Original Research

Teachers’ perceptions of Grades 8–10 English First Additional Language learners’ reading habits, attitudes and motivation

Tilla Olifant, Madoda Cekiso, Eunice Rautenbach
Reading & Writing | Vol 10, No 1 | a254 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/rw.v10i1.254 | © 2019 Tilla Olifant, Madoda Cekiso, Eunice Rautenbach | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 June 2019 | Published: 04 November 2019

About the author(s)

Tilla Olifant, Department of Applied Languages, Faculty of Humanities, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
Madoda Cekiso, Department of Applied Languages, Faculty of Humanities, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
Eunice Rautenbach, Department of Applied Languages, Faculty of Humanities, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Owing to the dearth of reading practices within the South African literacy landscape, many learners neither engage in productive reading habits, nor exhibit a positive attitude towards English First Additional Language (EFAL) reading. Consequently, many learners experience reading challenges, which negatively impact on their academic performance.

Objective: This study investigated the reading habits, attitudes and motivation of Grades 8–10 EFAL learners through the perceptive lens of EFAL teachers.

Method: This qualitative study employed a case study design and a thematic data analysis process. The purposively selected sample for the semi-structured interviews consisted of six Grade 8–10 EFAL teachers from two high schools in the Tshwane South district.

Results: Teachers believe that learners experience academic challenges because they do not habitually engage with texts, have a negative attitude towards printed text and read only to progress academically. The results further indicated that all these teachers concurred that there is a corresponding relationship between productive reading habits, a positive attitude towards reading and the academic performance of learners. Regrettably, the data analysis reported that the teachers have a pessimistic perception of the EFAL learners’ reading habits, attitudes and motivation to read. More disturbingly, most of the teachers lacked the responsibility for their contribution towards the ongoing demise of productive reading practices among learners in their classrooms.

Conclusion: The findings revealed grave implications about learners’ reading habits, attitudes and motivation to read. Alarmingly, one of the most remarkable findings produced by this study is that the teachers themselves harbour negative perceptions about the reading practices of the learners in their classrooms.


Keywords

Teachers’ perceptions; reading; reading habits; reading attitudes; motivation to read; English First Additional Language; EFAL; learners.

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