Rethinking Our Literacy Learning Spaces: Nigerian Culture, Students’ Reading Habits and Participation in Literacy Fostering Activities in the English Reading Comprehension Classroom
Patience Aika & Stella in-Osaretin
Department of Curriculum & Instructional Technology, University of Benin,
Literacy is an important tool for personal and national development. A principal means by which a country tries to realize the literacy needs of its citizens and ensure progressive and sustainable change is the education sector. However, it has been observed that the reading habit of Nigerian students is on the decline. Reasons such as the lack of a reading culture and the transmission mode of instruction in schools have been blamed for this situation. While
there are several studies on students ’reading habits and methods of teaching reading, a few or none seem to have focused on the influence of culture on students’ literacy practices.Against this backdrop, this study investigated the influence of Nigerian culture on senior secondary school students ’reading habits and participation in literacy promoting activities in the English Reading Comprehension classroom. The descriptive survey research design was
adopted in the study. The sample comprised 500 Senior Secondary School 2 students in Benin City. Four research questions were raised. Data were collected using a “Questionnaire on Students ’ Reading Habits and Participation during English Reading Comprehension Lessons (QSRP)” (r = .78). Results revealed the following: students have good reading habits and participate actively during English Reading Comprehension lessons; a significant positive
correlation exists between students ’ background reading culture and their reading habits; and a significant negative relationship exists between students’ background participation culture and their participation during English Reading Comprehension lessons. It is recommended that all education stakeholders continually look for innovative ways to improve the literacy ability of learners.
Key Words: Literacy, Learning spaces, Culture, Reading habits, Participation in literacy activities