The Role of Climate Change-oriented News in Cultivating Students’Reading Skills and Raising Environmental Awareness

Authors

  • Saban Kara

    Department of English Language Teaching, Tishk International University, Erbil-KRI, 44001, Iraq

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.30564/fls.v6i3.6595
Received: 1 April 2024 | Revised: 19 April 2024 | Accepted: 28 April 2024 | Published Online: 13 June 2024

Abstract

Climate change is a term that takes precedence in the 21st century by humanity due to its negative impacts on the environment in various forms. Similarly, reading is a fundamental skill to grasp information and behave in a more civilised way. Accordingly, online news is the readily available source to be informed about the latest news. Although many studies have been conducted about climate change, reading, and news, a gap in the literature has been observed in merging them into one study with an interdisciplinary approach. To this aim, this study investigates the influence of reading climate change-oriented news on university students’ reading comprehension and raising their ecological awareness simultaneously at a private university in Erbil, Iraq, in the 2023–2024 academic year. Having chosen 34 first-year students through the stratified random sampling method in this mixed methods study, experimental group students read news from news websites, brainstormed, and took relevant exams created by Chat GPT spanning 10 weeks. On the other hand, control group students kept reading the passages in their coursebooks. The findings via reading exams, questionnaires, and interviews, unearthed that reading climate change-oriented news enhanced experimental group students’ reading performance significantly, raised their ecological awareness, and prompted them to persuade others in their community to be more proactive, thereby reversing the catastrophic effects of climate change with a feasible plan. The finding of the study may have some implications for all concerned parties to put the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals into practice at educational institutions.

Keywords:

Chat GPT 4; Climate change-oriented news; Enhanced reading performance; Environmental awareness

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