INVESTIGATING THE EFFECTS OF A RESEARCH-BASED READING GROUPS PROGRAM ON HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT ATTITUDES TOWARD PLEASURE READING
Zayed University (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:Reading is considered a key to knowledge and a measure of development among nations. Research consistently shows that pleasure reading expands the knowledge of young adults and affects their school achievement and future career professional development (Hughes-Hassell & Rodge, 2007). A review of literature showed a decline in reading attitudes among teenagers. Hence, there is a true need of programs that would encourage high school students to devote more of their time to pleasure reading.
This mixed methods study explored the effects of “I Read.. I am a National” program conducted in three female high schools in Abu Dhabi on 292 students’ habits toward reading for pleasure. The study attempted to explore the different facets of the students’ attitudes toward reading before, during, and after a reading groups program was conducted. The study also investigated the factors embedded in the “I Read” program that effected student practices and attitudes toward reading. The investigation was achieved using qualitative and quantitative instruments collected from: 6 teacher interviews, 20 sessions’ observations, 12 student focus groups, 256 student pre attitude surveys, and 239 post attitude surveys.
The results showed that students had better attitudes toward reading, they read more books, and they developed readers’ habits after they joined the “I Read” program. The findings suggest that in order to increase students’ motivation, it is crucial to provide them with the books that match their preferences. A key hook for all students is to involve them in discussion sessions and encourage them to talk about the books they read. Reading groups provide a motivating factor in encouraging reading and developing reading habits. Teachers and librarians need to value social interaction around books as an important means for students to learn and to become motivated to read. Readers learn, through social interaction with other readers, that reading is entertaining and stimulating (Strommen & Mates, 2004). The findings of this study could help education leaders, teachers, parents, and librarians to apply strategies and develop programs that will contribute to increasing teenagers’ motivation toward reading.