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1.1 Introduction Do students today read?

This is one of the questions that worry the parents, educators, and even society these days. Research finds out that Malaysian only read two books per year and most Malaysian prefer doing other activities in their free time for example watching TV, playing games or doing sports activity when they have free time. With the raise of internet and video game culture in the years, more and more students are addicted to playing online video games, chatting with friends or even watching videos on video states such as YouTube and thus the interest among secondary school students to read had been going down recently. According to a BBC article in 2010, Malaysia is the heaviest user of social network site in the world ,averaging a nine hour usage of social network per week.( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11501625 )Various initiative have been done to improve the habit of reading among Malaysian, especially secondary school students. This includes the Projek NILAM campaign launched by the Ministry of Education in Malaysia since the year 2008.Does the campaign encourages the students to read more? 1.2 Benefits of reading. There are a lot of benefits of reading, particularly among students. By reading, students can gain knowledge of the subject that they are reading on. Reading also helps the students to improve their language skills. Reyhene (1998) observed that when reading, they involuntarily and unconsciously improve their language skills. For example, when reading newspaper or books that are written in English, sometimes the students may encounter difficulty to understand certain word or phrases, which in leads to the students finding out the meaning of these words by themselves or through other people, which will leads to discovery of new vocabulary. Reading also can improve besides that reading also foster creativity .Issac (2007) in his article state that by reading more books and exposing yourself to new and more complete information, you will also be able to come up with more creative ideas. Reading materials such as magazine or newspaper will also enable one to gain the knowledge and culture around him or her or even culture of people in the other part of the world thus, widening ones

vision. There are countless of other benefits of reading which I will not have the time to list down all, but in a short term, reading is a very healthy and good habit that everyone must have. 1.3 Definition of Attitude towards reading For this research, a students attitude towards reading involves measurable such as the amount of time the students spend on reading books, the amount of book that the student spend in an amount of time, and the genre of books that the students like to read, Besides books, in this digital age, the attitude towards reading also counting toward reading articles or blogs on the internet, whether a student prefer to read digitally or physically .Also, there are also study on what language do the student prefer to read on, and whether student read voluntary or being forced to read by others. 1.4 Reading attitude in Digital Age. In the digital age now, people started to read on material published digitally, whether it is reading news online, or reading websites regarding someones interest, From a research from the Pew Internet and American Life Project (2012), they find out that A fifth of American adults have read an e-book in the past year and the number of e-book readers grew after a major increase in ownership of e-book reading devices and tablet computers during the holiday gift-giving season. This shows that with the common availability internet of digital reading material, many of the people had shifted their reading habits from reading physical book to reading digital published content on the internet. The wide availability of smartphone device also encouraged m-reading, a term used to describe reading materials through a mobile device. It is really hard to ignore the fact that the digital revolution has influenced students reading habit and thus this is one of the topics that I will be focusing on this study.

1.5 Gender differences with reading attitude. Do female students like to read more compared to male student? Or Male student prefer reading than female student? This is also one of the topic that our study will be touching on which is the gender differences towards the reading habits of secondary school students. Besides reading attitude, there are also questions likes does female students prefer fiction genre and male students prefer non-fiction type of book? Does males shorter attention span affects their reading attitude? These are the topics that we will be touching on the study.

Research question
The question for this study is to find out the attitude of the students toward reading which is how do the students feel about reading. This include a variety of reading, for example, reading for school examination, leisure reading, reading physical materials such as books, newspaper, magazine and reading on digital material such as blogs or Web Pages .This study has the aim to find out a variety of variables such as how much do students actually read per week, how much they spend reading for their school examination, how much the students read for their own pleasure .Is the student reason to read is solely because of the school examination? Or they are motivated to read voluntarily for their own enjoyment. Also the study also want to find out if the students prefer to read on digital media such as reading on their computer or cell phone or they preferred to read using physical medias .This sums up to few question:

1) For what reason the student read? 2) How long does the student read per week? 3) What type of materials does the student read? 4) Which type of material format does the student read on?

