ERG SES H 02, Language and Education
The main goal of the present study is to provide an overview of existing reading motivation interventions, their characteristics, and effects on both reading motivation and reading achievement. In addition, results will provide insight into how intervention, sample, and study characteristics are related to effectiveness.
When students grow older, their reading motivation often declines (Unrau & Schlackman, 2006). This is worrisome, since (intrinsic) reading motivation is found to be predictive of reading activity and achievement (e.g., Baker & Wigfield, 1999; Schiefele, Schaffner, Möller, & Wigfield, 2012). Motivational problems are in particular observed in struggling readers (Guthrie, 2007). They often have low self-efficacy and do not think their effort will contribute to better performance, leading to reading avoidance, which results in a lack of reading development (Yudowitch, Henry, & Guthrie, 2007). This stresses the importance of fostering reading motivation. Motivation support might even be more effective than teaching reading strategies in improving low achieving children’s reading achievement (Guthrie & Coddington, 2009).
Based on research and theory, several factors can be distinguished which may lead to increased reading motivation, namely teachers as reading models, book-rich classroom environments, opportunities for choice, social interaction about reading, fostering students’ self-efficacy, setting mastery goals instead of performance goals, providing interesting texts, and connecting texts with real world experiences (Gambrell, 1996; Guthrie, 2007). These principles aim at fostering intrinsic motivation (i.e., being motivated because the activity itself is satisfying; Vansteenkiste, Lens, & Deci, 2006). Additionally, appropriate extrinsic rewards might have a positive effect on intrinsic reading motivation (Gambrell, 1996). Reading motivation interventions do not only differ in applied principles, there is also a large variation in underlying theories (Contradi, Jang, & McKenna, 2014). Other intervention characteristics can be distinguished as well, for instance duration of the intervention and intervention context (school, home, library, or a combination of contexts). The effects of an intervention could also be moderated by sample characteristics such as age, gender, and reading level of the participants. Finally, study characteristics (e.g., randomized experiments versus quasi experimental studies) might influence the results.
A systematic overview of the effects of different approaches to fostering reading motivation and the factors that determine such effects is lacking. Meta-analyses focusing on the effectiveness of reading motivation interventions are scarce and restricted to specific interventions. For instance, a meta-analysis by Guthrie, McRae, and Klauda (2007) focused on interventions applying Concept Oriented Reading Instruction (CORI). In CORI, motivational support is combined with teaching reading strategies. A meta-analysis by Yoon (2002) focused exclusively on the effectiveness of Sustained Silent Reading. To our knowledge, no other meta-analyses on reading motivation interventions exist.
In this paper we therefore focus on the following research questions: 1) Which types of reading motivation interventions can be distinguished?, 2) What are characteristics of these interventions?, 3) What are the effects of these interventions on reading motivation and reading achievement?, and 4) Which intervention-, study-, and sample characteristics are related to the effects?
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