Document Type



Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


The paper focus on the findings of one of the research questions of a larger research study. It explores the affordance of academic reading to invoke ‘criticality’ (Cope, 2002; Burns and Hood, 1998 and Brown 1999) amongst postgraduate students within traditional university classrooms. Anchored in a research study that roots itself in the broad area of English for Academic Purposes (or EAP), it probes into the process of reading and responding to academic texts written in English. With a qualitative orientation, the study uses a case study design to gather empirical evidence through the introspective method of ‘stimulated think alouds’ in both individual and group settings. For the purposes of this paper, only the group settings called ‘reading groups’ are discussed. These reading groups reveal a more dynamic and networked reading process with the participants engaged in ‘critical explication’ of the text. Reading groups thus exemplify Wallace’s (2003:21) ‘dialogic view of reading’ that feeds in a critical orientation allowing opportunities and spaces of dialogue and resistance to the authority of texts. That this ‘criticality’ is a function of the discoursally constructed, multilaminated identities networked in a group setting is explained by the data. Informed by the dynamics of multilingual, globalizing contexts, the data evidences phenomenon like code switching and ‘counter discourse’ (Pennycook, 1994).


Journal of Research and Reflections in Education