SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ READING HABITS

SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ READING HABITS FOR ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

Abstract

This work is titled “A Study of Gwagwalada Area Council Senior Secondary Schools’ Reading Habits for Academic Achievements.” it was carried out in order to proffer probable solution to the various reading habits formed by students of senior secondary schools which hinder their academic achievements and which also cause mass failure in their external examinations like WASSCE/ NECO. The study is set out among other things to look into the numerous ways to improve students’ reading habit for academic per excellence both in and out of the Senior Secondary Education. This was done by looking into the various concepts of teaching reading and ways by which the problems faced by Senior Secondary Schools students could be eradicated for this purpose, sets of vocabulary method, language development method and test were used to elicit the information needed. The responses gathered from the test were analyzed using simple percentages and mean scores. The statistical tools were simple mean, percentage and t-test. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics, that is, variables, frequency and percentages. The findings suggest that the scope could be widened in future to cover a large number of places within the geopolitical zone of the FCT. Shared reading might be the key that is needed to unlock the reading process of senior secondary school students who are showing signs of reading failure. Researcher also suggested that the senior secondary schools teachers and even tertiary institution should be trained through various workshops in the use of shared reading in their classrooms. In view of the findings of this study, some recommendations were made, which are; the policy makers should give more attention to reading in the school curriculum, improve language Arts methods curriculum, and hence improve the teaching of reading generally. Parents should share stories with their wards at home to scaffold their reading development before they enroll in school. Readers’ club should be encouraged and there should also be a committee to monitor and supervise reading and reading related activities in our schools.

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Research Questions

This study shall attempt to answer the following questions;

  1. To what extent is the various methods (Language development method and vocabulary method) used in teaching reading affect the students reading habits and their academic achievement using cloze test?
  2. Is there any difference in the pre-test and post-test gain scores of students taught using the language development method and those taught using vocabulary method in word recognition test?
  3. Is there any difference in the pre-test and post test gain scores of students taught using the language development method and those taught using the vocabulary method in retelling test?
  4. Does the difference in the availability and the use of recommended textbooks affect students reading habits and academic achievements using language development method and vocabulary method?
  5. Hypothesis
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The null hypotheses to be tested are:

  1. There is no significant difference in the post test gain scores of pupils taught reading comprehension using language development method and those taught using the vocabulary method in cloze test.
  2. There is no significant difference in the post test gain scores of students taught reading comprehension using language development method and those taught using the vocabulary method in word recognition test.
  3. There is no significance difference in the post test scores of the students taught reading comprehension using language development method and those taught using the vocabulary method in retelling test.
  4. There is no significance difference in the availability and the use of recommended textbooks affect students reading habits and academic achievements using language development method and vocabulary method

Significance of the Study

This study shall be of immense benefit to the designers of the English programme. It shall guide them to make amends where necessary. To the teachers teaching language, those of them in particular without adequate training in language teaching would find the result of this study useful to improve their reading instruction. The findings could also inspire or motivate them to experiment relevant methods used in teaching reading at the lower level of education. It is hoped that the finding of this study would alert classroom teachers on the need to stimulate pupils’ interest in reading with language development activities. The findings of this research will also be useful in helping teachers teach reading effectively and efficiently.

The value of the study will also be appreciated by policy makers who need to realize that in language teaching, reading is one of the fundamental language skills and should be given more attention in the school curriculum. The curriculum planners who are agents of government could also use the findings to improve the Language Teaching Curriculum (LTC) and hence improve the teaching of reading generally; Parents also stand to benefit from this study. Reading habits are learned first at home and later in the school. The findings of the study could point out what necessary steps parents need to take to help develop reading skills. This will help to bridge any gap between the reading activities of the pupils at home and those in school.

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The study is also significant in the sense that it is designed to provide the kind of information that will improve the teaching of reading comprehension. It is equally hoped that it will provide some information that will improve ESL teacher education, especially with regard to teaching reading.

The writers of English textbooks shall equally benefit from this study. The careful assessment and useful comments, which the study shall make on the strengths and weakness of the methods of teaching reading, will guide them in making necessary additions and subtractions in a bid to revitalize their works and thus make their books stand the test of time.

To the society at large and future researchers in particular, the study shall provide a basis upon which further research aimed at the furtherance of knowledge would spring up.

Delimitation of the Study

The study is restricted to an assessment of the reading habits of the students’ reading achievements. Habit is learnt and cultivated. It therefore covers especially those reading habits of some selected Senior Secondary Schools Students randomly selected in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The data collection for this study will be limited to only selected schools because of financial and time constraints. It is also limited to Senior Secondary Schools in Gwagwalada Area Council. This work is not without some limitations. The use of students from three senior secondary schools within Gwagwalada Area Council out of eight Senior Secondary School limits generalizations of the findings to the three schools. There is no assurance of the accuracy and genialness of the responses there was no opportunity for further probe. The respondents’ views may be partial reflections of the needs perceived by the researcher.

Operational Definition of Terms

Reading: This is act of obtaining knowledge through books either printed or written. It is also the activity through which a person’s cognitive ability could be furthered. It is also the extraction of meaning from words in print.

Student/Learner: The term student means someone who is learning formally. The S.S. one to S.S. However, student or learner in this study means secondary school student i.e. three students.

Top-down model: This is a process where the reader comes to the text with a previously formed plan, and perhaps, omits chunks of the text which seem to be irrelevant to the reader’s purpose.

Bottom-up model: Is a process whereby the reader builds up a meaning from the black marks on the page: recognizing letters and words, working out sentence structure.

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Interactive model: refers to a process whereby a reader continually shifts from one focus to another, now adopting a top-down approach to predict the probable meaning, then moving to the bottom-up approach to check whether that is really what the writer says.

Achievement: This has to do with success that somebody has succeeded in doing, usually with effort. It is also defined as the act of finishing something successfully.

Skimming:  Refers to glancing rapidly through a text to determine its gist, for example in order to decide whether search paper is relevant to our own work … or to keep ourselves superficially informed about matter that are not of great importance to us.

Scanning:   Is glancing rapidly through a text either to search for a specific piece of information or to get an initial impression of whether the text is suitable for given purpose.

Browsing:   is a sort of reading where goals are not well defined, parts of a text may be skipped fairly randomly and there is a little attempt to integrate the information into a macro structure.            

Inferencing: Refers to making use of syntactic, logical and cultural clues to discover the meaning of unknown elements.

Prediction:  Is the faculty of predicting or guessing what to come next, making use of grammatical, lexical and cultural clue.

Attitude: The disposition of our secondary school students, home, school and other agents of socialization and how they purport to act when it comes to reading related activities

SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ READING HABITS FOR ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

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