LITERATURE, LITERACY AND ADOLESCENT MOTIVATION TO READ. A REVIEW OF THE CURRENT LITERATURE

A. Causarano1, P.N. Causarano2

1Alfred University, New York (UNITED STATES)
2University of New Mexico (UNITED STATES)
It is a given that teachers in the content areas strive to enhance the reading motivation and literacy achievement of adolescent learners. In order to accomplish this important goal, content area teachers must take into account different components of the literacy process. The most important among many is the ability of the content area teacher to motivate students to read by giving them choices on what to read in the curriculum. Content area teachers must develop and carry on teaching and learning in the content areas by becoming aware and understand the importance of good literature specific to their content areas and how the choices made affect adolescent learners to read with engagement, critical thinking and an in depth understanding of the content of the specific area of the curriculum.

According to Kane (2008) four components must be in place to support students' motivation to read and engage with the curriculum in the content areas:
(a) Effective instructional strategies embedded in content where content area teachers use texts to unpack adolescent learners' motivation to read;
(b) support adolescent learners' self-directed learning in the content areas;
(c) multicultural approach to the curriculum and
(d) ability to infuse literacy strategies for effective reading comprehension in the content areas.

This paper reviews the current literature on how literature supports adolescent learners’ ability to engage with texts and support adolescent learners to become motivated and independent readers and learners.

Four areas of current literature will be discussed:
(a) Literature on motivation and reading in adolescent learners;
(b) the nature of adolescent learners in K-12 schools in the United States;
(c) genres content areas teachers can use in the different content areas and
(d) strategies that support the literacy development of adolescent learners using books beyond the traditional textbooks. A discussion for future research will be presented.

References:
Kane, S. (2008). Integrating Literature in the Content Areas. Enhancing Adolescent Learning and Literacy. AZ: Holcomb Hathaway, Publishers.