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A study on students motivation in reading skills at quang lower secondary school

VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI
UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
FACULTY OF POST-GRADUATE STUDIES

------

HOÀNG THỊ HÀ

A STUDY ON STUDENTS’ MOTIVATION IN READING SKILLS
AT QUANG LOWER SECONDARY SCHOOL
(Nghiên cứu về động lực học kỹ năng đọc hiểu của học sinh
trường THCS Quảng Định)

M.A. MINOR THESIS

Field: English Teaching Methodology
Code: 60.14.10

Hanoi, 2011



VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI
UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
FACULTY OF POST-GRADUATE STUDIES

------

HOÀNG THỊ HÀ

A STUDY ON STUDENTS’ MOTIVATION IN READING SKILLS
AT QUANG LOWER SECONDARY SCHOOL
(Nghiên cứu về động lực học kỹ năng đọc hiểu của học sinh
trường THCS Quảng Định)

M.A. MINOR THESIS

Field: English Teaching Methodology
Code: 60.14.10
Supervisor: Nguyen Bang, M.A

Hanoi, 2011


iii

LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES
1. LIST OF TABLES
Table 1: The reasons for students’ learning reading skills
Table 2: Factors affecting students’ motivation in reading
Table 3: The frequency of activities used by the teachers
Table 4: Techniques used by the teachers
Table 5: Results of classroom observation
Table 6: Teacher’s comments on the textbook
Table 7: Students’ comments on the topics of the textbooks
Table 8: Students’ comments on teachers’ employment of activities
2. LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1: The relationship between reasons for reading and types of reading.
Figure 2: Student’s attitudes towards the importance of learning English reading


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TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT.................................................................................................... i
ABSTRACT ..........................................................................................................................ii
LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES..................................................................................iii
TABLE OF CONTENTS ................................................................................................... iv

PART 1: INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................... 1
1.1.

Rationale of the study ............................................................................................ 1

1.2.

Aims of the study ................................................................................................... 2

1.3.

Research questions ................................................................................................. 2

1.4.

Scope of the study .................................................................................................. 2

1.5.

Methods of the study.............................................................................................. 3

1.6.

Significance of the study........................................................................................ 3

1.7.

Design of the study ................................................................................................ 3

PART II: DEVELOPMENT……………………………………………………………...5
CHAPTER 1: LITERATURE REVIEW .......................................................................... 5
1.1. Theoretical backgrounds of motivation ...................................................................... 5
1.1.1. Definition of motivation ...................................................................................... 5
1.1.2. Main types of motivation in second language learning. ...................................... 6
1.1.3. Role of motivation in second language learning. ................................................ 8
1.2. Theoretical backgrounds of reading. .......................................................................... 9
1.2.1. Definitions of reading. ......................................................................................... 9
1.2.2. Reasons for reading. .......................................................................................... 10
1.2.3. Types of reading. ............................................................................................... 10
1.2.3.1. According to ways of reading ..................................................................... 11
1.2.3.2. According to reasons of reading ................................................................. 12
1.2.4. The importance of teaching and learning reading ............................................. 14
1.3. Motivation in reading................................................................................................ 15
1.3.1. The importance of motivation in reading second language. .............................. 15


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1.3.2. Main factors affecting students’ motivation in reading second language. ........ 16
1.3.2.1. The reading materials.................................................................................. 16
1.3.2.2. The teacher .................................................................................................. 17
1.3.2.3. The students ................................................................................................ 18
1.4. Summary ................................................................................................................... 19
CHAPTER 2: METHODOLOGY ................................................................................... 20
2.1. Context of the study .................................................................................................. 20
2.2. Participants................................................................................................................ 21
2.3. Instruments................................................................................................................ 21
2.3.1. Classroom observation ....................................................................................... 21
2.3.2. Survey Questionnaires ....................................................................................... 21
2.3.2.1. Survey questionnaires for the teachers ....................................................... 22
2.3.2.2. Survey questionnaires for the students ....................................................... 22
2.3.3. Interview ............................................................................................................ 22
2.4. Data collection procedures........................................................................................ 22
2.5. Summary ................................................................................................................... 23
CHAPTER 3: DATA ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS ...................................................... 24
3.1 The identification of students’ motivation ................................................................. 24
3.1.1 Types of students’ motivation in learning reading ............................................. 24
3.1.2 Students’ attitude towards reading ...................................................................... 26
3.1.3 Factors affecting students’ motivation in learning reading ................................ 27
3.2. Activities and techniques employed by the teachers ................................................ 28
3.3 Motivational strategies and techniques to motivate students..................................... 33
PART III: CONCLUSION ............................................................................................... 35
1. Summary of the major findings and discussion ........................................................... 35
2. Implications ................................................................................................................. 36
3. Recommendations ........................................................................................................ 37
4. Limitations ................................................................................................................... 37
5. Suggestions for further study ....................................................................................... 38


