Using a Blog to Facilitate Extensive Reading: An Exploratory Study

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Authors: Magdalene Meow Khee Chew & Catherine Cheng Kiat Lee, Taylor’s University, Malaysia
Published: May 2013
https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.1.1.06

Citation: Chew, M. M. K., & Lee, C. C. K. (2013). Using a Blog to Facilitate Extensive Reading: An Exploratory Study. IAFOR Journal of Education, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.1.1.06


Abstract

Research shows that extensive reading (ER) has many benefits for language acquisition. The challenge today is making ER appealing to the digital generation. For a possible solution, it is pertinent to look to the social media embraced by today’s youths. This study was conducted to explore the use of the blog as a space for sharing peer-selected reading material to enhance reading motivation among English Language learners. The research questions that guided this study are whether the blog is a viable tool to facilitate ER, and how students perceive the use of this Web 2.0 tool for ER. The sample comprised two groups of students in a private university in Malaysia: 12 undergraduate students in a remedial language class and 18 students enrolled in an English for Specific Purposes (ESP) course. A blog was set up for each group of participants to post reading materials of their choice for blog members to read over a period of 8 weeks. A questionnaire was administered at the end of the study together with focus group interviews. The qualitative approach enabled insights into process and attitudes. The results showed that the students were positive about the use of the blog for reading beyond the classroom but required tangible rewards and complementary activities to reinforce their motivation to participate. Most significantly, the results of this study indicate that the blog is a viable tool for facilitating ER.

Keywords

blog, extensive reading (ER), Web 2.0