Mediating meaning in booktalk: Reading Clubs as third spaces

Keywords: reading clubs, critical thinking, booktalk, dialogism, discussion


Various studies have shown that South Africa has low levels of school literacy. This is exacerbated when schools are located in low socio-economic settings where schools have a dearth of resources to be mobilised to develop literacy practices. This article reports on a qualitative study of classroom reading clubs where learners read novels in groups once a week. In particular it focuses on discussions within two reading clubs to explore how learners took up different positions to talk about books and how together they constructed a shared understanding. The study suggests how through talk learners have an opportunity to think and this thinking is made visible to researchers. The article suggests that classroom reading clubs can sites to develop reading strategies reasoning in response to literature.

Author Biography

Eileen Scheckle, Nelson Mandela University
Eileen Scheckle is a senior lecturer who works and researchs in literacy, literature and language in the Educational Faculty at Nelson Mandela Univeristy.