Key Findings from Research and Implications for the Classroom

Abstract

Students from the Arabian Gulf often lack the habit of reading (Kandil, 2001; Shannon, 2003). Although some refer to this culture as an oral culture, perhaps a more accurate description is a non-reading culture. In a fascinating ethnographic study, Jazzar (1991) explored the lives of six male and female students, three who were strong students of English and three who were weak students of English at the United Arab Emirates University. He looked at several dimensions in the home environment including available literature in the home library. He found that the three strong students had the most books and the most books in English. The top scorers on the pre-study English test had 40, 25, and 30 (total=95) books in English and their low-scoring counterparts had 20, 15, and 8 (total=43) books. In addition, the top three scorers in English had 68, 82, and 57 (total=207) books in Arabic while their low-scoring counterparts had 60, 43, and 45 (total=112) books.

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