Research Objective The Objective of this research is to find out the general reading attitude of urban secondary school student in Malaysia. This include the type of material that the student read, The amount of time that the student read in a week, the type of material that the student read , why the student read and the students preference on digital media or printed media.

1.6 Significance of the study. This research brings a lot of benefits to various parties. This includes the educators, parents, curriculum developer and even includes school or local libraries. By finding out the students reading habit, the teacher can give guide to the students on what book the students should read based on the students interest, for example, if the group of student likes to read books on fiction, the teacher can give suggestion on the latest books on fiction to the student. This research also help parents to reinforce the students reading habit, this gives the parent idea on what they should buy for their children. Similarly this help the local or school library too, the library may stock more on type of books that the students like to read. This research also help the school text book writer, usually on the textbook, there are some extra info on the side column ,the textbook writer may include info or further reading materials such as web sites suggestion, by including items based on what the students interested in , they can encourage the students to read the text book more.

Chapter 2: Literature review 2.1 Introduction This chapter will be concentrated on the journals that are related to our topic for the research which is the students attitude towards reading. For this study, I will be using two articles as the basics for my research. The first one is A study of the status of reading habit and Interests among the secondary school students in Sri Lanka by P.H.A.S. Abeyathna and A.N Zainab (2006) and the second article that I will be referencing on is the reading habits of Malaysian Chinese university students by Dr. Mohammad Jafre Zainol Abidin (2011). 2.2 Findings on journal studied From the first journal, they found that in Sri Lanka, most of the students in the secondary school do read often. But majority of the time is spending on reading text book or exam materials. The students feels the urge to read books related to the students examination more and only a small amount of the time are being spend on leisure reading, and they do leisure reading usually on weekends time. They also found that male and female student have different type of genre preferences where male student preferred reading non-fiction books but the female students preferred to read on fiction books. In their research, they also found out that there are several factors that are affecting the students interest towards reading. The reasons are the students home environment, school library use and awareness and personal variables which includes the gender of the students or academic stream or the students interest on a particular subject. On the other research journal that I had reviewed, which is the reading habits of the Malaysian Chinese university students I found that Malaysian Chinese university students prefer to read books only for their assignments and examination. On the leisure reading, Malaysian Chinese University students preferred to read in a digital form which includes blogs and websites for their entertainment purpose. Besides digital media, Malaysian Chinese university students also read on some printed media such as

newspaper, magazines, and comics of their interests, but less on story books and nonfictional books .They also reads mostly on Chinese materials if they are reading for leisure, only read in English when they need to study for their examination or assignments. 2.3 Conclusion Both Journal had given me a good insight on the attitudes towards reading of secondary school students and Malaysian university students. But they are not perfect as the first journal is concentrated towards the secondary school students but only for Sri Lanka students. The first journal also only touched on physical books but not digital media. The second journal that I researched touched more on digital media but the sample studied is university students but not secondary school students, so I find that it is a need to do research on the attitude of secondary school students in Malaysia. Another note on the Journals is they are all using a questionnaire as the instrument of data gathering. They are a guide for me for choosing the methodology of my research.

Chapter 3: Methodology 3.1 Introduction

To study the reading attitude among secondary school students in Malaysia, the method that I used to obtain information required is thought his process of gathering data among the secondary school students themselves. Questionnaires are distributed to the students and the students are asked to fill in the questionnaire honestly.

3.2 Data collection method For this research, only primary data is used. The reason for this is because there is no previous research involving the same topic and the accuracy of secondary data are not as trusted due to the fact that these data may be altered. The only data gathering instruments that I used for the study is questionnaire forms that are distributed to the students. The reason that I used questionnaire for data collecting is because questionnaire are easy for the subjects to fill up and it does not take as much time to analyze compared to other forms of data gathering method. The questionnaires that I had distributed (appendix xxx) contain both quantitative and qualitative questions. From question two to ten are quantitative questions and questions 1, 11, 12, 13 are qualitative questions which involve open ended questions. Most of the question asked involves questions which directly answers the various variable that we study in this research. For example, question like what is your gender and how many books do you read per month study on the attitude of the students towards reading.

