It has been
believed that reading plays a major role in developing other language skills,
including speaking. According to Mart (2012, p. 91), ‘Reading outside the
classroom is the most significant influence on oral communication ability.
Students who read a lot are more likely to speak well.
through reading develop in both fluency and accuracy of expression in their
Arabia, English is regarded as a foreign language and is treated as an
academic subject in schools and universities. In most cases, English is not
the medium of teaching inside the classroom nor is it widely used outside the
classroom. Despite a growing requirement in Saudi Arabia for spoken English in
academic and professional contexts, English language-teaching programs have
failed to meet the requirement. According to Almashy (2013), most speaking
difficulties that Saudi students encounter are related to pronunciation,
grammar, vocabulary, fluency, and they lack of engagement in activities or
tasks that require critical and analytical thinking.
proposes to investigate the impact of extensive reading activities on
developing oral communication abilities in English as a foreign language (EFL)
of Saudi university students. It will answer the following two primary
1) Do Saudi
university students have positive attitudes towards extensive reading
extensive reading activities improve Saudi university students’ EFL oral
competence framework will be adopted as a theoretical basis for this study.
competence encompasses four main components: linguistic, sociolinguistic,
discourse, and strategic competence, and is defined as ‘knowing how, when,
and why to say what to whom’ (Klee, 1998, as cited in Baker, 2008, p. 1).
Communicative competence framework is applied with the following objective:
to ‘allow learners to use the target language in meaningful, interactive and
engaging ways’ (Koike & Hinojosa, 1998, as cited in Baker, 2007, p. 14)
and development in their verbal communication abilities. Extensive reading
activities will be designed to develop students’ communicative competences.
reading can be defined as the following: Individual and silent independent
reading of self-selected materials according to both the interest and level
of a language learner, in an environment which is neither threatening nor
evaluative, where the focus is on obtaining pleasure and information and
achieving a general understanding of content rather than concentrating on
surface details, such as grammatical or lexical points, or specific facts.
(Alshamrani, 2003, p. 22–23)
Empirical studies on reading and other language
skills suggest positive impact on learning. Baker (2008) studied the
relationship between oral fluency and extensive reading activities. He found
that his students showed positive attitudes towards book discussions and
extensive reading activities. He stated that ‘empirical research, as well as,
qualitative evidence, affirms the positive effects of extensive reading to
develop oral fluency, and by extension, communicative competence’ (p. 1).