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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Mixed-Method Embedded Design Study of Culturally Relevant Reading in Community College Accelerated Basic Skills English Course

  • Author(s): Motaleb, Pegah
  • Advisor(s): Vargas, Manuel
  • et al.

The United States is a diverse nation, and it is projected that over the next few decades, Whites will no longer be the majority. In fact, the Hispanic population is growing, and this change in the country’s racial and ethnic demographics will impact many facets of the American life. The review of literature shows that culturally relevant teaching/pedagogy (CRT/P), specifically in readings of ethnic literature, fiction, and text written about and by individuals of color, increases students’ sense of ethnic identity, and results in students feeling a strong sense of agency and belonging in academia. These factors contribute to students’ success and help narrow the achievement gap. Specifically, there is a dearth of literature about culturally relevant reading in accelerated basic skills reading courses at community colleges. This mixed-methods research study sought accelerated basic skills students’ perceptions about their reading experiences. The results of their responses, to a survey and their explanations during an interview, revealed that while they find engaging with ethnic culturally relevant texts important, there is not a direct positive impact on students’ academic achievement, sense of belonging in higher education atmosphere, and motivation to read as a result of engaging with such texts.

Keywords: culturally relevant reading, accelerated basic skills composition, community college basic skills

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