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Understanding the Factors Influencing Saudi Primary Students’ Reading Engagement: A Mixed Methods Approach

Alateeq, Ziyad (2016) Understanding the Factors Influencing Saudi Primary Students’ Reading Engagement: A Mixed Methods Approach. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This thesis presents research on Saudi primary students’ reading engagement. It is an exploration of the factors influencing Saudi primary students’ reading engagement, concentrating on reading for pleasure. The reading for pleasure literature argues that the significance of engagement with reading or reading for pleasure in children’s lives in terms of their educational and personal development is unarguably immense. Different studies indicate the important role that reading for pleasure plays in promoting children’s literacy skills. However, some Saudi authors claim that most Saudi children are reluctant to read for pleasure, with the few studies that have investigated this issue suggesting that most children in Saudi Arabia are motivated to read but do not necessarily enjoy reading. This research aims to understand the factors influencing Saudi primary children’s engagement with reading. A mixed methods approach was applied in an exploratory, sequential mixed methods design. Semi- structured interviews were conducted with 12 boys from grades four, five and six (aged nine, ten and eleven). Q methodology and a ‘reading materials’ questionnaire (RMQ) were also used with a total of 37 primary students from the same age group as the interview participants but from different schools. All the participants were from a mid-sized city in the north of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The results indicate that students’ reading engagement is strongly influenced by different factors and that their religion, Islam, plays a major role. The study also suggests that while Saudi children do get pleasure from reading, this pleasure differs substantially from the Western concept of ‘reading for pleasure’, as their enjoyment is related to ‘doing well’ in reading, rather than gaining pleasure from accessing the content of reading material. Given that there is evidence to suggest that parents and teachers in Saudi want their children to benefit from greater engagement with reading, the research’s findings have significant implications for both Saudi children’s in-school and out of school reading experience and literacy education. It is argued that in order to promote engagement with reading in Saudi it is necessary to build on children’s existing construction of reading for enjoyment that is shaped by cultural and religious factors.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.692444
Depositing User: Mr Z Alateeq
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2016 15:17
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:26
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/13796

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