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Prof. Bernadette A. Pastolero

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THE READING INTEREST IN ENGLISH OF THE GRADE SIX

PUPILS IN MANGAGOY DISTRICT I, BISLIG CITY

Prof. Bernadette A. Pastolero

THE PROBLEM

          Since the time education took its place in civilization, reading has been considered not just a relatively simple mechanical skill but a highly complex one. It is important that individuals should know how to read. They benefit a lot from reading for it is the basic tool for learning. Individuals who read well have at their command a means for expanding their mental horizon and multiplying their opportunity for rich and profitable experiences. It is one of the most important skills a person can acquire. Through reading an individual can get information concerning problems or issues that affects one’s life. An individual’s thinking is largely influenced by his/her interest in reading.

          This study determined the reading interests in English among the Grade Six pupils of Mangagoy District I for the school year 2002-2003.

          Specifically, the problems were the following:

1. What is the profile of the grade six pupils of Mangagoy District I?

2. What are the reading interests of the grade six pupils in relation to:

a. type of reading material

b. topic

c. literary genre

d. length of material

e. characteristics of reading material

3. From where do the pupils obtain their reading materials?

4. Who influence the pupils in their choice of reading materials?

5. Is there a significant difference in the reading interest between boys and girls in grade six?

METHODOLOGY

         This study is descriptive in nature. Three hundred ten (310) respondents or fifty percent (50%) of the 620 grade six populations enrolled during the school year 2002-2003 were drawn by random sampling. The Descriptive type of method was mainly used in this study.

         The collection of data was done after the administration of the questionnaire consisting of 21 structured and 6 open-ended items. The items in the questionnaire were collected form the previous related studies. Before the actual administration, the questionnaire was validated through field testing and interviews among the pupils and evaluation by professors of PNU, Agusan Campus for modification of some items.

         Tabulation of score was done on per item basis and writing down of responses and counting the frequency of similar scores – responses were summed up and computed in percentage. These were compared, analyzed and interpreted. Supplementing this were the interview and observation techniques as means of securing the needed data for this study.

FINDINGS

         Based on the problems presented, the findings were:

  1. Most of the respondents under this study belonged to the middle and upper class; the family background and economic status of the respondents affected their reading interests:
  2. Respondents read various materials. Findings indicated that –

a. They read books both for academic and leisure purposes. Aside from books, they also read comics, magazines and newspapers.

b. The boys were more interested in adventures while the girls were drawn to fantasy.

c. Both boys and girls enjoyed reading narratives like legends/myths, short story, drama, poems and also they were fond of reading novels.

d. Most of them read for thirty to sixty minutes but their reading interest still depended on the type and complexity of the reading material.

3. They got their reading materials at home, from friends, from the school, and public libraries and from relatives.

 4. Many people influenced them in their choice of reading materials. They were  their parents, teachers, friends, other family members and classmates.

5. They preferred reading materials that were realistic, inspiring, funny, filled with illustration and those that are short.

6. Reading provided them information, sharpened their imagination, helped them gain knowledge on popular issues, and enabled them to comply with school requirements. Reading for them is a means of leisure.

7. There is no significant difference between the reading interest of boys and reading interest of girls in terms of the choice of the materials.

8. There is no significant difference in the proportion of interest in reading comics between boys and girls. Both are likely to read this type of reading material.

9. There is no significant difference between the proportion of interest in reading newspaper between boys and girls. Both are inclined to read this type of reading material.

10. There is no significant difference in the proportion of the reading interest of boys and girls in reading newspaper according to types or broadsheet name. Both boys and girls prefer to read them regardless of broadsheet name.

11. There is no significant difference in the reading interest of pupils as classified accordingly by the section they have read in the newspaper, except however on the sports page/section where the boys prefer to read than girls and girls prefer to read the entertainment sections than boys.

12. There is no significant difference in the reading interest of boys and girls in reading magazines. Both read magazines.

13. There is a significant difference in some reading interest of boys and girls according to the types of magazine they read. Boys favor reading Free Press while girls like better reading Women’s magazine.

14. There is no significant difference in the reading interest of boys and girls in relation to the kinds of article they read in magazines.

15. Boys and girls do not differ significantly in their reading in the choice of topic of interest. Data however revealed that boys prefer reading adventure stories/topics and religion than girls while girls are inclined to read fantasy stories/topics than boys.