vi

REFERENCES…………………………………………………………………………...39
APPENDICES


1

PART I: INTRODUCTION
1.1.

Rationale of the study

English has developed with an unprecedented speed in Viet Nam since the Government
implemented the open-door policy to the regional and global integration. English
proficiency is, then, seen as vital requirement for employment and higher education. As a
result, almost learners have to study English as second language for job seeking, job
promotion or overseas studies. Nowadays, in lower secondary schools, English becomes
one of the compulsory subjects on which Grade-9 students are tested at their State
Graduation Examination.
Douglas (2007) wrote that "children who read frequently grow to become skillful readers".
Many researchers also argue that reading is one of the most important skills for second
language readers. According to these researchers, reading is crucial for learning new
information, explaining, interpreting, and combining it based on old information and
expectations. Its instrumental use is particularly important at the lower secondary school
stage. From my own observation and involvement as a part-time teacher of Quang Dinh
Lower Secondary School since 2007, I realize that almost students find reading lessons
tough and boring in which they often feel sleepy. Only a few students get involved in the
activities conducted by teachers while others keep silence or do something else. Obviously,
one of the biggest challenges to teachers is to find out effective ways to improve their
students' reading skills.
This study addresses the issue by looking at the students' motivation in learning reading
skills as it is widely acknowledged that motivation plays a very important role in second
language learning process. Motivation is one of the key factors that determines the success
or failure of language learning. While a considerable amount of research has been
conducted to study the motivation and its effects on second language acquisition, little has
been particularly taken on students' motivation in learning reading comprehension skills
alone.
For the above reasons, I would like to carry out ―A study on students' motivation in
reading skills at Quang Dinh Lower Secondary School” with an attempt to investigate
the factors affecting students' motivation in learning reading skills and suggest some ways


2

to motivate them to learn reading comprehension skills better. It is believed that the study
will be helpful for those who are facing similar problems and those who want to improve
students' motivation in learning reading skills.
1.2.

Aims and objectives

The study aims at investigating the motivation in learning English reading among grade-9
students at Quang Dinh Lower Secondary School. To achieve this aim, the study sets out to
obtain four specific objectives as follows:
1.

To examine types of motivation possessed by the grade-9 students at Quang
Dinh Lower Secondary School.

2.

To identify the main factors affecting the students’ motivation in learning
English reading.

3.

To examine activities and techniques used by the teachers to motivate their
learners in reading lessons.

4.

To recommend how to use reading materials and suggest some motivational
strategies and techniques to

enhance the

grade-9 students’

reading

comprehension skills.
1.3.
(i)

Research questions
What types of motivation do the grade-9 students have in learning English
reading?

(ii)

What are the main factors affecting students’ motivation in learning English
reading?

(iii)

What are motivational activities and techniques employed by the teachers in
reading lessons? What are teachers and students’ opinions on the reading
materials?

(iv)

What motivational strategies and techniques should be applied to improve
students’ reading skills?


3

1.4.

Scope of the study

Recent researchers show that motivation is the key factor which determines the success or
the failure of second language learning among many factors in the second language
acquisition process. This study investigates motivation as a separate factor in learning
English reading. The result of the study will be applied to enhance the reading
comprehension skills of grade-9 students at Quang Dinh Lower Secondary School.
1.5.

Methods of the study

This case study is carried out on the basis of material collection, classroom observation,
survey questionnaires and interview. The use of data striangulation insures that the
information about the subject is tested in more than one way, so the most reliable data will
be gathered.
In theoretical part, a lot of reference materials on motivation and reading have been
gathered and analyzed.
In practical part, classroom observation, survey questionnaires and interview are carried
out to collect the most reliable data for the study.
1.6.

