-test from SPSS22. The Results of the analysis showed that the mean pretest was 80,86 and for the post-test was 85, 56. The mean of the post-test was high than the pretest experiment of those who were taught by graded reading. The study concluded that the implementation of graded reading will bring about positive results to the students. This was supported by the results made from observation where students were eager to learn more, had many vocabularies, has fun and the class seemed to be enjoyable.

Keywords: Graded reading, reading comprehension

Lists of Tables

Table 1: Pre-Questionnaire Results

Table 2: Pretest Descriptive Statistics

Table 3: PostTest Descriptive Statistics

Table 4: Results

1. Introduction

Grasping a foreign language and being fluent in, requires a significant investment of time and resources. A student who is learning a new language needs to command every aspect of the language. Reading is an important part of any language, and it plays a significant role in language development. Reading, therefore, becomes twice as essential for a learner to be successful in the new language. One of the criteria of measuring competence in a foreign language is the ability of a student to read fast and with a complete understanding of what they are reading in the text.

One of the ways that have been observed to improve the fluency of students is through graded reading. Graded reading has created a platform where students especially those not fluent in a language to boost their reading culture and knowledge by graded reading. This is the reading according to the language level of the student , hence making it easy for the student to capture and grasp important aspects in language. The teacher ensures that there is no use of complex vocabulary and this gives the reader a chance to gain more knowledge on any vocabulary that the teacher introduces little by little. Students are able to express themselves after using graded reading for there is expected results after use of it.

To get more information, you need to incorporate reading as an important skill. In schools’ students begin having reading lessons from the playgroup class, kindergarten, elementary, junior, and senior high school to university level. Students get to learn English as a foreign language in the schools. The main reason students are taught reading is for them to improve their reading comprehension. The students will be able to be fluent readers and gain more information. They are also able to communicate using the language that they have learn and this makes it easy to gain more knowledge.

1.1. Background of the study

The study was necessitated by the fact that many students in China were learning English as a foreign language and more research on how teaching was done needed to be conducted. There was limited research on how these students were able to grasp reading comprehension without much difficulty. There was the need to conduct graded reading to investigate the effects it would have on reading comprehension especially among the high school students in China.

2. Literature Review

The study sought to investigate the effect of graded reading on high school students. In the previous chapter, the introduction and background were provided. The main objective was to investigate the impact of extensive reading on reading comprehension as a teaching tool in English learning. In this chapter, there will an exploration of graded reading and what it entails. Elements such as graded readers will be covered studies as well as relevant graded reading at home and abroad. This will be important in understanding why graded reading is considered an effective tool, and it also provided the basis for conducting the study.

2.1. Graded Reading

Graded reading is also referred to as extensive reading (Waring, 1998). It is a form of reading that involves reading many texts that can capture the attention of the reader. It mostly involves reading simplified text that matches the language level of the learner. The main aim of grading reading is not to primarily teach the language, but to develop general comprehension of the text and reading fluency. Reading a large number of texts enables the student to develop reading speed and enhances their confidence in reading in a certain language. Extensive or graded reading helps the learner to grasp vocabulary and grammar knowledge. It enables the student to develop a rich understanding of the language by expanding their word pool. When reading these extensive texts, learners will most likely revisit unfamiliar words and grammar paying particular attention to them. The continued repetition of the new word and grammar enables a student to process them much faster the last time they saw the phrase, sentence structure, or word. Graded reading is there important in exposing students to a good level of language practice. This can only improve their proficiency in the long run.

Several studies have been conducted in the past that have highlighted the benefits that graded reading brings for students. For instance, Iwahori (2008) conducted a study where the aim was to find ways in which reading proficiency could be improved among a group of Japanese Students. The study concluded that graded or extensive reading had a significant impact on influencing language proficiency and was also effective in increasing the reading frequency of the children. This, therefore, shows that extensive reading can be used to promote language development, especially for students learning a foreign language. Horst (2005) also conducted a study aiming to determine its effectiveness and whether it had any impact on students learning a new language. The results from the study indicated that graded reading had a major impact in increasing the vocabulary among the participants of the study. Other researchers have found that graded reading has been closely linked to increasing motivation and determination to learn a new language. Takase (2003) concluded that participants showcased a willingness to continue with learning a new language when graded reading was introduced as part of the teaching of the new language. This goes to show that, graded reading can be used as an important tool to improve English learning among Chinese High School students.

To effectively improve the language learning of students, graded readers are used. Understandably, learning a second language can be challenging, and therefore learners need to be provided with texts that match their novice level. Graded readers help in this way. Graded readers can be described as “books written for learners of English using limited lexis and syntax” (Hill, 2008, p. 185). When students are capable to read at their ability level, it has been observed that it could improve their fluency and reading confidence. There is usually a significant amount of limited vocabulary and grammatical structures that accompany graded readers. Learners must read texts that are on their reading level and proficiency of a new language because they will likely be facing a huge number of unfamiliar words and phrases. If they are overwhelmed by the number of unfamiliar words, this hinders their reading of a certain text, and in the process negatively affects their confidence. When this happens their interest in the new language can start to wane. The main aim is to encourage the readers and not to discourage them from reading in the new language.

Graded readers usually involve the repetition of a new word, phrases, and grammar so that the student can become familiar with them and can identify them more easily. For this reason, as a student continues to learn new words and phrases their interest in the language can be cultivated, and in the end, can lead to a better understanding of the new language. They can therefore be encouraged to read even more. It is therefore clear that graded readers help to hone the reading abilities of English learners. For instance, Waring and Takki (2003) suggest that the vocabulary development of students learning English can be significantly assisted through the extensive use of graded readers. According to Nation & Mingtzu, (199, p. 356) “gaining skills and fluency in reading, establishing previously learned vocabulary and grammar, learning new vocabulary and grammar” can be facilitated by the use of graded readers.

