Literacy education, reading engagement, and library use in multilingual classes
The topic of this paper is literacy education and reading engagement in multilingual classes. What facilitates reading engagement in the language of instruction in multilingual classes? In this paper, we analyze reading engagement in a literature-based literacy program in Norway (2007–2011). The design was a research and development project in which teachers, researchers, and librarians collaborated within literacy education. We present pedagogical interventions within the project and analyze subsequent reading engagement among the students, based on a survey. The survey documented that the overwhelming majority of students were engaged readers two years into the project, measured by the students’ amount and frequency of voluntary reading, their attitudes towards reading and library use. The findings indicate that reading engagement in the language of instruction among both first- and second-language learners was facilitated by literature-based literacy education, nonsegregated educational provisions and use of library resources. The study shows that literature-based literacy education may reduce possible negative effects of low socioeconomic status and linguistic minority background on reading engagement in the language of instruction. This requires literacy education, which gives students extensive access to books, voluntary reading of fiction and facts and sharing of literacy events and library use.