This is a qualitative case study which was designed to investigate the influence of adult learners’ characteristics (self-concept, experience and time perspective) on their choice and use of the academic reading strategies (ARS). The case study was conducted over 19 weeks, involving 24 academic reading texts. Three instruments; student diaries, participant observations and think aloud protocols were used to triangulate the data collection. The constant comparative method was used in the data analysis. Cohen Kappa’s (1960) test of agreement was conducted in the middle of the data analysis and a comfortable value of .93 was obtained allowing the researcher to proceed. Besides confirming earlier findings and several theories in the literature, it has also contributed new findings with special reference to the influence of the adult learners’ characteristics on their ARS. While the less proficient readers were found to be ignorant of the potentials of their characteristics as adult learners, the proficient readers were found to manipulate their characteristics to the advantage of their academic reading. First, unlike the less proficient readers who were prone to ‘studenthood’ (Rogers, 2002), the proficient readers were prone to ‘adulthood’ (Knowles, 1990). This led them to be more self-directing which resulted in their more effective use of the metacognitive strategies. Second, while the less proficient readers were unable to make useful frame of references and had formed bad habits from their past experiences, the proficient readers were able to make meaningful connections between the content and their experiences. Consequently, they were able to read at decontextualized as well as contextualized levels. Finally, unlike the less proficient readers who were extrinsically-driven, the proficient readers were intrinsically-driven which enabled them to transfer their learning outside formal learning boundaries. Based on these findings, the study has proposed a pedagogical model, S+AIRS which is also generalisable to the needs of any adult reading programmes.
|Keywords:||Academic Reading Strategies, English as a Second Language (ESL), Adult Learners|
Head of Postgraduate Programmes, Postgraduate Department, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
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