3.3 The Samples. The sample of this study is 50 urban secondary school students consisting of 30 form one students at the age of 13 and 30 form 5 students and the age of 17.both form one and form five group of students consists of mixture of male and female students. The questionnaires are given to the students and the students are asked to fill up the questionnaire honestly.

3.4 Methods of data analysis After gathering the raw data, statistical analysis are being conducted to analyze the data obtained .For the quantitative data obtained, various statistical test are being done to obtain the mean, variance, standard deviation of the data. For some variables, t-test is being used to compare the mean for the variables. After the analysis is done, graphs are being generated to ensure that the data can be presented in an easily understandable way for the readers.

CHAPTER 4 Analysis of data: The following is the analysis of the data that I had gathered from the students. The data had been gathered and analysis has been done. Time Spend on reading per week: The reading habits are measured in terms of number of hours the students read per week. The total average time that the students read is 8.58 hours per week with a huge standard deviation of 10.604 hours. The average reading time for form 1 student is 4.47 hours per week .The majority of the form 1 students (53%) indicated that they at least do read something, which is between 1 to 5 hours per week. 18% of the form 1 students indicated that they read less than 1 hour each week, and the rest (29%) of the students stated that they read more than 5 hours each week. The form 5 students spend significantly more time reading than form 1 students ,with average reading time of 11.76 hours per week .Male students spends an average of 12 hours reading, while female form 5 students spends around 9.8 hours for reading per week.

14

Average time spent on reading per week (Hours)

12

10

0 total Age 13 Average (male and Female) Age 13 Male Age 13 Female Age 17 (male and Female) Age 17 (Male) Age 17 (Female)

Chart 1: Average time student spend reading per week

Students opinion towards reading. Among the students researched, most of the student enjoyed reading when they are free, with 35% of the students think that they really enjoyed reading when they are free and 49% enjoy reading when they are free, only 16% of the students surveyed do not enjoy reading when they are free.
Strongly disagree 3%

I enjoy reading when i am free

Disagree 13% Strongly Agree 35%

Agree 49%

Chart 2: students opinion towards reading

Students opinion toward school textbook: Most of the students generally have a negative attitude toward school text book, with 82 % of the students do not enjoyed to read school text book. Only 17 % of the student surveyed said they enjoy reading school textbook and 1% of the student said they really liked to read school textbook.

Strongly Agree 1%

I enjoy reading school textbook


Agree 17% Strongly Disagree 24%

Disagree 58%

Chart 3: students opinion towards school textbook

Do student prefer reading a book than do other activities? Majority (58%) of the students preferred doing their favorite activity rather than reading. Only 36% percent of the students said they would prefer to read than doing their favorite activity, and 6% of the students stated that they would read than doing any other activities

I would rather read a book than doing most of other activities.


Strongly Agree 6%
Strongly Disagree 7%

Agree 36% Disagree 51%

Chart 4: Do student prefer reading a book than do other activities?

Do students read only for the purpose of scoring in examination? There is a majority agreement here that most of the students study for the reason to excel in their examination.70% of the student surveyed stated that they do reading for the examination with 26% of the students disagree that they study for the exam and 4 % of the student strongly disagree that they study for examination.

I only read for school examination

Strongly Disagree 4%

Stongly Agree 36%

Disagree 26%

Agree 34%

Chart 5: Do the student only read for the purpose of school examination?

Do student only read on materials that interests them? Again, majority of the students agree (90%) that they only read materials that interests them. Only 10% of the students surveyed state that they would read materials that do not interests them.

I only read something that is really interest me


Strongly Disagree Disagree 4% 6%

Strongly Agree 55%

Agree 35%

Chart 6: do students only read materials that interest them?

Do the students find out the word that they do not understand while reading? The majority of the student surveyed (76%) stated that they find out the meaning of the word that they do not understand while reading. On the other hand (24%) of the student indicated that they will not find out the meaning of the word that they do not understand encountered during reading.

