Reading in self-access material: what can we learn from self-instructed learners and their reported experience?

Peter Watkins, Alessandra Belletti Figueira Mulling

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This research set out to evaluate the reading material contained within the ELT coursebook English M1 which was designed for self-access use. There is relatively little research carried out after the use of materials and even less which draws on learners' reports about how they engaged with self-access material. This research addressed the end-users: the learners. Five aspects in the reading material were chosen for evaluation: the information provided in the texts (USA-centred), the fact that no follow-up activities or comprehension checks were provided, the use of glossaries, the illustrations, and the oral renditions of the text. The study adopted a qualitative research design. Twenty-four beginner level English learners were addressed through semi-structured interviews about how they engaged with the reading material and their reasons for doing things in the way they did. This research concluded that self-access reading materials must provide learners with a component of learner guidance and information concerning the affordances of what is delivered. The article ends with recommendations for the design of reading material particularly concerning situations in which learners are studying without the support of a teacher.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-55
Number of pages18
JournalThe Reading Matrix
Issue number1
Early online date1 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


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