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Critical Review on A Literacy

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Nasser, R. (2013) ‘A Literacy Exercise: An Extracurriculum Reading Program as an Intervention to Enrich Student Reading Habits in Qatar’.

In this paper it will be argued that Nasser’s study of a literacy exercise as an extracurriculum reading program to increase the students interest in reading is an interesting but problematic piece of research. Conceptual bases, research methods, and practical implications will be the main points of how the argument will be developed through a critical review of Nasser’s study. It is an interesting subject and really important research in oder to help teachers especially on how to grow their students’ interest in reading. The author in this study evaluates an extracurricular reading activity in Qatari schools. The paper presents a two-month extracurricular reading program designed for fourth grade students to see its effect to the students’ reading habits and language literacy and numeracy in school. The students are divided into two groups. They are the students who enroll in the reading program in either English or Arabic (the treatment group) and the students who do not enroll in the reading program in either English or Arabic (the control group).

The author of this article puts some citations to support his arguments taken from books. There is an argument such as a general consensus among experts that a child who voluntarily reads is likely to become a proficient and intensive reader later in life. The author in his paper tries to support that idea by conducting a research to see the correlation of how it promote the students’ reading interest The author doesn’t clearly explain his assumptions on the study but it is assumed that the study will suggest that students in the reading program demontrate greater interest in reading than those who do not enroll in the reading program. The text is not well organized, not very clear and a little bit confusing especially when the author analyses the data.

The author doesn’t clearly mention the significance of the study and the objective of the sudy. What kind of research methodology the author uses to conduct his research is not clearly mentioned as well. How the author analyses the data is not explained very clearly either. There are some terms which are not clearly defined such as ‘convergent method’, ‘triangulation method’, ‘Cronbach’s alpha anayis’, and many others. The argument is logical any way but it is lack of sufficient evidence for the arguments. The arguments do not strongly support the main point of the study. The author’s facts are not accurate at all. The aim of rearch is to see the correlation or the effect of extracurriculum reading program to enrich student reading habits in Qatar, but the findings doesn’t clearly explain how it correlates. The research conducts home literacy questionnaire given to parents which has no significant correlation or relationship to the aim of research since the focus or the scope of the study is the extracurriculer reading program at school not the one at home. The text is appropriate for the intended audience eventhough it has weaknesses in some points.

The text presents some points of view of how the extracurriculer reading program effects or promotes students habit in reading. Since the author doesn’t clearly describe how the data or the findings relate to the objective or the significance of the study, the text doesn’t strongly help me to understand the subject. There are some words or sentences that evoke a strong response from me such as ‘Children’s ability to read is of central concern to both society and schools, particulary as reading has been associated with having a general positive effect on children’s academic learning, progress and overall performance (Gorman, 1987). There is a general consensus among experts that a child who voluntarily reads is likely to become a proficient and intensive reader later in life’. I do agree with these statements. Reading is one of the main point to build a good and qualified society.

Through reading, we can improve our knowledge and skills. Without reading we know nothing. So school in this case especially together with parents, government, stakeholders and other participants play important role to motivate or encourage students or children to make reading as their habits. There should be more researches conducted to find out best solution to increase students’ interest in reading. I have ever read this kind of research in an article or thesis with different samples or methodology, but I can’t remember the overall content. That one is easier to understand than this one since the text of the other one is more well organized, clear, and easy to read. In this article, the author doesn’t clearly suggest questions but I can assume that the auther intends to find out whether there is a correlation or effect of an extracurriculer reading program to enrich students reading habits in Qatar.

The author suggests the development of an extracurricular reading for pleasure program. The main finding of the study suggests that those students who went through the extracurricular activity had increased student interest in reading eventhough the mean rating of the reading attitude of the reading attitute of the treatment group is lower than the control group to enrollment in the reading program. The author make his conclusion too short and doesn’t elaborate it by giving more details explanation of how the the finding correlate or effect the students interest in reading. To restate the previous statement, it is a useful research but still has a lot of weaknesses. During the experiment of two months extra curricular reading program the author explains that the teacher didn’t develop self-efficacy in maximum which bring problems to get a very accurate data analysis result. Further research must address this issue in the context of Qatar and more adequate time must be allotted for the extracurricular reading program especially to activities related to reading instruction and reading comprehension.

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