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Högpresterande gymnasieelevers läskompetenser
Stockholms universitet, Institutionen för språkdidaktik. (Forskarskolan i läs- och skrivutveckling)
2011 (Swedish)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The Reading Literacy of High-performing Students in Upper Secondary School (English)
Abstract [en]

Recent international surveys reveal a decline in reading performance among Swedish students during the past decade. In the light of these results, this thesis describes the reading literacy of a class of high-performing students in the Swedish upper secondary school, in order to discern characteristics of successful readers. More specifically, the aim is to describe these students’ reading literacy in terms of their reading habits, approaches to texts, reading strategies, as well as reading positions.

The study is framed within a socio-cultural perspective and is based on qualitative methods such as case studies, classroom observations and a group discussion, in combination with a partly quantitative survey. A methodological contribution to the research field is the attempt to develop a method for analyzing students’ reading positions, mainly based on the concept of text movability, as used by af Geijerstam, Liberg et al. The results reveal a deep reading position towards non-fiction texts among a majority of these high-performing students. In comparison with students who adopt a surface-oriented position, these students tend to show greater textual awareness and interactive text movability, and seem to use a wider repertoire of reading strategies in order to attain reading success.

This study identifies the most prominent features of high-performing students as their textual awareness, i.e. an ability to comment on content, form, function and potential readers of texts, genre awareness, i.e. an ability to identify various text genres, and metacognitive awareness, i.e. knowing what strategies to use and when to use them. These features can be related to the students’ descriptions of their reading habits which imply that they read a great variety of texts, including both fiction and non-fiction. Most of these students report that they read daily and of their own accord. Having broad textual experience helps when it comes to reading texts in specialized domains that require inferencing and/or field knowledge. There also appears to be a match between the literacy supported in school and the literacy sustained in the students’ home environment.

The pedagogical implications are the need for continuous work with students’ reading development and reading strategies, making students aware of different text genres and their specific features, and the importance for students to be challenged in their reading, but naturally in combination with appropriate scaffolding methods.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för språkdidaktik , 2011. , 136 p.
, Studier i språkdidaktik - Studies in Language Education, 6
Keyword [en]
reading, literacy, high-performing students, upper secondary school, non-fiction texts, reading positioning, textual awareness, metacognitive awareness, genre awareness, systemic functional linguistics, new literacy studies
National Category
Research subject
Education in Languages and Language Development
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-268527ISBN: 978-91-7447-220-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-268527DiVA: diva2:877446
2011-03-28, D7, Södra huset, Stockholms universitet, 15:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-12-10 Created: 2015-12-07 Last updated: 2015-12-10Bibliographically approved

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Hallesson, Yvonne

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