Extensive Reading Practices in the Arabian Gulf Region

Joel Meniado
University of Toronto
Keywords: extensive reading; extensive reading practices; reading program; reading in the Arab world; teaching reading


This study examined the English extensive reading (ER) programs across the Arabian Gulf region. It investigated the ER models and approaches adopted by different higher education institutions (HEIs) in the region, their ER practices and activities, and the challenges they encountered in implementing their ER programs. Utilizing qualitative research design with seventeen (17) cases from prominent colleges and universities in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait, the study found that most English ER programs in the region adopted the Graded Readers approach with the Supervised-Modified ER model and course-component integration scheme. The study further discovered that the ER programs varied in terms of duration, number of hours and sessions, target number of words, required number of books read, engagement and enrichment activities, and assessment system. Lastly, the study also found that HEIs in the region experienced challenges in sustaining meaningful, varied, and sufficient resources, changing the negative attitudes of the stakeholders toward extensive reading, providing more sufficient space for ER in English language curriculum, and building a strong culture of reading in the community as a whole. The study concludes with recommendations on how to improve English ER implementation in the Arabian Gulf region.

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