Significance of the study

The study focuses on the importance of motivation and identifies the factors affecting
students’ motivation in learning English reading skills. Its findings are believed to help
teachers of English to be aware of vital role of reading materials to students’ motivation in
reading lessons. Since then, the study suggests some motivational strategies for better
reading comprehension.
1.7.

Design of the study

The study is designed with three parts as follows:
PART 1: INTRODUCTION
The part presents the rationale of the study, aims of the study, research questions, scope of
the study, methods of the study and the significance.
PART 2: DEVELOPMENT


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Chapter 1: Literature review
The chapter provides theoretical backgrounds of motivation and reading. In this chapter,
the theories for motivation, nature of reading, motivation in reading and main factors
affecting motivation in English reading learning are discussed.
Chapter 2: Methodology
The chapter presents the methodology used in this study including data collection, the
procedure of data analysis and instruments.
Chapter 3: Data analysis and findings
The chapter shows the results of the data analysis based on the classroom observation,
survey questionnaires and interview.
PART 3: CONCLUSION
The part summarizes the major findings and discussion, implications, recommendations as
well as suggestions for further study and some limitations of the study.


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PART II: DEVELOPMENT
CHAPTER 1: LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter is concerned with the theories of motivation and second language reading.
Three main features will be presented: theoretical background of motivation, theoretical
background of reading and motivation in second language reading.
1.1. Theoretical backgrounds of motivation
1.1.1. Definition of motivation
Despite the divergence of the approaches used to study motivation, its definitions are
surprisingly uniform. In simple terms, motivation, based on the Latin verb for ―move,‖ is
the force that makes one do something. It is a process that involves goals, physical or
mental activity, and is both instigated and sustained (Pintrich & Schunk, 1996: 4-5;
Williams, 1997). It is characterized in terms of direction, duration and intensity. Earlier
theorists

tended

to

portray

motivation

mechanistically,

related

to

needs

satisfaction (Maslow, 1987; Owens, 1987), while the more recent cognitive psychologists
portray motivation as a product of conscious decision (Williams, 1997).
However, the definition of motivation used in second language (SL) studies is less
uniform. As Crookes and Schmidt (1991) point out, even though almost every text has a
chapter on motivation, it is used more as a general catch-all rather than a precise construct.
They quote McDonough in pointing out that ―motivation‖ is used ―as a general cover term
– a dustbin – to include a number of possibly distinct concepts‖ (Crookes & Schmidt,
1991). Whatever the case, it has been traditionally corresponded with and measured by
proficiency. It is also defined as producing ―engagement in and persistence with the
learning task‖ (Crookes & Schmidt, 1991). This is especially true among teachers rather
than second language researchers, who ―would describe a student as motivated if he or she
becomes productively engaged in learning tasks and sustains that engagement, without the
need for continual encouragement or direction‖ (Crookes & Schmidt, 1991: 480).
A summary of definitions offered by Mitchell (1982: 81), even though he is not an SL
researcher, is succinct, modern, and seems to cover the definitions offered in both fields. It
is, in fact, quite similar to the definition offered by Williams and Burden (1997),


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who are SL researchers. Mitchell’s definition is: "Motivation becomes those psychological
processes that cause arousal, direction, and persistence of voluntary actions that are goalrelated".
According to Gardner, a highly motivated individual will want to learn the language, enjoy
learning the language, and strive to learn the language. The Gardner’s theory of second
language learning motivation is based on the definition of motivation as ―the extent to
which the individual works or strives to learn the language because of a desire to do so
and the satisfaction experienced in this activity‖ (Gardner 1985). In this definition,
motivation is described as goal-directed; the learners’ immediate goal is to learn the
language. Gardner proposed that in order to understand why learners were motivated, it is
necessary to understand the learners’ ultimate goal or purpose for learning the language.
Gardner refers to this as the learner’s orientation. He identified two distinct orientations for
learning a language: integrative and instrumental.
1.1.2. Main types of motivation in second language learning
The types of motivation are controversial and there has been many distinctions made in the
literature so far.
1.1.2.1. Integrative motivation verse instrumental motivation
Second Language research on motivation has followed a different track and has been
dominated by one theory in particular (Crookes & Schmidt, 1991; Gardner, 1992). In
1959, Gardner and Lambert divided the motivation to learn a language into two types,
instrumental motivation and integrative motivation. Integrative motivation is characterized
by a positive attitude towards the speakers and culture of the target language, while
instrumental motivation is characterized by learning the language for practical purposes,
such as gaining employment or passing a test.
Integrative motivation is highly correlated with achievement, so of the two orientations,
integrative motivation has usually been held as superior (Crookes & Schmidt, 1991). This
is not necessarily Gardner’s position since he states the social context might make an
instrumental orientation better in some situations and an integrative orientation better in
others (Williams, 1997).


