A Challenge toEmbrace
One of the most frequently encountered challenges that I have to embrace is the absence of students’ motivation. I don’t know if you would agree with me, but I feel that with each passing year, it becomes increasingly more difficult to maintain students’ motivation to read and improve reading comprehension. Research says that it is teachable and it would be a false
assumption to expect that if a student is good in literacy skills in her native language then these will transfer to learning a second language. Grabe (2009) offers a review of current literature and some interesting insights provided by recent research on the subject. For example, did you know that…
•Reading skills and motivation correlate: Students with higher reading motivation performed significantly better in reading
•Students with high intrinsic motivation also used comprehension strategies more frequently.
•Students who were taught effective comprehension strategies also increased their self-efficacy.
For further research findings and background information about motivation you may want to click on the links below:
John Guthrie (2001) on Contexts for Engagement and Motivation in Reading
C.T.McClure (2008) on Motivation and Reading
Implications of Research for Teaching
Grabe (2009, 192) provided a long and very insightful list of teaching suggestions in his book, and I will share some of my favorites:
- Encourage students to read extensively, both in school and at home
- Promote effective goal setting and expected outcomes
- Promote effective strategies
- Provide motivating feedback on tasks and learning progress
- Create communities of learners who support each other.
Quest to Foster Readıng: CORI
It sounds like a newly found planet in the solar system, right? But, no it is something far more luminous than that. Guthrie and Cox (2001) outlined their thinking about engagement-motivation in reading and they stated that their research to find ways of increasing long-term reading engagement in class began where they (as teachers) began inside a single
classroom and ended with a model of context which they named CORI.
CORI represents the four phases of teaching that comprised the basis of their research study;
- Observe and Personalize (e.g. using a hand-on activity, observing something/concept, asking questions about it, posting them on class walls for the others to read)
- Search and Retrieve (e.g. using other resources (books, the internet, ideas of other people…etc.)
- Comprehend and Integrate (search for info, summarize and monitor comprehension)
- Communicate to others (posters, letters, piece of writing…etc.)
Guthrie and Cox (2001) suggested that CORI can be used as a framework- a blueprint for planning and implementing classroom teaching.
In their article they offered a roadmap/ a questionnaire/ a criteria for the teachers to plan for a variety of contextual factors and assess class practices. I would like to give some examples. They state that
teachers can focus on the areas listed below and screen their practices against the descriptors.
1. Learning and knowledge goals
- I organize my reading lessons around a theme and embed skills and strategies to tap skills training
- My students read about a theme using different kinds of resources..etc.
2. Autonomy support
- Class activities are guided by students’ questions…etc.
3. Strategy Instruction
- I teach students how to use self-questioning techniques (Where did I find the answer? What helped me?)
- My students work in teams to discuss reading strategies that will help them.
4. Collaboration support
- I ask students to form interest groups to read and write about a topic
- I use different grouping patterns including partners, small groups, teams and whole class in the course of materials exploitation.
5. Autonomy Support
- Reading time in class revolves around thematic projects that students help design
- I use group reporting activities in which students work as a team
- My students use their writing as a way of communicating content knowledge to other students
I think that the factors they listed and the descriptors charted under these are very helpful in generating class activities to teach motivation.
Finally Guthrie and Cox (2001) stated that their research concluded that students who were instructed through CORI were significantly more motivated than other students. They say that there are “no quick fixes” but Long-term reading motivation can be built by building a sustained context in which goals are identifies, cognitive strategies are taught explicitly, and
students are given choices, multiple sources to read from, chances of social collaboration and evaluation of students’ work within the context taking
objectives into consideration.
So, all right there are no quick fixes but it is still do-able!!
And here comes the most important question: HOW? Please share…
How do you teach motivation?
Guthrie & Cox (2001). Classroom Conditions for Motivation and Engagement in Reading, Educational Psychology Review, 13 (3), 283-301.
Grabe, W.(2009). Reading in a Second Language Moving From Theory to Practice, Cambridge University Press, New York.