99Extensive Reading Onboardingtution (April–July, 2015 and April–July, 2016) to see how various program elements can be manipu-lated to encourage greater engagement with ER. First, a brief description will be given of the first year of the program (the 2015 program) and the rec-ommended changes that were made after post-pro-gram assessment and how they were implemented for the second year of the program (the 2016 pro-gram). A more detailed description of the 2015 pro-gram and the assessment that led to these recom-mendations can be found in Van Amelsvoort (2016). The results for the revised second cohort will then be described and the two cohorts will be compared in terms of learner engagement. 2. The 2015 program cohort The design of the initial program year with the first cohort strove to encourage intrinsic motivation and a love for reading in the L2, and to foster auton-omy by offering considerable choice and making access as easy as possible (McMurry, Tanner, & An-derson, 2010). In regular English classes, students were given an orientation to the benefits of ER and the systems for accessing books. Paper readers were kept in the Learning Center, a central space in the department where students frequently congregated, and electronic readers were made available through student subscriptions to XReading (xreading.com) where they could access hundreds of books using their own computers or devices at any time. Stu-dents were given printed rationale for doing ER and instructions for how to do it, and this was supported by teacher explanations. Students were encouraged to participate by their teachers and help was given in some classes in checking out a first book. In addi-tion to reducing the barriers to their participation by making access to the books as easy as possible, stu-dents were not required to take quizzes, or write book reports. Even recording the word counts for books that they read was made optional. Early on in the program it became clear that a problem was occurring with student engagement. And by the end of the first term, a very large num-ber of students (29.3%) had either not attempted or not completed a single book, as can be seen in Table 1. Approximately 60% of students had shown some engagement with ER, yet they had read so little that no effect could be expected. Just less than 15% of students were possibly on course to meeting reading targets that would likely result in tangible gains in reading comprehension or reading speed (Nishizawa, Yoshioka, & Fukada, 2010; Beglar & Hunt, 2014). 2.1. Retooling the program Faced with this lack of engagement, the ER pro-gram was reconsidered and the following changes were recommended, based on a review of relevant literature: 1. Better educate students on the benefits of ER during orientation and repeat the rationale for ER regularly. Explain in detail the mechanism of ER and how much reading will lead to what kinds of gains in proficiency.
2. Hold students accountable for ER by assigning grades to performance. Make ER mandatory Table 1 Numbers of books completed per student in the first term of 2015 (n=123)