Textbook tasks and reading literacy: A closer look at the teacher's resources in secondary school
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The intention of this thesis has been to analyse textbook tasks as tools for teachers when they are working on developing students’ reading literacy as a foundation skill. The aim of my research is to discuss to what extent textbook tasks related to literary texts contribute to the process of developing students’ reading literacy as a foundation skill in the Knowledge promotion. My research intends to answer the question: to what extent do textbook tasks contribute to the development of students’ reading literacy in English in Norwegian secondary schools? I became interested in this phenomenon when reading the tasks for Gulliver’s Travel in a textbook used by a class I had my teacher’s training in. What disappointed me with the tasks was that they more or less only functioned as a controlling element in order to check whether the students had read the text or not. As a fan of Jonathan Swift and his writing, I found it quite sad that a literary text of such a substantial proportion was treated as superficially as I experienced through the tasks. The teacher of the class, without any discussion, checked the students’ responses to the tasks. The many current topics that resided in the text were left behind when the students were asked to start on a new text the next lesson. This experience made me think of how instrumental the literary texts were treated when I attended upper secondary school myself. After practicing as a student teacher for a while, an interest towards finding out what the textbook tasks might contribute to in the process of developing reading literacy as a foundation skill emerged. What I have done in the process of this thesis is to analyse textbook tasks in order to get a general impression of to what extent the tasks can be considered means towards reading literacy as a foundation skill. To answer the thesis question I have conducted a qualitative research with a hermeneutic research design in order to be able to explain the students’ response to the tasks according to operationalized categories of reading literacies and foundation skill level.