Original Research

Extensive reading in a tertiary reading programme: Students’ accounts of affective and cognitive benefits

Naomi A. Boakye
Reading & Writing | Vol 8, No 1 | a153 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/rw.v8i1.153 | © 2017 Naomi A. Boakye | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 December 2016 | Published: 17 November 2017

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Naomi A. Boakye, Unit for Academic Literacy, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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This article reports on the extensive reading (ER) component of a reading intervention programme to improve first-year students’ reading proficiency. To make the intervention more practical and to accelerate improvement, an ER component was included in the programme. Two groups of first-year students (high-risk and low-risk) were required to read short stories and novels of their choice and to record their affective and cognitive experiences during the reading to submit as a portfolio. In addition, students answered pre- and post-intervention questionnaires on their reading habits. Students were selected based on their performance in a reading test and interviewed to gain more insight into their reading experiences. The questionnaires were analysed using the t-test, and the interview responses were analysed by content analysis. The findings show that students had benefited from ER. Questionnaire results show that students’ reading habits had improved significantly. The reports from the interviews and inventories show that students’ affective and cognitive reading levels, including reading speed, had also improved. Students also reported on the transfer of reading strategies from their ER to their academic reading. Based on the findings, recommendations are made for reading programmes at the tertiary level, specifically at this institution, to include ER in order to complement explicit teaching, instil motivation and accelerate the improvement of students’ reading proficiency.


Extensive reading; Reading intervention; Reading proficiency; Tertiary level


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