Digital Reading and Reading Competence – The influence in the Z Generation from the Dominican Republic




Internet, digital reading, reading competence, reading illiterates, digital gap, Z Generation, Secondary, social network


Most Latin American countries are focused upon improving learning quality by providing schools with technological resources, as if their sole presence was enough to develop 21st Century skills. Digital reading is not an end in itself; it is a tool that a user selects, depending on the desired purpose and uses it in specific contexts. Adolescents access Internet with at least four purposes: academic, recreational, socialization and communication. This study describes said purposes in adolescents from the Dominican Republic and relates them to their reading literacy proficiency level in two educational contexts: public and private schools. The sample group included 382 students in their fourth year of secondary school (10th grade). Two instruments were used: CoLeP, based on texts from PISA, and a Scale to measure reading frequency, which classifies the four reading purposes in two formats: printed and digital. The conclusion is that most students access and use the Internet for academic purposes, regardless of the educational sector. Nevertheless, reading literacy proficiency differs significantly with students from public schools being in lower levels. This minimizes the opportunities of the most vulnerable social sectors producing reading illiterates that have high economic costs for the nation..