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―Gardner’s theories have influenced virtually all SL-related research in this area‖ (Crookes
& Schmidt, 1991: 471), but have also been criticized, especially in regard to the integrative
motive hypothesis and the causality hypothesis. Interpretation of the empirical data from
research to validate these theories is controversial, since various studies have produced
different results. Clearly, other factors impinge. Some factors, such as age, can be
controlled for, but others, such as cultural values, cannot. Gardner’s chief critic, Oller,
suggests that the relationship between affective factors and language learning may be an
―unstable non-linear function of high variability‖ (Crookes & Schmidt, 1991: 48).
In his 1988 defense of the theory, Gardner indicated that across a large number of studies,
there have been significant correlation between integrative attitudes and language
proficiency, and in his own later study (1992), he found a strong correlation with the
learning of vocabulary items. Integrative motivation has been also correlated with
persistence; Ramage (1991) conducted a study to find what relationship exists between
various motivations and the likelihood of a student to continue in a program. She found
that an interest in the foreign culture and in learning the language, but not for instrumental
reasons, thoroughly distinguished those students who would continue in a program from
those who would not.
The strong correlation between integrative motivation and achievement implies causality,
but, as in all correlations, making such an assumption is speculative. Integrativeness and
achievement might both be products of another, not yet identified causes. Savignon and
Strong (cited in Crookes & Schmidt, 1991: 474), have even proposed that the causality
might work in reverse as well. Rather than a positive attitude towards the target language
leading to proficiency, proficiency and success in the second language might cause a
positive attitude, while failure produces a negative attitude (Crookes & Schmidt, 1991).
1.1.2.2. Intrinsic motivation verse extrinsic motivation
Harmer, J. (1994) classifies motivation into two main categories: intrinsic motivation and
extrinsic motivation. According to him, intrinsic motivation concerns with what is taken
place in the classroom whereas the extrinsic is concerned with factors outside the
classroom. Therefore, he considered integrative motivation and instrumental motivation as
of extrinsic motivation.


8

In 1992, Moore, K.D (p. 173) proposes the distinction of the two concepts, that is:
―Intrinsic motivation is what learners bring to the learning environment, that is, their
internal attributes: attitudes, values, needs and personal factors. In contrast, extrinsic
motivation originates outside the individual and is concerned with external environmental
factors that help shape students’ behavior.‖
It can be said that the main difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is the
goals of the students. With intrinsic motivation, the student studies subject material for the
sake of learning. These students find studying enjoyable and learning new ideas as a
reward itself. Extrinsically motivated students study for the sake of outside influences such
as getting teacher and peer praise, acquiring a good grade or some other type of
reinforcement that a teacher or peer might offer.
Another difference that is worth mentioning is that research shows that intrinsically
motivated students learn more than extrinsically motivated ones. This could be due to the
fact that intrinsically motivated students are also extrinsically motivated. But on the other
note, extrinsically motivated students are seldom found to be intrinsically motivated.
Motivating students to become intrinsically motivated is not an easy task for teachers. To
some students, they enjoy learning. For the others, this is where the challenge really comes
in. From what perceived, Moore, K.D. (1992: 178) suggests the ways to motivate those
learners that ―in intrinsic motivation, the external incentives and rewards that are used to
get students to learn or work modify their action are artificially devised techniques. Ideally,
once extrinsic motivation has been used to help develop intrinsic motivation, it should be
phased out.‖
1.1.3. Role of motivation in second language learning.
Most motivation theorists assume that motivation is involved in the performance of all
learners’ responses; that is, a learner behavior will not occur unless it is energized. As a
result, motivation affects the extent of active, personal involvement in second language
learning. Obviously, unmotivated students are insufficiently involved and therefore unable
to develop their potential second language skills. Thus, motivation is one of the main
determining factors in success in second language learning. Oxford and Shearin (1996:121122) point out:


