After participating in the meeting at TKC, I can't get rid of the comment, repeating over and over in my head. "Japanese kids don't need to learn English in English. " According to the "experienced" senior teacher, Japanese children need to do grammar-translation because that's the skill they are expected to achieve at school and their ultimate goal is to get better grades on tests.
Whether I agre with it or not, somewhat it is true. As far as most of, if not all, my students are concerned, they are going to stay and make living in Japan. And their interest is how to make better living in this country. Considering the goal most of the children have (or have trained to believe), further research on "effectiveness" of ER is needed.
Since Spelling is one of the main area for the grades at Japanese schools, investigating on the connection between reading and spelling might be useful. The positive feeling I have towards extensive reading as a way of substantial and comprehensible input inspires a hypothesis that ER can improve spelling.
Krashen and Day have already claimed that there is a "casual relationship" between ER and spelling.
I wonder if it can make an interesting Action Research.
Gotta read some more!