HABITUAL Reading: An Irreplaceable Way of Learning

Post date: Mar 23, 2018 12:38:22 AM

Mrs. Loida B.Parulan


Reading nowadays has been a struggle for students in all levels.This lax attitude in reading has been caused by the addiction in playing and manipulating gadgets, the product of high technology. It seems that the more engagement in high technology a student exerts, the less time in reading he spends. A student lacks the passion for reading which can possibly affect his language acquisition both in his first and second languages. Much more, a learner experiences more obstructions in learning the second language if he is not adhered or habituated in reading. It would affect his language acquisition for he would not find more meaning in any language activities. As Acheaw and Larson (2014) stated, “Reading is the identification of the symbols and the association of appropriate meaning within them.”

A second language learner (EFL) must form the habits of reading that will facilitate him in learning the second language. According to Grellet (1987) and cited by Issa, Aliyu, et al. (2012), then term habit is something that you often do regularly. In addition, Ismail & Elias (2009), claimed that the habit of reading is an activity repeatedly carried out, an activity that is done intensely. If the learner habituate himself in reading such as English material, the learner is exposed to the language and that according to Inderjit, (2014), it would undoubtedly help the learner to be proficient in the language as language can be learned through reading. Therefore, there is a great need to develop the reading habits of the learners. However the love for reading should not be only for pedagogical purposes. Even outside school requirements, one must have the habit of reading in everyday life or must be taken for the purpose of pleasure. (cited in Oji & Habibu 2011) In other words, reading habits must be naturally built within and not coerced for an individual.

Reading habits produce more benefits in language learning. First, a learner gets more knowledgeable as he reads more often (Inderjit, 2014). This knowledge includes the rich vocabulary that can be derived from reading. An increased knowledge builds the self-confidence of the students.

A proficient language that is well acquired through reading could be useful in the demands of his future job. Reading habits can help students to be problem solvers, thus it counts for their future success. As Inderjit (2014) said, “Reading contributes significantly to one’s job success, career development and ability to respond to change.”

Since reading habits correlate with language proficiency, school curriculum writers and planners have integrated extensive reading opportunities in the curriculum. One example is the program DEPEd has launched known as “Every Child a Reader” reading program. No learner would be promoted to another grade level without learning how to read. The principal religiously implements the program with the help of devoted teachers that tutor the learners even after classes and during summer classes. DEPed has foresighted the effects of being a non-reader to the accumulation of higher knowledge and its impact to the future success of the individual since English has become a global language due to technological advancements, the learners therefore could not be globally competitive without being a wide reader and a good writer eventually.

If a learner has become habituated in reading, he has the great possibility to become a proficient writer. The two according to Tierney (1991) are overlapping activities that support each other, a symbiosis in which the impact of the two becomes greater than the sum of their separate impact. Holt and Vacca (1984) consider the interdependence of the two skills mutually benefiting from each other. Reading and writing should occur naturally to construct meaning in everyday situations. Reading constructs meaning through relationship between parts of the text and the reader’s knowledge, while writing adds meaning to the text by the reader relating his/her prior knowledge and experiences to the text. Reading and writing enables the reader to make predictions and construct meanings in order to understand the text but while writing, the writer develops a new text with the aid of his prior knowledge and imagination. (Uduma, 2011) This approximately enhances ones’ vocabulary as the Reading Hypothesis states that the more language learners read in the second language, the greater their vocabularies become. As the writer engages himself to a wider expanse of writing, he automatically increased his reading activities experiencing new words and attempting to use them to generate his own ideas. When the vocabulary widens, it is an indicator of better performance in writing. Then as Goodman &Goodman (1983) stated, as writing improves through daily communicative use, reading is enhanced which means more experiences for the learners to explore new vocabularies which is an element of effective writing.

In this era of manipulative gadgets as a product of high technology, the great challenge of making the students read is on our shoulders. There are a lot of strategies, techniques and approaches but the challenge should be accepted and carried out with the highest flame of perseverance. Yes, persevere in its execution, because no matter how perfect the plans are, if they are not seriously implemented and just practice ningas kugon, (sa una lang masipag at masigasig), all would turn into waste, we will end up in meaningless attempts and fossilized plans.

Alter their desires to be readers and finally turn them into good writers. In the long run, when they succeed, the reflection is upon us and the glory of the fruit of labor shine upon us and for that we strive for more, something not better but the best. That’s for the good of our clienteles, the learners.