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―Motivation is important because it directly influences how often students use second
language learning strategies, how much students interact with native speakers, how much
input they receive in the language being learned (the target language), how well they do in
curriculum- related achievement tests, how high their general proficiency level becomes,
and how long they persevere and maintain second language skills after language study is
over”.
Therefore, motivation is crucial for second language learning, and it is essential to
understand what the students’ motivation is. As a general rule, teachers are advised to use
as much of the intrinsic suggestions as possible while recognizing that not all students will
be appropriately motivated by them. However, both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
should be paid attention to teaching and learning second language learning.
1.2. Theoretical backgrounds of reading.
1.2.1. Definitions of reading
―Reading‖ is a complex cognitive process of decoding symbols for the intention of
constructing or deriving meaning. It is the mastery of basic cognitive processes to the point
where they are automatic so that attention is freed for the analysis of meaning.
The definitions ―reading‖ has been investigated under numerous perspectives by different
linguists, educators and second language researchers, but each of them can be only the
reflection of its author’s particular view of reading process.
According to Harmer, J (1991: 190), ―reading is an exercise dominated by the eyes and the
brain. The eyes receive message and the brain then has to work out the significance of
these messages‖.
Another definition of reading by Goodman, K.S (1971: 135) is that ―Reading is
psycholinguistics process by which the reader, language user, reconstructs, as the best as
he can, a message which has been encoded by writer as a graphic display.‖ He views
reconstruction as ―a cyclical process of sampling, predicating, testing, and confirming.‖
Richard and Thomas (1987: 9) do believe that reading is best described as ―an
understanding between the author and the reader. Reading is much more than just
pronouncing words correctly or simply knowing what the author intends; it is the process


10

whereby the printed page stimulate ideas, experiences and responses that are unique to an
individual‖. The researchers, then, have common background defining reading as the
understanding.
Deriving from above definitions, reading is a means of language acquisition, of
communication, and of sharing information and ideas. Like other languages, it is a
complex interaction between the text and the reader which is shaped by the reader’s prior
knowledge, experiences, attitude, and language community which is culturally and socially
situated. The reading process requires continuous practices, development, and refinement.
1.2.2. Reasons for reading
People generally do not read unless they have a reason for reading, that is, they have a
need of some kind that can be satisfied through reading. The reason for reading depends
very much on the purpose of reading. Reading can have three main purposes, for survival,
for learning or for pleasure. These are also three personal reasons for reading according to
Wallace, C (1992).
Reading for survival is considered to be in response to our environment, to find out
information and can include street signs, advertising, and timetables. It depends very much
on the daily needs of the reader and often involves an immediate response to a situation.
Reading for learning, in contrast, is considered to be the type of reading done in the
classroom and is goal orientated. Reading is the fundamental skill upon which all formal
education depends. Research now shows that a student who doesn’t learn the reading
basics early is unlikely to learn them at all.
Any student who doesn’t learn to read early and well will not easily master other skills and
knowledge, and is unlikely to ever flourish in school or in life. Low reading achievement,
more than any other factor, is the root cause of chronically low-performing schools, which
harm students and contribute to the loss of public confidence in our school system. When
many children don’t learn to read, the public schools cannot and will not be regarded as
successful—and efforts to dismantle them will proceed.
Reading for pleasure is an activity that is commonly taken for granted. Although many
readers are initially interested in developing their reading skills for very practical reasons,
teachers have an ideal opportunity to introduce their learners to a range of experiences,


