What did you read today? Reading habits of newly arrived refugee background adult students as they commence their tertiary education in New Zealand.

Field, Jenny (2014) What did you read today? Reading habits of newly arrived refugee background adult students as they commence their tertiary education in New Zealand. ALANZ Symposium, Auckland, New Zealand, 29 November, 2014.

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The link between the ability to read well and students’ performance, career potential and personal success is well understood (Kearsley, 2002; Lo Bianco & Freebody, 1997). When discussing curriculum principles in a reading programme Grabe (2011) argues for ‘consistency and variation in teaching as well as resources that are interesting, varied, attractive, abundant and accessible.’ As cohorts in English language programmes in NZ tertiary institutions are increasingly educationally, linguistically, and orthographically diverse, a reading programme that acknowledges students’ diverse needs and educational backgrounds seems to be an appropriate response. This classroom-based research interviewed students from mainly refugee backgrounds and attempted to understand the underlying factors that contributed to their uptake when re-starting their tertiary education. This talk asserts that teachers benefit from gaining insights into students’ educational backgrounds and the factors in their countries of origin that influence their learning. In an effort to understand what students read routinely, students were interviewed at three points during the academic year. The TEC literacy assessment tool Starting Points, which was administered initially, enquired about students’ educational background and their reading routines. This study further investigated the students’ reading habits at the mid and end point of the one year course. Students discussed their reading behaviours both at home and at the institution. The findings revealed that they were engaging with a wide variety of reading experiences and routines, and to varying degrees they were reading L1, L2 texts and using digital media as they responded to their social, functional and educational needs.

Item Type:Paper presented at a conference, workshop, or other event which was not published in the proceedings
Keywords that describe the item:reading habits, refugee, adult students, tertiary, education
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions:Schools > Centre for Languages
ID Code:3466
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Deposited On:15 Dec 2014 22:38
Last Modified:15 Dec 2014 22:38

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