Publication details [#63225]

Spooren, Wilbert and Lieke Stoffelsma. 2017. Improving the academic reading proficiency of university students in Ghana: an Educational Design Research approach. Language Matters: Studies in the Languages of Africa 48 (1) : 48–70.
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Article in journal
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Place, Publisher


This inquiry judged the effectiveness of a reading intervention in first-year university courses (Chemistry and Linguistics) in Ghana, emphasising text structure, vocabulary and reading motivation. A between-group design was employed to compare experimental (n = 51) and control groups (n = 33) in a pre-test post-test setup. The experimental manipulation consisted of a weekly tutorial session including homework (one semester). The aim was to explore the impact on (1) the mean difference between pre- and post-test reading scores; (2) the mean differences between pre-and post-questionnaire results for reading behaviour, attitude, and self-concept, and (3) the final score on the course exams. By the end of the intervention the Linguistics experimental group had improved significantly on their academic reading proficiency. Time spent on reading had raised significantly more for the experimental group than for the control group. Chemistry students’ attitudes towards reading changed positively. Quantitative data were enriched with classroom observations and interviews.