"No time for that!" : a study of teaching reading and reading strategies to English language learners in lower secondary school in Norway
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The main goal of this thesis is to investigate the extent to which Norwegian teachers of English use reading strategies in lower secondary school. It follows up my findings in an earlier pilot study of the reading habits and skills of Norwegian pupils studying English (Vignjevic 2010). This time, I wanted to look into the subject of reading from the teacher‟s point of view. Based on previous research and the reports after PISA surveys, I started with the assumption that reading instruction at lower secondary level is largely neglected. The method applied is a qualitative and quantitative survey among 30 teachers of English, carried out at 11 lower secondary schools in different parts of Norway. I made a web-based questionnaire with items about the professional backgrounds of the teachers, their instruction of reading strategies, and to a certain degree their attitudes towards reading as one of the skills they are supposed to develop in their students. The data were summarized by the programme and analyzed and interpreted by me. The survey confirmed a second assumption of mine: that most teachers depend mainly on the English textbooks they use with their pupils in the classroom for their choice of reading materials. Consequently, I went on to carry out an analysis of these textbooks, focusing on the texts selected, reading methods and strategies applied and the types of reading exercises included. The findings show that although the teachers consider reading an important skill, the pupils do not get enough practice using different reading strategies to improve their ability to learn from their reading. It also became clear that pupils need to learn to use a more varied repertoire of reading strategies in order to meet the requirements of the English LK06 syllabus. My findings in the textbook analysis show that most of the textbooks hinder teachers from working with reading strategies and from choosing extensive reading as a method for improving pupils‟ reading skills. The connections between these two investigations are shown in the rest of the thesis. Though the findings cannot be generalized to all pupils and teachers at lower secondary level in Norway, I argue that they provide a useful picture of the current situation with regard to the use of reading strategies in English classes at this level.