Mismatch Between Reading Genre and Daily Life Needs: Mixed-Method Case Study of Nonfiction Reading in Three Families
Dr. Ya-Ning Hsu

The nonfiction genre conveys information about the world. Although research has shown that our daily life aligns with the nonfiction genre in terms of the nature of its content, format, purpose, and linguistic features, nonfiction genre literacy has been neglected in children’s reading in terms both of the number of nonfiction books they read and of time spent by adults reading nonfiction to children. This study adopts an ethnographic approach, documenting the daily life of,and the nonfiction books read inthree middle-class families in the U. S. The mixed methods used in this research include observation of participants’ everyday life, a book count by genre of each family’s book collection, and interviews to determine participants’ reading practices and genre choices. It is found that daily life in these families can largely be characterized as nonfiction in a genre sense; however, reading time and materials are predominantly focused on fiction. Thus, there is a significant disparity between the nature of daily life in these families and the reading practices of their children. The children are simply not exposed to sufficient nonfiction genre material, and thus miss available links to authentic world experiences and exposure to various nonfiction content areas. Consequently, it is suggested that nonfiction reading for children should be increased to promote world and content area knowledge and nonfiction literacy skills.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jehd.v4n4a26