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Title: Can creative circles improve reading comprehension and creative thinking of Saudi third-grade middle school EFL learners?
Authors: Al Qahtani, Abdulaziz Ali Yahya
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Reading is an abundant source of creativity and one of the main ways for foreign language learners (EFL) to acquire information. Likewise, creativity is an essential life skill which is highly related to EFL development. Yet, studies have shown that EFL learners lack basic reading skills and many face comprehension difficulties. Nor is creativity fully established and appreciated in the context of EFL. This study explored perceptions of supervisors’, teachers' and learners' on reading, collaboration and creativity. It investigated the effects of incorporating Creative Circles (C.C.) approach on Saudi EFL learners' reading comprehension and creative thinking. A mixed method approach was adopted in this quasi-experimental study. Eight EFL supervisors, 45 EFL teachers and 90 EFL learners from three natural classes in one middle-school participated in the study. Prior to the intervention, surveys and interviews were conducted to find out the extent to which reading skills and creativity are promoted in reading classes and to explore participants’ perceptions on collaborative reading and creativity. The three classes were taught by the same teacher with one being an experiment class (C.C. class) and the other two as comparison classes. During the three-month long intervention, learners in the experiment class were introduced to the Creative Circles approach, while the other two classes approached reading lessons as they normally did without any changes or modifications. All the participants were tested for their reading comprehension and creativity prior to and after the completion of the intervention. In addition to quantitative data, learners in the experiment class and the teacher were asked to keep journals to describe their learning/teaching experience about the C.C. approach. The quantitative data was then analysed using t-test, ANOVA and correlation analysis, whereas the qualitative data was analysed thematically. The findings reveal an insufficient understanding and lack in promoting of reading skills, collaboration and creative thinking among Saudi EFL supervisors, teachers and students. Comparisons of pre-and post-tests results show that incorporating C.C. approach in teaching reading could improve students’ reading comprehension and creative thinking domains (with the exception of originality). the C.C. approach also appears to have a positive impact on students’ attitudes towards reading and collaboration. The correlation analysis did not show a significant relationship between reading and creativity. Drawing from the findings of this study, suggestions and pedagogical implications for reading instruction and fostering creativity in the Saudi EFL classroom and the wider EFL context are discussed
Description: Ph. D. Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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