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Extensive Reading Habits and Attitudes of EFL Learners: the case of Lower Secondary Schools in Ethiopia
Reading literacy is significant for learners’ academic success, and high levels of reading literacy can be established through strong engagement in extensive reading. This study, thus, investigated lower secondary school learners’ habits and attitudes toward extensive reading. The data were collected from 377 learners in North Wollo Zone, Ethiopia, using a survey questionnaire. Descriptive (frequency, percentage, mean, standard deviation) and inferential (independent samples t-test) statistics were used to analyze the data. The findings of the study indicated that majority of the learners’ habit of extensive reading was poor: a great majority of them did not read any book over the last year, and most of them did not read for pleasure every day at all. The finding of the study also showed that most of the learners’ attitudes toward extensive reading was not favourable, and they mostly read for academic purposes. It was also found that there was no significant difference between gender and age of learners regarding their extensive reading habits and attitudes. Lack of appropriate reading materials, low English ability, and lack interest in reading are the major factors that affect learners’ leisure reading habits. Based on the results, it can be suggested that integrating extensive reading programme (accessibility of a wide range of interesting reading materials based on the learners’ linguistic level and interest) in input-poor English as a Foreign Language contexts like Ethiopia is essential to promote learners’ extensive reading habits and develop positive attitudes toward (extensive) reading.
Abdurahman Ahmed is an assistant professor at Woldia University, Ethiopia. He is an expert in ER. He has given presentations in various national as well as international conferences. Besides, he is an author of children storybooks. Currently, he is the chair of the Ethiopian Extensive Reading Association (EERA), and he has been doing a lot to promote ER in Africa in general and in Ethiopia in particular.