16. Boys and girls differ significantly in some of their reading interest in the preference of literacy genre while reading different types of reading materials. Boys prefer to read articles or materials that fall under legends, while girls are apt to reading materials classified under drama.

17. There is no significant difference in the length of time devoted to academic and recreatory reading of boys and girls. Boys and girls tend to spend their time reading less than 30 minutes or over an hour.

18. There is no significant difference in the reading interest between boys and girls in relation to the identified characteristics of the materials being read. Boys tend to have common liking with the girls when characteristic of reading materials are concerned.

19. Among different identified sources of reading materials for the grade six pupils, the source of reading materials for the boys differ significantly with girls. Boys considered public library as their source while the girls considered "from friends" as their source of reading materials. Both boys and girls do not differ in their preference to source out reading materials at home, school library, relatives and bookstore.

20. There is no significant difference in the reading interest between boys and girls in relation to the identified people who influenced them to read. Data revealed however that among the respondents, boys considered their parents to have influence over of their reading.

21. There is no significant difference in the reading interest between boys and girls in terms of the reason for reading to the respondents. Both boys and girls had favored that reading provides information, help gain ideas about the issues, as a means of leisure, complement with school requirements and relieves emotional tensions. However data revealed that girls consider the fact that reading can sharpen one’s mind as compared to boys.

CONCLUSIONS

From the foregoing findings, the following conclusions were drawn:

1. Most of the respondents under this study belonged to the lower class family. Only few of them belonged to the middle and upper class. The family background and economic status of the respondents affect their reading interest because many of them had not acquired the right attitude in selecting the kind of reading material due to lack of guidance form their parents at home.

2. Respondents were interested in reading varied materials such as:

a. Books for academic and leisure purpose. Aside from books, they also read comics, magazine and newspaper.

b. Boys liked adventure while girls were drawn to fantasy.

c. Both boys and girls enjoyed reading narratives like legends/myths, drama, poems, and also novels.

d. Most of them read for thirty to sixty minutes but they extended when assignment were more complex.

3. Home, Friends and School library were their primary sources of reading materials.

4. Parents were the most influential person in their reading and choice of reading materials. Teachers friends and other family members were also helpful.

5. They preferred reading materials that are realistic, inspiring and funny.

6. Reading was beneficial for them for academic and leisure reasons.

7. There is no significant difference in the reading interest of grade six pupils according to sex, in terms of:

a. type of reading materials

b. topic

c. literary genre

d. length of material

e. characteristic of reading materials

RECOMMENDATIONS

As a result of the findings, the following suggestions were recommended:

1. Mangagoy District I should strive to have a balanced reading program – one that will try to meet the children’s interests or preferences.

2. There should be a program especially designed to assess the children’s reading preferences and to provide a valuable body of information for the acquisition of books, their selection and use in schools as well as in the library.

3. Librarians should assume a more active role in increasing awareness and interest in reading among pupils through attractive book displays.

4. All schools must have libraries that are made functional for every child to read widely. A wide range of books are needed in every classroom.

5. The School Administrator should provide a Reading Center, other than the school library where pupils can spend their free time in reading additional printed materials.

6. The administrator must establish a reading program that would focus on what and how the children read and how well their reading is distributed among the various kinds of books and other materials available for them.

7. The school administrators and supervisors should look into the procurement of printed materials for reading and supplementary reading work. They should see that the reading teachers should have adequate supply of supplementary reading materials which can be used as the need for them arises. Audiovisual materials, chart, flash cards, colorful and interesting reading materials and other software should be procured or prepared by reading teachers. Reading teachers should know the grade level of the reading abilities of their pupils so that reading materials suited to such abilities may be utilized.

8. Every reading teacher should try to conduct a study on the reading preferences of his or her children before the start of the reading instruction so that the challenge to give the right book to the right person at the right time can be met.

9. Every reading teacher should strive to provide varied materials in her reading classes. Sex, age, grade and reading ability should be considered in the choice of materials, as in stories, poems, rhymes, play lets and books.

10. Teachers should provide enrichment activities to the pupils in order to generate interest in reading. Based on the findings and conclusion drawn, a reading program was made by the researcher for the development of the reading interest and skills in the elementary grades, the following are offered. This reading program is for all children to learn to read well and to develop their interest in reading. The country’s reading problems are largely solvable if all people concerned have the will to solve them. No one of these reforms can do the job by itself, but all of these changes together can substantially increase reading success for all of Filipino children. This program will require that current resources will be used better. In particular, funds and personnel should be devoted to professional development, in service education, instructional time, research, and textbooks must be more sharply focused in the ways suggested.

