A Master of Arts Thesis in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) by Afrah Hassan Ali Entitled, "Guided Reading for Second Language Learning in Bahrain: Is it Worth it," May 2010. Available are both Hard and Soft Copies of the Thesis.
Much research has shown that Extensive Reading (ER) is beneficial for second language learning. It helps in building up the four language skills, and in developing positive attitudes and motivation to learn the language. In the year 2000, the Ministry of Education in Bahrain took serious steps towards developing a type of extensive reading program, the Guided Reading Program (GRP), in government primary schools. However, to date, there have been no serious research attempts to investigate the effectiveness of the program, or at least teachers' and students attitudes towards it. As a result, there are still lots of questions and areas to be uncovered regarding this program. This thesis research is a preliminary attempt to shed light on what government primary school teachers in Bahrain think about the Guided Reading Program, in terms of its benefits to second language learning, and also the difficulties teachers encounter when trying to implement it in their classrooms. In addition, this study explores primary-level students' attitudes towards this extensive reading program. To investigate such perceptions and attitudes, surveys and interviews were used. The main participants of the study included 35 English teachers and 15 female students from 13 government primary schools in Bahrain. Findings of this study indicated that despite the challenges associated with the implementation of the program, most of the teachers surveyed and interviewed for the study were in favor of using the GRP in their classroom, and were aware of its immense benefits. Results also showed that the primary-level students interviewed found joy in the GRP sessions, and thought they were learning a lot from the program.