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Community college readers in their 21st century "transactional zones

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ABSTRACT This mixed methods study examines 126 community college students enrolled in developmental reading courses at a mid-sized Southwestern community college. These students participated in a survey-based study regarding their

ABSTRACT This mixed methods study examines 126 community college students enrolled in developmental reading courses at a mid-sized Southwestern community college. These students participated in a survey-based study regarding their reading experiences and practices, social influence upon those practices, reading sponsorship, and reading self-efficacy. The survey featured 33 structured response prompts and six free response prompts, allowing for both quantitative and qualitative analysis. The study¡&brkbar;s results reflected the diverse reading interests and practices of developmental college students, revealing four main themes: -the diversity and complexity of their reading practices; -the diversity in reading genre preferences; -the strong influence of family members and teachers as reading sponsors in the past with that influence shifting to friends and college professors in the present; and, -the possible connection between self-efficacy and social engagement with reading. Findings from this study suggest these college students, often depicted as underprepared or developmental readers, are engaging in diverse and sophisticated reading practices and perceive reading as a means to achieve their success-oriented goals and to learn about the real world.This study adds to the limited field of community college literacy research, provides a more nuanced view of what it means to be an underprepared college reader, and points to ways community college educators can better support their students by acknowledging and building upon their socio-culturally influenced literacy practices. At the same time, educators can advantage students academically in terms of building their cultural capital with overt inculcation into disciplinary literacies and related repertoires of practice. Keywords: college students, reading, sponsorship, multimodal reading practices, developmental education, social networking, and literacy

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  • 2014