THE EXTENT OF THE USE OF EXTENSIVE READING IN PROMOTING COMMUNICATION COMPETENCE IN SECONDARY SCHOOL
The study looked at the extent to which extensive reading was used to promote communication competence in secondary school, with a focus on some secondary schools in Lagos State’s Shomolu Local Government Area. It also assessed teachers’ knowledge of the benefits of extensive reading,
the types of reading materials available for extensive reading in schools, the extent to which teachers engage students in extensive reading, and the techniques/strategies teachers use to develop extensive reading for communication competence.
The descriptive and inferential methods were used in the study. The descriptive method analyzed data collected descriptively through the use of tables that included the use of simple percentages. While Pearson product moment correlation inferential statistics were used as statistical tools to test and validate the stated hypothesis.
The study’s findings revealed a positive, strong, and significant relationship between extensive reading and communication.
Based on the study’s findings, it was recommended that a policy be enacted that encourages the construction of libraries in secondary schools, the provision of relevant information resources, and the employment of qualified librarians to run such libraries, and that parents encourage their children and wards to read at home and watch children educational television programs.
1.1 The Study’s Background
It is difficult to learn a language without reading. Reading is an excellent method of comprehension. A good reader understands the sentences and structures of a written text. Extensive reading is an important way to improve communication skills. Students who read extensively will be exposed to a wide range of new vocabulary that is required for reading comprehension (Pazhakh and Soltani, 2010).
Reading is how people learn to read, and the ability to read proficiently is best achieved through extensive reading. Similarly, there is widespread agreement that there is a link between communication competency and extensive reading, and that communication competency and reading comprehension can be viewed as a mutually beneficial process. This mutual benefit means that vocabulary helps learners decode meaning from context (Teng, 2015).
Light (1997) defines communicative competence as “the ability to meet changing demands and achieve one’s communication goals across the lifespan.”
Communicative Competence should achieve four main goals: expressing wants and needs, developing social closeness, exchanging information, and following social etiquette routines (Light, 1997). Grammatical competence, discourse competence, sociolinguistic competence, and strategic competence are all components of communicative competence (Canale & Swain, 1980; Canale, 1983 & Savignon, 1997).
Within the national standard, communicative competence is demonstrated through the interpretive mode, interpersonal mode, and presentational mode of communication (Mart, 2012). The ability to interpret and understand spoken and written language characterizes the interpretive mode of communication, whereas the ability to maintain conversation between two or more individuals characterizes the interpersonal mode of communication.
Information presented through spoken or written language emphasizes the presentational mode of communication. When these three modes of communication are combined, they represent authentic real-world communicative settings (Mart, 2012).
Reading is an indispensable learning tool that is an essential component of any learning situation and the foundation of education. As a result, access to information is critical for both individual advancement and corporate educational development. Reading, according to Adetunji (2007), is the act of translating symbols or letters into words or sentences that have meaning to an individual.
It is also the comprehension of what is seen in a text, which is the reader’s ability to take in visual information, process it, and derive meaning from it. Information is essential. According to Yusuf (2007), bridges the knowledge-ignorance gap. Reading is one of the most important ways to obtain information. Reading serves as the foundation for all other academic skills. It provides a fruitful method for increasing vocabulary, word power, and language skills.
Every language classroom has always aimed for communicative competence, with instructions focusing on organizational, pragmatic, systematic, and psychomotor components (Brown, 1994). From the standpoint of communication competence, it is critical to approach academic reading as a meaning-based activity that is purpose-driven and comprehension-driven.
Reading is motivated by the reader’s specific goal and propelled by increased comprehension of the texts. Furthermore, because language is embedded in contexts and tasks, academic reading assessment should focus on contexts and purposes as they emerge from the local context.
It appears clear that most comprehension is linked to a purpose, whether it involves primary school children or university students, and it is thus important to examine reading within the context of that purpose. The study investigated the perception and extent of the use of extensive reading in promoting communication competence in secondary school on this note.
1.2 Problem Description
Overall, the value of reading cannot be overstated, because no learning activity or situation can take place without it. However, one of the major issues confronting Nigerian students is their inability to communicate effectively (Ajayi, 2012).
