Algerian EFL Students reading practices in the digital era: A sociocultural approach
The purpose of this thesis is to explore and compare the Algerian EFL students’ reading practices in digital and print-based environments in terms of gender differences, geographical location, and mother tongue. Accordingly, the leading approach to the raised issues is sociocultural wherein reading is perceived as a social practice. To accomplish the aim, qualitative and quantitative data collection and data analysis procedures were combined to yield the validity and the reliability of the results. The study took place at two Algerian universities notably, MouloudMammeri University of Tizi-ouzou and Ali Lounici University of Blida. Four research tools were used to collect data: a questionnaire, two reading comprehension tests, reading survey (SODPRS), and an interview. The collected data were analysed by means of qualitative content analysis, critical discourse analysis, and statistical analysis that combines descriptive statistics (cross tabulation, mean, and standard deviation) and inferential statistic procedures (chi-square test, correlation, independent samples t-test, paired samples t-test, and ANOVA).Findings indicate that a significant discrepancy is noticed among Algerian EFL students in terms of their cognitive focus and critical comprehension in print-based and digital environments. In addition, they show teleological perceptions and ambivalent attitudes towards reading. As regards gender differences, unexpectedly, while female students outperform their male counterparts in digital reading, male students score higher in print-based reading. In addition, girls are depicted as holistic readers, while boys hold an atomistic approach to reading.Apart from slight differences in terms of pre-reading strategy-use, the urban-rural divide is shallow in the Algerian context. Last but not least, divergent reading practices are observed among Arabic and Berber speakers in terms of perception, and preferences for specific genres in print or digital environments.To put it in a nutshell, the sociocultural peculiarities of the Algerian society make of the Algerian EFL students distinct learners who show particular reading attitudes, strategy-use, and types of texts they tend to read. The findings hold several implications for EFL reading instruction in the Algerian context. Possible directions for future research are suggested.