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Developing Reading Interest In Students Of Tertiary Institutions: A Case Study Of Akwa Ibom State College Of Education Afaha Nsit

Abstract

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This research work examines “Developing reading interest among students of college of Education, Afaha Nsit” when study especially at higher levels, a great deal of time is needed for reading. Academic reading in the college should not be seen as a passive activity, but an activity process that leads to the development of learning. Reading for learning requires a conscious effort to make link, understand opinions, research and 0apply what you learnt to your life. Learning to read as students of higher institution usually results in the ability tom read simple material relatively easily. As we develop our skills in reading, certain ideas and opinions will be easier for us and will be made to interact with unknown person through a written material or printed material.

Developing Reading Interest In Students Of Tertiary Institutions: A Case Study Of Akwa Ibom State College Of Education Afaha Nsit

 CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the study

When studying especially at higher levels, a great deal of time is spent on reading. Academic reading in College of Education Afaha Nsit should not be seen as a passive activity, but active process that leads to the development of learning. Reading for learning requires or demands conscious effort to make links, understand opinions, research, and add what you learnt to your studies.

Learning which starts or begins right from birth, entails acquiring knowledge about various phenomena and understanding them. The more a person reads, the more he/she learns. Reading, which Orsanu (1986: p 17) defined as the art of interpreting printed and written words, is one of the most effective processes of conscious learning and sometimes, it influence the extent and accuracy of information as well as the attitude, morals, beliefs, judgment and action of the readers. A creative and pragmatic education involves the habit of personal investigation. The art of personal investigation requires or demands self-study to be followed by self-thinking and analysis. Self-study, otherwise referred to as reading at one’s own accord demands or requires a habit, which according to Smith (1982: p. 137) is known as reading habit.

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Greene (2001: p. 2) “The reading habit is best formed at a young impressionable age in school but once formed it can last/one’s life. Reading makes way a better understanding of one’s own experiences and it can be an exciting voyage to self-discovery. Deavers (2000: p. 23, 267-267) states that to know about the world and its environment, a child helps himself through reading books. Once the child has been taught to read and he develops a love for books, he can explore for himself the wealth of human experiences and knowledge. Children missing the opportunity of getting in touch with books at this stage, find it hard to acquire reading habit in their later years. According to Fisher (2001: p. 48) reading is an intellectual action which is possible only if a man has formed or developed a habit of reading and practicing it since childhood. “The reading habit therefore plays a very crucial role in enabling a person to achieve practical efficiency. “Law die but books never”. Indeed, books are the most suitable medium through which knowledge is gained and transmitted from generation to generation. Gallo (2007: p. 2) enthused, that books yield best to you, if you read them at the age at which each particular masterpiece can ideally be chewed and digested”.

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There is little knowledge about the everyday reading practices of students of tertiary institutions and how these practices affect their academic achievements. Everyday reading consists of individuals reading or information. Previous researches has document that, from middle childhood through adulthood, reading becomes a major component of studying, and through reading. The everyday reading activities, in which students engage in may therefore, considerably influence their studying skills and subsequent academic performance. There is a general sense in which one appreciates the link between good habits of reading and the academic performance of students generally. Nigeria, like other African countries, adopts the English language as its official language of communication.

It has a great implication for the formation of good culture or habits among Nigerians, especially, the youths who have study and learn in a second language and outside of their mother tongue.  Grellet (1996: p. 13.21-24) states that term “Habit” has been defined as “something that you do often or regularly”. To developing the reading interest and habits among students, therefore require constant and continued practice on the part of the learner.

Guthric, Benneth and MC Gough, (2007: p. 125-135) state that, on its own part “Reading” is the act of getting meaning from printed or written words or materials, which is the basis for learning and one of the most important skills in everyday life. This explains why reading is usually associated with books as only the written words provide complete picture of the act of reading. There is no doubt that through, the individual is able to build of fix things, enjoy stories, discover what other believe and develop ideas/beliefs of their own. Thus, reading provides the key to all forms of information necessary for our day to day survival and growth. Broadly, reading is linked closely with other uses of language and with thinking.

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Developing Reading Interest In Students Of Tertiary Institutions: A Case Study Of Akwa Ibom State College Of Education Afaha Nsit

1.2       Statement of the problem

The importance of the reading skills of English has reached new heights in the present context of the globalized world. But the question is how far are the learners in Nigeria prepared for it? Students’ proficiency at reading English is very poor here. A large majority of students at the undergraduate level in our country would not want to buy English language textbooks prescribed in their syllabus because their lack of acquired proficiency at reading skills in the English.

They depend only on Bangle books while vast resources in the libraries being in English language remain unutilized. As a result, in most cases, higher education in this country suffers miserably. It falls far below the international standard. This student do not do reading in school, they prefer memorizing things words from dictionaries sentences from various books, and rules of grammar from different grammar books. Reading component of English course in the country focuses on understanding word meaning and answering specific questions which students mostly get done by private tutors or at coaching centers. At no stage of the whole education system are students encouraged to process the information from text by themselves through an intellectual engagement, analysis and interpretation of the text. Reading is not taught properly in specific methods. Teachers also do not have necessary training for that.

Greenwoon (1998: P.S) rightly points out that teachers fail to recognize the potentiality of reading and they neglect and/or ignore it in the classroom. According to him, the responsibility of this failure goes to the attitude first of the teacher and then of the students. The most acknowledged cause of failure of the students in effective reading is lack of vocabulary. Many students are inspired by friends or guided by teachers sometimes trying to read a book but soon they lose the eagerness and interest with which they started reading the text. In every paragraph, or even in every sentence or every phrase, they came across some new words, which create a constant barrier for them to understand the meaning.

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Sometimes, they do not understand long sentences, and they miss the links between parts of text. As a result they lose their patience and their interest in reading. Sometimes they may feel inspired to look up the words in the dictionaries, but checking the dictionary too many times prove boring, and at last, their enthusiasm for reading a text dies down. There are some other problems that discourage the students to continue reading a text. Most students fail to understand the syntax, especially when the sentence structures are long.

They also have problems with understanding text organization. Tasmm (2001: 52-53) found out that students proficiency in almost all the sub-skills of reading is below average. It is against their back-drop of poor performance in activities that this research is undertaken.

Developing Reading Interest In Students Of Tertiary Institutions: A Case Study Of Akwa Ibom State College Of Education Afaha Nsit

1.3       Objectives of the study

The study would examine the recent development in the methodology for the teaching of reading skills and its implementation in the academic setting of Nigerians. It seeks to outline the problem that students face in developing reading interest. It would equally recommend measures to overcome the problem of the teaching of reading skills prevailing at the intermediates levels.

The specific objectives of the study are to:

  1. Examine the problems students face during reading.
  2. Examine the recent development in reading pedagogy.
  3. Evaluate the reading component.
  4. Evaluate the pedagogy, materials and tests recently in the country
  5. Recommend measured to improve the present condition or situation in the country (Nigeria).

 

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