This issue can be linked to a lack of reading habits among students or a non challant attitude toward reading to the use of the internet. Although there are numerous reasons why people read, observations and research have revealed that there is a low reading habit among students in recent times, particularly in developing countries,
because reading is not considered a relevant leisure activity because it does not form part of children’s social interaction or television watching. Another major issue that contributes to students’ lack of reading habits is the proliferation of ICTs such as the internet, cell phones, video games, and other viewing devices.
Because of the introduction of these ICTs gadgets, Umar (2009:10) believes that students now have a viewing culture rather than a reading culture. Also, a lack of available information resources, such as text books, both in the school library and at home, may prevent students from developing reading habits.
One series issue in reading comprehension is that students are accustomed to comprehending a passage on the sentence level rather than the discourse level. Because of this flaw, some students become dependent on understanding every single sentence in a text, even when it is not necessary to fulfill their reading purpose, and as a result, they tend to render all texts at the same speed.
Furthermore, the student heavily relies on dictionaries to learn the meanings of new words. In light of this, the study investigates the role of extensive reading in promoting communication competence among secondary school students in Lagos State.
1.3 Purpose of the Research
The purpose of this research is to look into the extent to which extensive reading is used to promote communication competence in secondary schools, with a focus on some secondary schools in Lagos State’s Shomolu Local Government Area.
The specific goals are as follows:
1. Determine whether or not teachers are aware of the benefits of extensive reading.
2. To identify the various types of reading materials available in schools for extensive reading.
3. To ascertain the extent to which the teacher engages students in extensive reading.
4. To ascertain the techniques/strategies used by teachers in developing extensive reading for communication competence.
1.4 Research Issues
1. How well do teachers understand the benefits of extensive reading?
2. What kinds of reading materials are available in schools for extended reading?
3. How much time do teachers devote to extensive reading activities with their students?
4. What techniques and strategies do teachers use to help students develop extensive reading skills for communication?
H0: There is no statistically significant link between extensive reading and student communication competence.
1.6 Importance of the Research
Extensive reading is an effective strategy for students to improve their communication skills. Other researchers can use the study’s reliable instruments, action procedures, and experimental findings in future research. To the best of the researcher’s knowledge, no studies have been conducted on the effect of extensive reading on communication competence in Nigerian secondary schools.
The majority of the studies focused on the impact of extensive reading on reading proficiency or the impact of extensive reading on other skills separately. However, the majority of related studies agree that extensive reading is an effective tool for developing communication skills.
Finally, the research will assist school administrators in developing better reading strategies to improve their students’ communication competence through the active role of the teacher. It will also help to sensitize the government in terms of improving the curriculum and raising the standard of learning in order to improve student communication competence by making all necessary materials available within the school setting in order to encourage extensive reading among secondary school students.
1.7 The Study’s Scope
The purpose of this study is to look into the extent to which extensive reading is used to promote communication competence in secondary school, with a focus on some secondary schools in Lagos State’s Shomolu Local Government Area.
1.8 Term Definitions
Reading is a dynamic interaction between the reader’s prior knowledge, the information suggested by the text being read, and the context of the reading situation that results in the construction of meaning.
Extensive Reading: Extensive reading is the study of reading texts intensively in order to practice reading skills such as distinguishing the main idea of a text from the detail, finding pronoun referents, or guessing the meaning of unknown words.
Communication is the act of conveying intended meanings from one entity or group to another using mutually understood signs and semiotic rules.
Grammatical competence is the knowledge of a language’s structure and form, which includes its morphologic, syntactic, phonemic, and graphemic features.
Discourse Competence: Discourse competence is defined as knowledge of the interrelationships and logic across sentences and phrases. A person with strong discourse competence can accurately judge the relationship between various ideas within a text.
Sociolinguistic competence focuses on the recognition and observance of interactional rules such as taking turns, appropriate greetings, proper use of formal/informal register, naturalness or overall native-like language.
Strategic Competence: Strategic competence is defined as the ability to make the most of a language, especially when compensating for language deficiencies.
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