Engaged Reading: A Multilevel Approach to
Considering Sociocultural Factors With
Diverse Learners

CIERA Report #1-012

Robert Rueda
Laurie MacGillivray
Lilia Monzó
University of Southern California

Angela Arzubiaga
Vanderbilt University

CIERA Inquiry 1: Readers and Texts
How do sociocultural factors affect reading engagement, literacy learning, and achievement among a diverse group of learners?

This report examines previous theory and research on motivation in the area of reading (reading engagement) from a sociocultural perspective. It describes a study that examined the issue of reading engagement with eighteen third-grade Spanish-speaking children and families in an impoverished Southern California inner-city school--specifically, the relationship between sociocultural factors (organizational features of the classroom and after-school program and empirically assessed features of families' daily living routines) and student reading engagement. Case studies also were used to illustrate how reading motivation is embedded in daily practices and how accounts of reading motivation that are focused strictly on the individual in isolation may miss the complexity of factors that are integral aspects of students' reading and later literacy development.

In this paper, we present data focusing on sociocultural factors in reading engagement from a larger study of Latino immigrant students in an urban, central city location. We first discuss the literature on reading engagement,


provide an analysis of past work, and propose a socioculturally-based extension to the current conceptualizations of motivation and reading engagement. We then use these data to argue for a broader, more dynamic, and context-sensitive conceptualization of the reading engagement construct, and discuss the applicability of this perspective to consideration of literacy development and the reading achievement of diverse learners in nonmainstream settings.




A version of this report appears in D. M. McInerny & S. Van Etten (Eds.), Research on sociocultural influences on motivation and learning (Vol. 1, pp. 251-264). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.




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