Hypnotised by Gutenberg? A report on the reading habits of some learners in academia

  • R Ribbens
Keywords: scholastic performance, reading development, comprehension instruction, question generation for comprehension, text structure, text processing skills


Against a background of poor levels of literacy throughout the education system, the dual purpose of this study was to identify reading practices of successful students at tertiary level and to report on sound reading practices that need to be implemented to improve the comprehension of learners in academia. The article reports on the culture of reading of some undergraduate Linguistics students at Unisa, an Open Distance Learning (ODL) institution. Specific text-processing skills were examined within the sociocultural context in which reading takes place. To fully understand
reading behaviour at tertiary level, reading practices at primary school in South Africa, as reported on in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (Baer et al., 2007), are also mentioned. To provide background to the literacy problem in South Africa, reading practices observed at schools in South Africa are reported on. The findings indicate that individuals, who read more and are aware of what they do when they read, perform better academically.

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eISSN: 0259-9570