Case histories are real science, as long as we do enough of them and pay attention to crucial characteristics of our subjects’ experiences. The case studies presented here provide confirmation of central hypotheses in language acquisition and have interesting practical implications. Eight subjects, former students of the first author, reported the self-selected reading they did on their own time: the mean gain was .6 of a point per hour of reading on the TOEIC, with very little variation among subjects, even though they read different things.

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