98Juntendo Journal of Global Studies, Vol. 1, (2016)2.2. ER materials The initial plan called for making both hard-copy graded readers and online graded readers available to students in order to provide them with as much choice of platform as possible. Because it was felt that some students may be uncomfortable with read-ing on tablets or smartphones, 360 hard-copy paper readers were made available. Having paper-based readers would allow the program to avoid forcing all students to learn and adapt to an unfamiliar plat-form of online reading, which might have posed an unwelcome challenge for some while trying to focus their efforts on beginning ER. For ease of access—an important design feature to improve engagement (McMurry, Tanner, & Anderson, 2010)—the paper-based graded readers were placed in the Learning Center, a central space in the department that stu-dents pass through or congregate in. The electronic readers were to be made available through the ‘‘XReading’’ system (xreading.com), an online sub-scription service that allows students to access and read graded readers on smartphones, tablets, and PCs. Books can be accessed at any time, and require no trips to the Learning Center or library, and there are no borrowing procedures to undergo. The sys-tem can also track and monitor student reading through (optional) quizzes, short responses to com-pleted books, and measurements of reading speed. Due to an administrative glitch, the electronic read-ing system was not available in April, so the ER program was launched with only the paper-based graded readers. The electronic reading system be-came available in mid May. This was not seen as a signicant setback at the time, however, because it allowed teachers to focus on getting the ER program started with only the paper-based books. It was felt that it would be easier to get the students used to ER with a single platform, and that the electronic option could be added later once the students were familiar with ER.2.3. Orientation at the beginning of the academic year Each of the students in the 10 English classes was given an orientation to ER in April, 2015 at the be-ginning of the semester, at which time the system and benets of ER were carefully explained by the regular English teachers who took students to the Learning Center and explained the levels of books, lending procedures, and the general system. Specic expectations for ER (for example, number of books, target word counts, or recommended amount of reading time) were not given to students. They were simply told that ER involved reading a lot, and could result in many language-learning benets, particularly improved reading ability and vocabu-lary. However, teachers did mention to students, that reading roughly one book per week was a reason-able ER target. A Reading Record Sheet was given to each student, and they were told that this sheet could be lled in as they completed books, and kept in their portfolio. It was suggested that students could show it to their counselor during the manda-tory counseling sessions that they would take throughout the term. This, however, was not de-scribed as mandatory. Some of the teachers encour-aged students to borrow a book when they visited the Learning Center as part of the ER orientation. 2.4. Early engagement results with hard-copy readers A survey was made of the borrowing records three weeks after ER was introduced to students. It showed that a total of 99 books had been taken out, of which 54 had been returned (and presumably read). These results were not very encouraging, as we had recommended that students read at a rate of about one book per week. After three full weeks, and at a time when motivation should have been ex-tremely high, students were clearly not leaping at the opportunity to read extensively.