FACTORS INFLUENCING READING HABITS OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN NIGERIA

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FACTORS INFLUENCING READING HABITS OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN NIGERIA

Abstract:

Reading is central to learning in schools because all learning activities revolve around it. Owing to its importance in academic work, this study assessed factors influencing reading habits of secondary school students across the major Nigerian tribes. It has become necessary now that the modern school system makes greater use of reading as a tool for learning other subjects as well as acquiring other linguistic skills of listening, speaking and writing. Seven research questions were formulated with their corresponding hypotheses. Secondary school students within the major tribes were used as population for the study. However, the sample was drawn from senior secondary school students where nine hundred students were randomly selected from each of the major tribes. The total sample was two thousand seven hundred students. Questionnaire and observation were used as instruments in collecting data. Frequencies and percentages were used in analysing the results, while ANOVA statistical tool was adopted in testing the hypotheses. The major findings revealed that students claimed they read everyday, yet a large proportion of them did not provide evidence of reading anything. Those who read among the students, concentrated on notebooks and other prescribed texts. However, Yoruba students had the highest percentage of reading highly qualitative materials, while those across Igbo states had the least percentage. The numbers of extensive reading texts were few (Hausa and Yoruba, 6 and Igbo, 3). It means that the quantitative reading level is low. No significant differences were recorded in the reading activities of male and female; urban and rural students across the major groups. Despite the fact that the findings revealed poor reading habits of these students, a few who read indicated that they were encouraged to read to acquire knowledge that would improve them. This knowledge seems to be the one that would enable them to pass examinations since their reading was restricted to notebooks and prescribed literary texts. Laziness and chatting became the major factors that hindered students‟ development of reading habits. States labelled with educational advantage did not read better. The major recommendations were that senior secondary schools need experts who teach reading in schools. Alternative to a reading teacher and English language teachers are teachers of other subjects. They are to make reading become part of every class and subject. Students who are still ignorant concerning the enormous roles reading plays in the lives of everybody should be enlightened through sensitization workshops by their teachers and parents. Besides, they should be given adequate motivation to read, get them attracted to books and provide adequate books. It becomes necessary to supply students with high quality reading materials in order to develop their reading habits. The curriculum needs to be expanded to incorporate more reading activities. This should transcend to creating more time and space in the scheme of work.

FACTORS INFLUENCING READING HABITS OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN NIGERIA

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