Reading is a significant contributor to language development and proficiency. Not only does it improve the vocabulary of the learners, but it can also aid in reading comprehension. Through graded readers, a student gets to see and understand how certain words are to be used in sentences. After getting to understand how phrases are used in texts, the learners can get motivated to use them in their daily communication with peers and teachers alike. Research has shown that students stand to gain immensely when they read a lot and a wide variety of texts. Renandya and Jacobs (2016) suggested that through extensive reading, students can improve their speaking and listening skills. This shows the importance of graded readers as being crucial elements in learning a new language and promoting writing skills. Because of increased lexical knowledge, speaking and listening skills are likely to receive a significant boost in the process.

2.2. Study on relevant graded reading at home and abroad

This section is the exploration and analysis of previous studies conducted on graded reading at home and in foreign countries. This was important to get an insight as to what has currently been the practice on graded reading in China, and what constitutes the practice in other countries. This was to gain an understanding of the effectiveness of extensive reading in learning English as a second language.

2.2.1. Previous study on graded reading studies abroad

Sakurai (2017) conducted a study among second-year non-English majors in Japan. The study involved 157 student participants and it involved the students undertaking writing tests which were used to evaluate their grasp of the English language. The students were divided into two groups, one which had been undertaking graded reading while the second group comprised of students who had no prior experience in undertaking graded reading. The results were analyzed using Pearson’s Correlation coefficient. The findings provided significant conclusions that graded reading was positively related to high writing scores. The author further conducted a one-way analysis of variance and made the number of words read as the independent variable while the dependent variable included the total scores language use, lexical resource, cohesion and coherence, writing, and task achievement. The findings indicated that the number of words had a positive correlation with grammar and vocabulary. Results also suggested that students who had accomplished reading many English words wrote better grammatically and lexically. This shows that graded reading has the potential of helping students improve their reading and writing skills which is consistent with other studies conducted in the field.

Delfi and Yamat (2017) conducted an article review of previous studies that touched on graded reading for students in Indonesia. The study was primarily based on a case study of two Indonesian students' experiences with graded reading. The authors aimed to describe how graded reading influenced and promoted English fluency and competency. It was concluded that graded reading promoted language competency. From the results, it was determined that the more a student read, the more language get acquired, which promotes language competency both in reading and writing. The recommendation from the authors was for the text being read by the Indonesian students was to be adjusted to match the Indonesian learners. The explanation is that, in graded reading, a student needs to read a huge amount of text. Therefore it is important to find text that is likely to interest the reader. When the text is interesting it is likely to motivate and spur their interest in reading using a foreign language. It has been observed that, when the text becomes boring, students are likely to drop interest in the language and therefore lose encouragement in learning English.

Lin (2014) conducted a study in Taiwan to investigate the effectiveness of mobile devices in increasing the effectiveness of graded reading among adolescent English learners. The study divided the participants into two groups, one which used a desktop computer for their online and reading tasks, while the second group consisted of students provided with mobile tablets. The class was taught by one teacher. All the students undertook in-class reading assignments, after which they were encouraged to read on their electronic devices. After ten weeks, the results from the study indicated that students who were provided with mobile devices read more compared to the students who were provided with desktop computers. Further analysis showed that the students that used mobile tablets for their reading assignments outperformed their desktop counterparts in reading achievements. This indicated that the more students read the more they grasped English more. This is consistent with other studies that have shown that more extensive reading results in better reading outcomes.

2.2.2. Previous study on of domestic graded reading studies

Kirin et al. (2012) conducted a research study to evaluate the effectiveness of graded reading among a group of Chinese students who were assigned to read Thai texts. There were expected to read these texts for pleasure for one semester. The sample was purposively selected and it consisted of 44 Chinese students. The content of the text differed depending on the student’s language level, choices, and interests. The results included students’ scores from reading comprehension and the teacher’s perceptions. At the end of the semester, each student was asked how many pages they had completed. They were then divided into a high group which comprised of students who had completed more than two hundred pages, while the low group had read fewer than two hundred pages. After the analysis using SPSS software, the analysis showed that the high group students performed significantly better in their reading speed and comprehension. The recommendation and discussion provided by the authors were that the content of the provided text had a significant influence on the inability of students to continue with the reading. They, therefore, advised that there should be more graded readers in Thai who had interesting information which can motivate learners to undertake the extensive reading. The authors referred English graded readers which had a wide range of interesting texts, and which yielded much better results when it came to reading comprehension and proficiency among the same student group selected for the study.

A study conducted by Sun (2020) in a Chinese secondary school also concluded that interesting texts captured the attention of students and therefore improved their motivation in undertaking reading activities in the English language. The study aimed at sourcing perceptions from teachers and students alike on their view about extensive reading and its effectiveness in improving their English proficiency. Original English novels were the main reading materials for the study and they were chosen by both the students and teachers who were participating in the study. Students’ reading journals and semi-structured interviews were the main methods of data collection. It was concluded that teachers are important for guidance purposes. However, it was observed that novels proved effective in increasing the extensive reading in the students, and which significantly improved their grasp of the English language.


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The Influence of Graded Reading on Senior High School Students' Reading Ability
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influence, graded, reading, senior, high, school, students, ability
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Joseph Kariuki (Author), 2022, The Influence of Graded Reading on Senior High School Students' Reading Ability, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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