Date of Conferral







Gladys Arome


Reading achievement at the junior high level continues to be a concern in the United States and research has indicated that decreased reading motivation is one possible reason. Researchers have established that the use of authentic audiences leads to increased motivation and achievement at the elementary, high school, and college levels but have yet to demonstrate the same findings at the junior high level. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to explore teacher perceptions of how the use of authentic audiences influences the reading motivation, autonomy, and feelings of relatedness of junior high students. The conceptual framework for this study included Ryan and Deci’s self-determination theory and Siemens’s theory of connectivism. The research questions asked how teachers described authentic audiences and what influence teachers perceived authentic audiences had on student motivation, autonomy, and feelings of relatedness. The purposeful sample included 12 junior high reading teachers with more than 2 years of experience at the junior high school level. Qualitative data were collected from semi structured interviews. Content analysis was used to analyze the data for codes, categories, and themes. Key results indicate that teachers perceive authentic audiences are an innovative teaching strategy and have a positive influence on junior high students’ motivation, autonomy, and feelings of relatedness. One teacher reported no change in student motivation. The implications for positive social change include an improvement in the declining state of reading achievement and motivation at the junior high level by sharing strategies for using an authentic audience such as FlipGrid, YouTube, blogs, and connections with professionals in related fields.