The Impact of an After-School Reading Program on Predominantly Punjabi Students’ L2 Reading Motivation

In this presentation, we report the preliminary findings on the effectiveness and the impact of one iteration of a university-community-school collaborative program in British Columbia, Racing Readers (SFU-TD Community Engagement Centre), on L2-English reading motivation and literacy engagement. Our sample consisted of nineteen grade 3-5 immigrant students, who were predominantly from Punjabi-speaking families. Our study included an analysis of reading motivation survey data, as well as qualitative interviews with the target students, interviews with those involved in those students’ reading practice (i.e., their parents, teachers, program supervisors, and the university student volunteers from the Racing Readers program), in addition to observations of paired and whole-group reading practices that comprised the core of the program. Results suggest that the program has facilitated child development in reading strategies and skills, and also improved their self-concept and confidence as readers, their interests in reading more in and out of school, and their willingness to participate in discussions during paired and group reading activities. However, these benefits were seen primarily in qualitative interview measures, rather than in survey data. We conclude with a discussion of what measures to use when assessing this sort of reading program in school contexts in British Columbia with large immigrant populations. Specifically, we suggest that the lack of experienced university-student volunteers, the English-only nature of the program and some inflexibility in its structure, as well as the student selection process may, together, have limited the full potential of the impact of such collaborations.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

11:10 PDT
12:10 MDT
14:10 EDT
15:10 ADT
19:10 BST

Research Team

Dr. Guofang Li
Professor, Department of Language and Literacy Education
University of British Columbia

Dr. Henny Yeung
Co-Lead, Language Background & Culture
Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics
Simon Fraser University