Original Research - Special Collection: Rethinking literacy and pedagogic agency in the 4IR

Rethinking literacy pedagogy in the context of 4IR: Learners’ access and reading motivation

Florence M. Olifant, Madoda P. Cekiso, Naomi Boakye
Reading & Writing | Vol 14, No 1 | a433 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/rw.v14i1.433 | © 2023 Florence M. Olifant, Madoda P. Cekiso, Naomi Boakye | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 April 2023 | Published: 18 December 2023

About the author(s)

Florence M. Olifant, Department of Applied Languages, Faculty of Humanities, Tshwane University of Technology, Tshwane, South Africa
Madoda P. Cekiso, Department of Applied Languages, Faculty of Humanities, Tshwane University of Technology, Tshwane, South Africa
Naomi Boakye, Unit for Academic Literacy, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Background: In the education sector, technologies are (or can be) repurposed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) to facilitate teaching and learning. However, this shift may impact on learners’ access to reading materials and reading motivation.

Objectives: The aim of the study was to determine whether Grade 8 English First Additional Language (FAL) learners’ motivation to read is influenced by access to reading materials in a traditional classroom setting or through online reading platforms.

Method: Likert-scale survey questionnaires were used to measure this relationship. Data from 466 Grade 8 English FAL learners from six South African township schools were collected and SPSS version 25 was used to analyse the data.

Results: In traditional classrooms, the findings showed that increased access positively influenced motivation, whereas this effect was not evident in online reading platforms. However, in both settings, motivation increased when learners had access to a diverse selection of reading materials. Finally, the findings indicated a parallel relationship between learners’ low motivation and limited access to reading platforms.

Conclusion: The study concluded that while traditional classrooms continue to play an important role in global education, the ongoing evolution of technology-based learning platforms has compelled a shift in reading practices toward online platforms, which are reshaping the educational landscape, demonstrating the increasing significance of technology-mediated learning in modern education.

Contribution: The authors recommend enhanced collaboration between teachers and learners to devise innovative methods for motivating online reading, ensuring learners’ inclusion in the 4IR literacy pedagogy evolution.


English First Additional Language (FAL); access to reading materials; reading motivation; traditional reading; online reading; learners.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education


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