Promoting a Culture of Reading Qatar TESOL 2014
On the 22nd of February, I presented a talk at the Qatar TESOL conference, Promoting a Culture of Reading (21-22 Feb, 2014, College of the North Atlantic, Doha, Qatar), entitled It’s long, it’s hard, it’s boring: Student Voices on Reading.
In my presentation I aimed to approach the issue of reading as an academic skill and a cultural activity from the perspective of local (Qatari/Arab) students. First, I talked about a reading-related, meta-cognitive project, entitled To read or not to read, I conducted with my writing in October 2013 in the Academic Bridge Program (Doha, Qatar) where I teach English.
The project’s main objectives were a) to consider reading as an academic skill and self-evaluate the strength of own reading abilities; b) to consider reading as part of wider human culture and discuss factors contributing to a weak interest in reading in the region; and c) to re-consider reading in the local setting of the ABP/Qatar.
The activities included student participation in a short survey, reading related articles, class discussion, and writing a response paper. Student responses and essays offered illuminating insights regarding their attitude to reading. I presented them to my audience, proposed my interpretation of student views, and put forth suggestions to address the issue of reading within the local (regional) academic context, and ways to promote a stronger culture of reading among students.
I was happy to see that the audience actively participated in the ensuing debate and shared their diverse experiences teaching reading to different students in the region and beyond.
The presentation was based on student-led contribution, selected sources, and elements of my own research conducted as part of my doctoral studies at The University of Manchester.
Below is the link to the ppt version. I’m thinking of writing it up as an article.