11

including fiction and non-fiction, travel writing, graphic novels - both on-screen and paperbased.
1.2.3. Types of reading
Reading has been classified into different types according to ways of reading and purposes
of reading.
1.2.3.1. According to ways of reading
Reading is classified into aloud reading and silent reading.
Aloud reading is an unnatural activity because most people do not read aloud in real life,
and it is difficult for the speaker to pay attention to the meaning of the text while reading
aloud. According to Doff (1988: 67), ―aloud reading involves looking at a text,
understanding it and also saying it. Its purpose is not just to understand a text but to
convey the implication to someone else.‖
This kind of activity seems to be more popular in the language classroom. It focuses on the
pronunciation of words in the text rather than understanding. In reading texts, students
come across many new words and phrases that they do not know how to pronounce. The
teacher, in this case, may help his students pronounce words by reading the text orally and
loudly.
Aloud reading is often applied for the beginners including lower secondary students and
limited in upper classes due to some reasons stated as follows: It takes up a long time as
students often read slowly when they focus on pronunciation. Consequently, they do not
have enough time to deduce the meaning of the text or complete comprehension exercises.
Lewis and Hill (1995: 10) wrote: ―Asking students to read aloud also mean that they may
concentrate inadequately on their meaning. He may read correctly but afterward will not
be able to tell what he has read.‖
From above mentioned, this kind of reading should be used in teaching reading to students
of low levels.
Silent reading is the nearest approach to the essence of reading. By reading silently, the
readers can best comprehend the written materials in the limited time. The nature of silent


12

reading is far from uniform. It is changeable according to the use to which it is being put.
Some of them are mentioned as follows:
(i)

To survey material which is to be studies, to look through indexes, chapter
headings and outlines.

(ii)

To skim particularly when one item of information is being sought in a mass of
other printed information.

(iii)

To gain superficial comprehension, as when reading for pleasure or preparing to
read aloud.

(iv)

To study the content of what is read in some detail.

(v)

To study the language in which the material is written.

Through these ways of reading, the readers would comprehend the written materials more
deeply and in details.
1.2.3.1. According to reasons of reading
According to Williams (1984), reading is classified into four main types, namely
skimming, scanning, extensive reading and intensive reading. Below are different types of
reading in relation to reasons of reading.

REASONS

STYLES

Reading for general
information

Reading for brief
information

Scanning

Skimming

Involuntary

Reading for
pleasure/ interest

Intensive

Rapid

Extensive

Reading

Figure 1: The relationship between reasons for reading and types of reading.
(Adapted from Williams, 1984)


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Skimming

Skimming is used to quickly gather the most important information, or ―gist‖. Run your
eyes over the text, noting important information. Use skimming to quickly get up to speed
on a current business situation. It's not essential to understand each word when skimming.
Douglas Brown wrote that ―Skimming consists of quickly running eyes across the whole
text for its gist. Skimming gives the readers the advantage of being able to predict the
purpose of the passage, the main topic, or massage, or possibly some of the developing or
supporting ideas‖. Therefore, skimming is commonly used in reading comprehension and
it is one of specific techniques for quick and efficient reading. Skimming should be applied
in teaching reading to help students have an overview of what they read.


Scanning

According to Douglas Brown (2001: 308), ―Scanning was quickly searching for some
particular piece or pieces of information in a text‖. Scanning is used to find a particular
piece of information. When scanning, you run your eyes over the text looking for the
specific piece of information you need. You use scanning on schedules, meeting plans, etc,
in order to find the specific details you require. If you see words or phrases that you don't
understand, don't worry.
Grellet (1981: 19) gives a detailed definition of scanning: ―When scanning, we only try to
locate information and often we do not even follow the linearity of passage to do so, and
scanning is far more limited since it only means retrieving what information is relevant to
our purpose‖. This kind of reading is very useful in reading selectively.
Both skimming and scanning are effective techniques for quick and efficient reading. It is
advisable to make use of them to improve reading comprehension skills for secondary
students.


Extensive reading

It could be defined from different points of view (Hedge, 2003: 202). Some authors define
it as activities of skimming and scanning. For others, it is the amount of reading of
material. Hafiz and Tudor (1989: 5) claim that the pedagogical value attributed to
extensive reading is based on the assumption that exposing learners to large quantities of


14

meaningful and interesting second language material will, in the long run, produce a
beneficial effect on the learners’ command of the second language.
Extensive reading inspired by Krashen’s Input Hypothesis, has been readopted in different
EFL institutions and universities since students are asked to read independently using
available material online or at their reach (Hedge, 2003: 200-201).
Extensive reading is an individual activity that can be not only in class but also at home. It
helps students to find their way to be independent. Learners can be allowed to select their
own reading materials according to their interests and level of language they have.
Hedge describes the advantages of extensive use in the following lines:
―Learners can build their language competence, progress in their reading ability, become
more independent in their studies, acquire cultural knowledge, and develop confidence and
motivation to carry on learning.‖ (ibid, 204-205).


