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Reading for pleasure in English class: developing reading dispositions and identities in a digital society

posted on 2019-01-01, 00:00 authored by Joanne O'MaraJoanne O'Mara, Catherine BeavisCatherine Beavis
Halloween has recently made its way into the Australian celebration calendar, at least into some enclaves of inner and middle suburban Melbourne. In Jo’s local area, the celebration centres around the local primary school. This year her witchly self, her ghostly daughter, her son as Frodo from The Lord of the Rings, and many others from the community joined together to collect lollies and cel- ebrate the pleasures of the characters they took on from fictive texts: from tradi- tional horror texts, popular culture texts and literary fiction texts. Jo was struck by the number of characters represented from popular fiction. A friend from the local school Parents and Friends’ Association book club was dressed as Offred, from The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood. This was one of the books they read in 2017, a year where dystopian fiction sales skyrocketed, and HBO produced a mini-series of the Atwood novel, as these worlds seemed to represent the present more truthfully than realism. As Jo went to leave her friend’s house, Offred pressed a candy into Jo’s hand and whispered into her ear, ‘Under His eye’. Jo left, giggling with the pleasure and delight of the reference, and of the chance as a middle-aged woman to play dress-ups.


Title of book

The future of English teaching worldwide: celebrating 50 years from the Dartmouth Conference

Chapter number



215 - 226



Place of publication

Abingdon, Eng.







Publication classification

B1 Book chapter

Copyright notice

2019, Joanne O’Mara and Catherine Beavis




Andrew Goodwyn, Cal Durrant, Wayne Sawyer, Lisa Scherff, Don Zancanella