Joining the online literacy club: Internet reading among Saudi EFL learners
Ali Al-Rajhi, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, United States
Indiana University of Pennsylvania . Awarded
Research indicates that extensive reading has been an effective approach for learning a language and therefore, more investigation in different contexts is needed. One major requirement for the success of the extensive reading approach is the availability of large amounts of materials for doing extensive reading. In many countries including Saudi Arabia, it has not been easy to gain access to such materials; however, the Internet has become as a potential solution for the lack of these materials.
This qualitative research explores the experiences of Saudi female and male EFL learners in doing extensive reading through the Internet. Five female and five male Saudi EFL learners are interviewed in this study. A skeptical group of three females and two males was added to the study to learn more about their attitudes towards Internet reading. Samples of the participants' writing that were written over a period of time are analyzed. Emails are used for facilitating and arranging the interviews and for follow up questions whenever needed. Using multiple qualitative methods including interviews, documents, and emails, this study attempts to answer three research questions about the attitudes and beliefs of the participants concerning the following issues: (1) the benefits, features, and problems of Internet reading; (2) the impact of Internet reading on the participants, writing styles; (3) the impact of Internet reading on the participants, cultural-awareness.
This study shows that the majority of the participants have positive attitudes and successful experiences with Internet reading. The participants stated that Internet reading has many benefits, features and some problems. Based on the responses of this study, Internet reading has a positive impact on writing styles as well as cultural awareness.
Al-Rajhi, A. Joining the online literacy club: Internet reading among Saudi EFL learners. Ph.D. thesis, Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
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