The Prospects of Reading Circles for Fostering EFL Learners’ Motivation to Read and Engagement


  • Fatemeh Khonamri Department of English, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Central Organisation of UMZ No. 10 Pasdaran St. Babolsar, 4741613534, Mazandaran, Iran
  • Neshat Azizi Department of Foreign Language Philologies Philipps University of Marburg Wilhelm-Ropke Strasse 6-35032 Marburg, Germany
  • Amantius Akimjak Theological Institute in Spišské Podhradie Catholic University in Ružomberok Spišská Kapitula 12, 053 04 Spišské Podhradie, Slovakia
  • Viktoria Kurilenko Department of Russian Language The Patrice Lumumba Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University) Miklukho-Maklaya 6, 117198 Moscow, Russian Federation



engagement, reading circle, reading motivation, EFL Learners, literature students


Thesis. This study explores three important concepts in the field of language teaching. The purpose is to investigate whether reading circles are effective means of improving students’ reading motivation and engagement.

Concept. To this end, using a qualitative design, 27 students of English language and literature from the University of Mazandaran participated in the study. The data were collected through a learning journal, teacher’s field notes and a subsequent semi-structured interview. All the students were engaged in a reading circle once a week for the duration of 12 weeks. Analysis of the data was done based on coding and content analysis.

Results and Conclusion. Results indicated that reading circles had the potential to motivate learners to read more and also was an appealing activity for them to engage in and contribute to their circles. The findings suggested that the unrepeatable configuration of the group and the goal setting mindset promoted by the activity and a high sense of achievement and enjoyment after completion of the task corresponded positively with their high level of engagement and motivation to read new passages. Even though the results cannot be generalised to other contexts, they can be suggested to be applied in other EFL contexts for motivating learners to engage more in reading.


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Author Biographies

  • Fatemeh Khonamri, Department of English, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Central Organisation of UMZ No. 10 Pasdaran St. Babolsar, 4741613534, Mazandaran, Iran

    Fatemeh Khonamri is an assistant professor of TEFL at the University
    of Mazandaran. She has been teaching undergraduate and graduate courses for more than 20 years.
    Her areas of interest include reading and writing research, metacognition, corrective feedback
    and teacher’s professional development.

  • Neshat Azizi, Department of Foreign Language Philologies Philipps University of Marburg Wilhelm-Ropke Strasse 6-35032 Marburg, Germany

    Neshat Azizi is an MA student at the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy,
    Philipps University of Marburg. She studied TEFL at the State University of Mazandaran and has been interested in doing research as an undergraduate student. Her areas of interest include cultural materialism, critical thinking, and literature.

  • Amantius Akimjak, Theological Institute in Spišské Podhradie Catholic University in Ružomberok Spišská Kapitula 12, 053 04 Spišské Podhradie, Slovakia

    Author gradueted at Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia), Faculty of Theology in Catholic Theology, then at Catholic University of John Paul II in Lublin (PL) in Musicology and Church Music and then at the Faculty of Arts in Philosophy of Culture and Arts. Habilitated at the Trnava University in Trnava (Slovakia) in the field of History of Culture and Art. He was appointed by President of the Slovak Republic as a professor of Church music. He is a member of the Diocesan and National Liturgical Commission and the Head of the Sacred Music Section, As well as a member in editorial and professional series of magazines.

  • Viktoria Kurilenko, Department of Russian Language The Patrice Lumumba Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University) Miklukho-Maklaya 6, 117198 Moscow, Russian Federation

    She developed an integrative linguodidactic system, which was introduced into the system and process of professional-communicative training of foreign applicants, students, residents and postgraduate students of the Medical Institute of the RUDN University. In 2017 she defended her doctoral thesis on Methodology and methods of continuous professionally oriented teaching of the Russian language to foreign medical students, which describes the results that are currently used in the development of textbooks, educational and methodological and publications, advanced training and professional retraining courses for teachers of Russian language as foreign in the system of additional education of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, or lectures for teachers of the Russian language at the faculty of advanced training for teachers of Russian language as foreign, as well as in the arrangement of methodological seminars and cultural and educational events in Mongolia, China, India, Vietnam, Finland, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Germany, Italy, Spain, Peru, Argentina, Venezuela, Egypt, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Hungary, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, etc. Kurilenko V.B. is the author of more than 180 publications, including 7 monographs, the state educational standard for RFL and requirements (in co-authorship); 4 educational programs (one of which is in English), 6 textbooks, 32 methodological, educational, methodological and teaching aids, scientific articles, abstracts of reports and messages. Kurilenko V.B. regularly takes part in scientific congresses and symposia of Russian society of Russian language and literature teachers (ROPRYAL). such as Theory and practice of Russian studies in the world context (Moscow), Russian language, literature and culture at the turn of the century (Bratislava), Russian language in the modern socio-cultural situation (Voronezh), Russian language and literature in the space of world culture (Granada), including international congresses, scientific and scientific-practical conferences, seminars on ethnopedagogy. She is the member of Association of Language testers in Europe, the member of Peter’s the Great Academy of Sciences and Arts, the member of ROPRYAL, the chief editor of RUDN Journal of Pshycology and Pedagogics.


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How to Cite

Khonamri, F. ., Azizi, N. ., Akimjak, A. ., & Kurilenko, V. . (2024). The Prospects of Reading Circles for Fostering EFL Learners’ Motivation to Read and Engagement. Journal of Education Culture and Society, 15(1), 403-418.

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