Free Voluntary Reading: Promoting Vocabulary Learning and Self-Directedness

  •  Diana Carolina Durán Bautista    
  •  Mario Alberto Rendón Marulanda    


This action research study focuses on measuring the impact of a Free Voluntary Reading Program on students’ active vocabulary use and self-direction in language learning in two different programs of English as a foreign language. The impetus for this research came from close observation and a needs analysis that confirmed students’ reluctant attitude towards reading, due to deficiency in vocabulary, as well as the limited access to books of their interest in the target language. The implementation of the program took place in blended classes in two university contexts, with 14 and 11 students respectively. All the students from both universities were classified in the A1 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and their ages ranged from 16-21 years. The data was collected using a pretest and a posttest, students’ diaries, pre and post implementation surveys and book reviews. The program attempted to promote extensive reading, self-direction, reading habits, vocabulary gain and a more positive attitude towards written stories.

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