Intensive Reading

Intensive reading is associated with short texts used to make students explore the meaning
and get familiar with the writing mechanisms. They are used to practice or focus on
specific lexical, syntactical or discoursal aspects of the target language or to practice a
selected reading strategy. However, Hedge states that it is "only through more extensive
reading that learners can gain substantial practice in operating these strategies more
independently on a range of materials." (ibid, 202) These strategies can be either textrelated or learner-related: the former includes an awareness of text organization, while the
latter includes strategies like linguistic, schematic, and meta-cognitive strategies.
In this regard, Douglas Brown (2001: 312) defines: ―Intensive reading is usually a
classroom oriented activity in which students focuses on linguistic or semantic details of a
passage. Reading calls students’ attention to grammatical forms, discourse markers and
other surface structure details for purpose of understanding literal meaning, implication,
rhetorical relationships and the likes‖.
Intensive reading is considered as a basic classroom activity. It is really effective if the
teacher and the students know how to fully exploit this activity in class with the help of
reading exercises.


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1.2.4. The importance of teaching and learning reading
"Research findings in applied linguistics and reading research consistently show a strong
correlation between reading proficiency and academic success at all ages, from the
primary school right through to university level: students who read a lot and who
understand what they read usually attain good grades." (Pretorius, 2000). In other words,
a student who is a good reader is more likely to do well in school and pass exams more
than a weak reader-student. In fact, the relationship between reading and learning begins
even earlier in the pre-primary school years. Children who are exposed to the storybook
reading before they go to school tend to have larger vocabularies, greater general
knowledge and better conceptual development than their peers. Moreover, several teachers
and researchers argue that reading is probably the most important skill for second language
student in academic or learning context.
Hedge (2003) states that any reading component of an English language course may
includes a set of learning goals for:
(i)

the ability to read a wide range of texts in English. This is the long-range goal
most teachers seek to develop through independent readers outside EFL/ESL
classroom.

(ii)

building knowledge of language which will facilitate reading ability

(iii)

building schematic knowledge.

(iv)

the ability to adapt the reading style according to reading purpose (i.e.
skimming, scanning)

(v)

developing an awareness of the structure of written texts in English

(vi)

taking a critical stance to the contents of the texts

1.3. Motivation in reading
1.3.1. The importance of motivation in reading second language
It is generally acknowledged that reading motivation plays a crucial role in second
language reading process. Reading motivation is a kind of desire to read and it has a major
role in students’ success because most academic knowledge is gained through reading. To
become effective readers throughout their school years, students must read early and often.


16

Motivation for reading is essential so that students choose to develop their reading skills
and persist and make strong efforts to overcome any limitations. Students only become
skilled readers when they read a lot, and motivation is critical for addressing this challenge.
Students with high intrinsic motivation are relatively active readers and high achievers. If a
person is intrinsically motivated to read, he or she will not shrink from reading difficult
texts. Thus, motivation increases the amount of reading and leads to high reading
achievement.
Being aware that ―it is an important part of a reading teacher’s job to motivate learners‖
(Girard, D. 1977: 120), teachers should arouse their students’ interest and curiosity in the
text, encourage their expectation and activate them in reading activities.
1.3.2. Main factors affecting students’ motivation in reading second language.
Almost students take a dim of becoming good, fluent second language learners. They know
that reading development is hard work and they need effective motivational support from
their teachers and the curriculum. Second language motivation researches strongly argue
that motivation is significantly affected by what happens regularly in classroom.
1.3.2.1. The reading materials
The reading materials (or printed information) also play a very important role in reading
learning environment. Reading provides with access to information and today’s world
information is power.
Because printed information is a permanent visual representation, it allows the users to
reflect on form or content and constantly refers back to them in a way that oral
transmission of information do not. The importance of being able to read to learn is
particularly imperative when seen in the light of the role that textbooks and other books
play in the learning context. Grabe (1991: 389) point out that ―literacy in academic settings
in developed countries exists within the content of massive amount of printed information‖.
Even in developed countries, textbooks constitute the main medium whereby new
information and knowledge acquired. It has been estimated that about 75% of the
information which senior secondary students need is via textbooks rather than being
transmitted by teachers. The importance of textbooks can not be denied in case of lower
secondary students although the teacher plays a crucial role in this stage. Texts not only


