Reading and Adapting Texts to Screenplays to Improve Literacy Motivation in High School Students
Adolescents in the United States lag behind much of the world in reading achievement (Bozack, 2011). Researchers find that personal and situational interest acting together increase reading achievement in adolescents. In this paper, I make the case that a reading curriculum incorporating film can contribute to improved reading motivation. It can do this by both acting as a bridge to printed texts and by promoting seven principles of reading motivation through students’ personal interest in film and their situational interest in film-based projects. Teachers can work around the budgetary and time constraints of film making by offering students the 'hands-on' experience of screenwriting, which can help students reinforce their reading and learning. I hope that educators can use the information on reading motivation and film in the classroom and the recommendations on having students adapt texts to screenplays in order to argue for and to begin analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating curricula that incorporate film-based projects, especially screenplays, for improving the literacy motivation in their students.