Ways to ensure the reading success of the pupils:

1. Effective new materials, tools and strategies for teachers.

2. Extensive professional development to learn to use these strategies.

3. Additional staff to reduce class sizes for reading instruction and to provide tutoring for pupil who fall behind.

4. Changes in school organization for more appropriate class groupings and effective use of appropriate method and other supplementary resources.

5. National, Regional, Division and District policies should set high standards of performance, to support effective classroom instruction, and to improve teacher training programs.

6. Parents and other community members should support intensified efforts to improve the reading interest and ability of all pupils.

7. Parents and guardians should ensure that their children arrive at school ready to learn every day.

8. Intensified research among the administrators and teachers to improve the reading interest and skill of the pupils.

9. Tutoring support for those children who need more assistance.

10. Home reading on a regular basis.

Strategies for achieving the goal of every pupil’s reading interest and skills:

1. At all times, developing children’s interest and pleasure in reading must as much a focus as developing their reading skills.

2. Promote adoption of texts based on the evidence of what works.

3. Provide adequate professional development among the teachers. Teachers and experts in reading should have the opportunities to meet regularly to discuss their implementation of new methods-and to share problems, solutions and innovative ideas.

4. Promote whole-school adoption of effective methods. Some of the most effective approaches to early literary instruction are comprehensive methods that provide instructional materials, assessments, extensive professional development, accommodations (such as tutoring) for children who are having difficulties.

5. Involve parents in support of their children’s reading interests.

6. Improve pre-service education and instruction. The school district should invest in high-quality instruction reading program in order to make certain that new teachers are well prepared in effective approaches to reading, classroom management, assessment and are well supported in implementing these strategies.

7. Provide additional staff for tutoring and class-size reduction.

8. Improve early identification and intervention. Diagnostic assessment should be administered regularly in order to identify the reading problems of the pupils and the teacher could provide immediate and high-quality interventions if necessary.

9. Intensify reading research.

READING PROGRAM PLAN

A. Professional Development of Teachers

1. Provide many opportunities in teacher education for students to observe and practice research-based instructional strategies for reading.

2. Provide all elementary teachers with meaningful, ongoing professional development opportunities to ensure that they receive specific training in how to teach reading and how to implement well-designed reading programs.

3. Promote the adoption of whole-school reform models with evidence of effectiveness.

4. Demand extensive research-based professional development in connection with textbook adoptions.

5. Ensure that when volunteer teachers are involved in reading programs they receive adequate training and supervisions are assigned to work with children who can benefit from their assistance and operate consistently with the reading program of the school.

6. Develop and provide model training programs for teachers, principals, reading expert and others that allow them to observe and practice research based instructional strategies for reading. Emphasize the training of teams that will work together to implement a new program of reading instruction, coaching by experts who may be teachers themselves and train the trainer models that will reach a large number of people.

B. The Pupils and Community Outreach

All children should have an adequate preparation to become successful readers.

1. Promote family literacy programs to help parents develop in their young children a love for reading.

2. Reach out to families at risk with assistance for parents, other family members or guardians to provide children with the health care and such cognitive experiences they will need to enter school ready to learn.

3. Provide high quality reading programs in the elementary grades that would focus on what and how much the children read and how well their reading is distributed among the various kinds of books and other materials available for them.

4. Engage parents and teachers in working together to provide parents with the materials and education they need to help their children develop and become successful readers.

5. Encourage parents, families and other community members to read children and provide them access to age-appropriate books.

C. Research, Development and Materials

Reading instruction will improve through adoption of practices and materials used.

1. Effort to be ever more precise about the reading instruction.

2. Effective programs should involve the parents’ support in their children’s success in reading and in school.

3. Establish procedures to ensure that reading texts will only be adopted if they are consistent with current research on teaching reading and are able to show evidence of effectiveness.

4. Devotee greater resources to field of testing and evaluation of new materials and to provide adequate professional development to company those materials.

5. Develop a wider selection of quality texts and story books structured to elicit their interest and develop their skills in reading.

6. Provide systematic diagnostic assessment appropriate for the pupils in order to identify their needs and to provide immediate and high-quality interventions if necessary.

7. Propose procedures and criteria to ensure that school districts only adopt reading texts that are structured in accordance with the best research on reading.

8. Another study should be undertaken to better improve the pupils’ reading habits, attitudes, interest and skills.

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