Reading, Discussing, and Sharing: Creation of a Vibrant Transnational Online Learning Community through the International Book Club

Emerson Case
Agnieszka Kaczmarek
Sebastian Zatylny


The present paper reports on the findings from the first four years of an ongoing, longitudinal study which examines the experiences and perceptions of Polish college participants in the International Book Club, an extension of a campus common read program at an American university. More specifically, the paper examines participants’ experiences with the book, both inside and outside the classroom, and examines their opinions about the issues discussed in each year’s book selection, their attitudes toward that issue and whether or not their attitude toward the issue was changed through this experience, their attitudes toward public discussions and whether or not their attitude toward public discussions was changed through this experience, and whether or not reading the book and participating in the club helped to improve their English-speaking abilities. Quantitative data, in the form of a nine-statement survey, and qualitative data, in the form of a nine-question open-ended questionnaire, were collected and analyzed. While a great deal of the literature on common read programs has explored the experiences of participants within the North American context, there is a dearth
of research outside of that context, including the Polish context. The present study attempts to ameliorate this situation. The main findings from the study show that, overall, participants enjoyed the experience of reading the book and that participation in the program has been beneficial for them, including getting them to read more, to engage in discussions more, to think more deeply about more diverse topics and issues, and perhaps most importantly, to im­prove their English language abilities.


common; read programs; International Book Club

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Published : 2024-03-13

CaseE., KaczmarekA., & ZatylnyS. (2024). Reading, Discussing, and Sharing: Creation of a Vibrant Transnational Online Learning Community through the International Book Club. Theory and Practice of Second Language Acquisition, 10(1), 1-25.

Emerson Case 
California State University in Bakersfield  United States
Agnieszka Kaczmarek
University of Applied Sciences in Nysa  Poland
Sebastian Zatylny 
University of Applied Sciences in Nysa  Poland

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