17

help to reinforce those aspects of knowledge dealt with during class periods, but they also
provide learners with access to information outside the classroom.
Thus, textbooks are rich source of formal knowledge. Texts increasingly contain lowfrequency words that do not usually occur in ordinary conversational discourse, the texts
become conceptually more complex, especially at the academic levels.
1.3.2.2. The teacher
It is said that the importance of teacher factor in achieving high level of students’
motivation in second language reading can not be neglected. The success of the teacher in
school reading has a direct affect the students’ reading success. Ericksen (1978: 3) wrote
that ―Effective learning in the classroom depend on the teacher’s ability…to maintain the
interest that brought students to the course in the first place.‖
The teacher’s personality and attitude have a great impact on secondary students’ learning
motivation and learning progress. It is admitted that the teacher owning warmness,
sensitiveness, enthusiasm, empathy and sense of humor would be more likely successful in
her teaching than the ones without those characteristics. The teacher can raise the students’
love for second language reading by establishing their rapport and respect to them because
most of them are very sensitive and most affected by their teacher. ―To a very large
degree, students expect to learn if their teachers expect them to learn‖ (Stippek, 1988).
The teacher has a key role in creating an effective classroom environment which has highly
motivated students and necessitates strong interpersonal and social interaction.

This

classroom environment has powerful effect on the encouragement or discouragement of
motivating students to read. The choice of teaching strategy has an effect upon the
motivation and interests of the students. The manner in which the teacher approaches the
teaching strategy will have effect upon motivation: an enthusiastic approach is more likely
to motivate than a dull approach. In order to achieve effect learning environment, the
teacher has to create a competitive atmosphere in which the students are not afraid to make
mistakes and encouraged to take risks. In her lessons, the teacher gives students
opportunities to talk about them, their interests and their learning needs. The teacher
should recognize the ―little success‖, improvements and progress of all students both
individually and with the entire group.


18

A good teacher should know her students and can find ways to pull the students and the
texts together
1.3.2.3. The students
Oxford and Shearin (1994) identified six factors that impact second language learning
motivation in which five factors is related to students. These five students’ factors can be
listed as follows:
(i)

Attitude (i.e. sentiments toward the learning community and the target
language)

(ii)

Beliefs about self (i.e. expectancies about one’s attitudes to succeed, selfefficacy and anxiety)

(iii)

Goals (perceived clarity and relevance of learning goals as reasons for learning)

(iv)

Involvement (i.e. extent to which the learner actively and consciously
participates in the language learning process)

(v)

Personal attributes (i.e. aptitude, age, sex, and previous language experience).

Students’ attitude plays a significant role in the second language reading classroom. They
have a close relationship with motivation. Krashen (1985) proposes that attitudes can act as
barriers or bridges to reading a new language and are the essential environmental
ingredient for language reading. The author also states that learning can only happen if
certain affective conditions, such as positive attitudes, self- confidence, low anxiety, exist.
When these conditions are presented, input can pass through the affective filter and can be
used by the learners.
Sharing his own ideas regarding factors affecting learning motivation, Davies (1996)
wrote:
―In learning how to use a language effectively, students must be actively engaged in using
language. The teacher of English must create opportunities within the classroom situation,
which enable students to think through language and to express their learning through the
language models of speaking, listening, reading and writing. A variety of strategies have
been developed which encourage students as active meaning- makers, using language to
go beyond the literal in investigating how language works and is used as a form of thinking
and communication.‖


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1.4. Summary
In summary, different aspects related to motivation and reading skills have been presented
in this chapter.
The chapter has been mentioned the concepts and ideas concerning motivation, different
types of motivation and its role in second language learning. In addition, the notions of
second language reading, the importance of reading in second language teaching and
learning have been discussed. Especially, the chapter has considered the issues concerning
the importance of motivation in reading and main factors affecting motivation in reading
second language.
The following chapter is intended to introduce the context and the methodology of the
study.


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