Understanding the Rationales of Online Reading in Low-Achieving EFL University Students across Socioeconomic Status


EFL low-achieving reader
online reading literacy
reading habits
reading preferences
socioeconomic status


This mixed method study explores the rationales that motivate low-achieving EFL (English as a foreign language) readers to read online and distinguishes their reading habits and preferences across socioeconomic status (SES). Participants included  322 university students enrolled in remedial reading classes at an Indonesian public university. There were three categories of SES, i.e., low SES (students whose parents graduated from elementary school to junior high school), middle SES (students whose parents graduated from senior high school), and high SES (students whose parents graduated from university). An online reading survey, semistructured interviews, and field notes were utilized in this study to gather the data. The survey data were interpreted descriptively and inferentially using descriptive statistics and the Chi-square test. The results indicated that there were positive and negative attitudes toward online reading. This study also confirmed that low-achieving EFL readers did not significantly differ in reading habits and preferences across their SES. Therefore, low-achieving EFL readers are required to engage more frequently in online reading interventions either in a classroom or outside the classroom. By getting exposed to this activity, they are expected to understand online reading texts better.


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