Original Research

The relationship between self-efficacy and reading proficiency of first-year students: An exploratory study

Naomi A.N.Y. Boakye
Reading & Writing | Vol 6, No 1 | a52 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/rw.v6i1.52 | © 2015 Naomi A.N.Y. Boakye | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 April 2014 | Published: 10 April 2015


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Abstract

Self-efficacy, which is the belief about one’s ability to perform a task successfully, has been widely acknowledged as important in learning. This affective factor, though not explicitly evident, has been said to play an important role in academic performance. However, its role in reading development has not been widely investigated. To determine the relationship between self-efficacy and reading proficiency, a study was conducted with first-year students in a South African tertiary institution. Students’ self-efficacy levels were elicited through a questionnaire and their reading proficiency was obtained through the Test of Academic Literacy levels (TALL), which essentially assesses reading proficiency. An analysis of variance showed a robust relationship between reading self-efficacy and reading proficiency for this cohort of students. Regression analysis conducted with other affective factors showed self-efficacy as the best predictor of students’ reading proficiency. Results are discussed as they relate to previous research and recommendations are made to include the development of self-efficacy in reading instruction.

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