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ERIC Number: ED512953
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 175
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-3891-4
An Explanatory Mixed Methods Study of Taiwanese Junior College Learners' Attitudes toward Their Participation in Literature Circles
Su, Chia-chun
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Texas A&M University - Kingsville
Reading comprehension plays a key role in academic success in today's classrooms. Literature Circles (LCs), a learner-centered collaborative reading activity, brings together the ideas of cooperative learning, independent reading, and reader response theory to enhance students' reading comprehension as well as their motivation toward learning English in the L2 reading classrooms. In past years, research on LCs have placed attention on its effectiveness and advantages in comparison with the traditional reading instruction. However, little is known about learners' attitudes toward this particular type of instructional approach. This study was conducted through an explanatory mixed methods research design in order to examine the attitudes of students toward engaging in literature discussion circles while they studied in a Western Literature course in Taiwan. The purposes of the study were to investigate students' attitudes toward the literature-based discussion activity and the attitude differences by gender. In addition, the correlation between students' attitudes toward LCs and their course achievement were also examined, as well as the factors that contributed to students' responses to this type of reading method. Subjects for the quantitative phase consisted of 71 Applied English majors who were enrolled in a Western Literature in one private university of Southern Taiwan in the Fall semester of 2008. Among the 71 participants, eight students were selected to participate in follow-up interviews. The SAGE (Students Attitudes toward Group Environment) questionnaire, a reading comprehension test, and a guided interview protocol were the techniques used to collect quantitative and qualitative data. For data analysis, the Statistical method of the one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), and the Spearman rank correlation were used to analyze the quantitative data. The Atlas.ti version 5.0 package was used to summarize and report the interview data. The results of the study showed that students' responses toward LCs were positive and students' attitudes were significantly influenced by gender on two sub-scales of the SAGE survey, "Student Interdependence" and "Frustration with Group Members." Moreover, the results also showed that learners' attitudes toward LCs were positively associated with their course grades on the sub-scale of "Quality of Product and Process." On the other hand, the qualitative findings presented that the cognitive, social, and affective factors were the three main contributing elements impacting learners' attitudes toward the LCs approach. Gender significantly affected the social factor of students' attitudes in this study. The researcher recommended that future study should involve a larger population, different English classes, different educational settings, different variables, and qualitative research designs. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Taiwan