Ethnocentrism, Theoretical Awareness, and Intellectual Resistance in University Students’ Reading Behaviour

Brahim Hiba


This paper discusses the insightful and illuminating findings of teaching critical reading within the theoretical framework of critical pedagogy. More specifically, this paper examines the impact of a critical-reading course on students’ reading skills and beliefs about discourse production and interpretation. The course was conducted according to the principles of transformative participatory action research and, thus, a corpus of 50 essays, written by a convenience sample of 25 post-graduate students in the pre-test and post-test phases, was analyzed to examine the effect of the course on students’ reading-habits and their representations of different discourses. Pretest findings showed that most students used to think that discourses are innocent and ideology-free and that reading a text consists in understanding its general idea, extracting its writer’s viewpoint, making sense of its vocabulary, and paraphrasing it. As far as text’s function is concerned, most students used to believe that a text’s basic function is delivering information. In addition, most of them were unaware of the fact that a text has ideological and socio-political functions. Post-test findings revealed that students’ discourse awareness and reading habits have become more critical and developed at two levels: the worldview level and the meta-language level. The t-test statistics suggest that there is a significant difference of p˂.001 between students’ reading scores before and after the intervention. Therefore, the null hypothesis which says that there is no significant difference between studying critical reading from a critical pedagogy perspective and studying it from a functional or conventional perspective is false.


Critical Pedagogy, Critical Reading, Critical Discourse Analysis, Discourse Awareness

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