Authentic learning experiences are those in which students engage with texts as well as the behaviors of reading and writing within contexts of real-world use beyond traditional academic use. This study provides quantitative analysis of how students (n=200) engaged with an adult pen pal in a shared literacy experience. Findings indicate that students actively participated with their adult pen pals asking and answering more personal questions than literature-based questions. Data were disaggregated for reading ability and gender. Students who were considered above-grade level readers asked and answered significantly more questions than students considered below grade level in reading. Girls asked significantly more questions, both personal and literature-based, than boys, however there were no significant differences in the number of questions answered. Implications and need for future research are discussed.
Hughes, E. M., Evering, L., Malloy, J. A., & Gambrell, L. B. (2014). “Do you have a brother? I have two!”: The Nature of Questions Asked and Answered in Text-Focused Pen Pal Exchanges. Reading Horizons, 53 (4). Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol53/iss4/3