Approximate time to complete: 30 minutes 

Download the Course Companion document before starting this course. You can use the Companion document to take notes on your learning, address reflection prompts, and as an easy way to retrieve course resources.  


Participants will be able to: 

  • Explain the role that literacy plays in successful adolescent literacy 
  • Identify and implement key strategies to increase adolescents' motivation to read and write

Consider This Scenario

Connection Point

In your Course Companion Document, consider these questions:  

  • Can you relate to this scenario? In what ways are your challenges in literacy instruction similar or different? 

10th grade English teacher Mr. Russell struggles to engage his students in reading and writing with texts that aren’t of interest to his students. Mr. Russell expects this response from his students when reading nonfiction or historical texts and attempts to pre-correct by acknowledging their feelings and emphasizing the value of this learning on their overall academics and achievement. However, he still finds that engagement in tasks relating to these low-interest texts is low and often, classroom performance is affected.

Why Motivation?

If students are not motivated to read, it will be very difficult to sustain the attention needed to engage the complex tasks associated with reading and writing. The following interactive presentation provides an overview of the importance of motivation for older students. Click the square button in the presentation to make it full screen. 


In the video below, Dr.  Joan sedita answers the question: What role does motivation play in developing successful adolescent readers and writers? There is a place in your Course Companion to take notes on the video. 


Knowledge Check

Take the brief quiz below to test your knowledge. Click the square button to expand the quiz. 


Read through the article Reading Motivation: What the Research Says by Linda Gabrell and Barbara Marinak, presents a clear picture of the role that motivation plays in student success and why careful attention to this factor by educators is important. There is a place to take notes in your Course Companion. 

Course Reflection

Consider the following reflection questions. You can record your answers in the Course Companion.

  1. Think back to the scenario at the beginning of this course. Which of the practices you learned could Mr. Russell incorporate in his planning and instruction to improve student engagement and motivation in literacy learning?
  2. What is a practice or recommendation you could embed in your classroom practice to increase student engagement and motivation in literacy learning in your content area?

To Learn More

  1. The IES Practice Guide on Improving Adolescent Literacy provides more detailed information on carrying out the recommendation to increase student motivation and engagement in literacy learning. 
  2. The article, Students’ Engagement in Literacy Tasks (The Reading Teacher, 2015), digs deeper into designing literacy instruction that is engaging for students.
  3. Motivating Struggling Adolescent Readers provides specific recommendations to support unmotivated adolescents and build students’ self-confidence.


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Last Modified: 10/24/2023 8:42:50 AM