Reading to Learn or Teaching to Read: the Roles of Learners and Teachers in an Extensive Reading Programme

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Shane Michael Donald

Abstract

Extensive reading is predicated on the belief that the teacher’s role is to guide and facilitate the reading process while learners self-select texts based on interest and ease of reading (Day and Bamford, 1998). However, this situation is potentially problematic, given that teachers and learners may possess differing viewpoints regarding reading material. Having autonomy in choosing what to read may place learners in an unfamiliar position, while instructors may wish to exercise agency in selecting texts to ensure that reading materials are at a suitable level for learners. Utilizing focus groups and stimulated recall interviews, this research examines the beliefs learners and instructors have regarding text selection. Findings suggest that learners select texts based on factors other than difficulty level, while instructors may feel ambiguity regarding their role; pre-selection of texts may ensure learners read at a suitable level but at the expense of choosing readings that are of personal interest.

Article Details

Section
Extensive Reading World Congress Proceedings