I find out the meaning of the word that i do not understand


Strongly Disagree 7%

Strongly Agree 34%

Disagree 17%

Agree 42%

Chart 7: do the students find out the meaning of word that they do not understand?

Do the students felt accomplished after finished reading a book? Again, the data shows a positive attitude after finished reading a book. 80% of the students surveyed stated that they felt accomplishment after finish reading a book.

I felt accomplished after finished reading a book


Strongly disagree 4%

Disagree 16% Strongly Agree 32%

Agree 48%

Chart 8: do students felt accomplished after reading a book

Students opinion on benefits of reading Among the student surveyed, majority of the students (79%) values the benefits of reading. 17% of the students indicated that they do not value the benefits of reading and 4 % of the students surveyed indicated that they totally do not value the benefits of reading.
Strongly Disagree 4%

I value the benefits of reading

Stongly Agree 27%

Disagree 17%

Agree 52%

Chart 9 students opinion on benefits of reading

Do students have financial problems regarding to buying books? From the data collected, it shows that students have mixed opinion regarding financial problem in buying books, the result are basically split into half with 54% of the student do not have financial problem in buying book while 48% of the students surveyed indicated that they have financial problem in buying book

I have financial problem in buying book


Strongly Agree 14%

Strongly Disagree 20%

Agree 32%

Disagree 34%

Chart 10: Do students having financial problem in buying book

What language of book that the students likes to read? For form 5 students( Age 17) Majority of the students surveyed indicated that they liked to read English book, this is followed by mandarin book and thirdly Bahasa Melayu.No students likes to read book of other language other than English , Mandarin or BM.

Reader's Language preference among student of age 17(no. of people)


30 20 10 0 Mandarin English Bahasa Melayu Other

Chart 11: readers language preference among students of age 17 (form 5) For students of age 13(Form 1), most of the students preferred to read mandarin book, followed by other languages, English and Bahasa Melayu.

Reader's Language Preference among student of age 13(no. of people)


20 15 10 5 0 Mandarin English Bahasa Melayu Other

Chart 12: students language preference among student age 13 (form 1)

Genre of books that the students like to read: From the data collected, it shows that both the students of Age 13(form 1) and Age 17 (form 5) prefer to read the fiction genre than the non-fiction genre.

Genre that student like to read (age 13)


25 20 15 Female 10 5 0 Fiction Non-fiction Male

Chart 13: students reading genre preference (age 13)

Grenre that the students like to read(Age 17)


35 30 25 20 15 10 5 Female Male

0
Fiction Non-fiction

Chart 14: students reading genre preference, age 17

Type of reading materials that the students like to read: For form 5 students( age 17), most of the students stated that they would prefer to read book, followed by a tie between magazine and newspaper, then again a tie between comic and internet media.

Type of reading material that students like to read (Age 17)


35 30 25 20 15 10 5

0
Books Newspaper Magazine Comic Internet Media

Chart 15: type of reading material that students like to read, age 17 For students of age 13(form 1), it shows clearly that the students preferred to read comic compared to other materials, followed by internet media, books, magazine and lastly the newspaper.

Types of reading materials that the students like to read (age 13)
25
20 15

10
5 0 Books Newspaper Magazine Comic Internet Media

Chart 16: type of reading material that students like to read, age 13

Type of devices that the students like to read on: For students of age 13, nearly half of the students read on physical book, but they do show preference on reading on digital devices such as the computer, tablet pc or mobile phone.

Type of device that students like to read on (Age 13)


18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Physical book Computer Mobile Phone Tablet PC

Chart 17: type of device that students like to read on (age 13) For the students of age 17( form 5) it clearly shows that the students preferred to read on a physical book with 31 out of 39 students stated that they read on physical book, this is followed by 16 students indicate that the read on computer and less than 10 students read on mobile phone or tablet PC.

Type of devices that the students like to read on (Age 17)


35
30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Physical book Computer Mobile Phone Tablet PC

Chart 18: type of device that students like to read on (age 17)

CHAPTER 5 Introduction: The research that I conducted is dedicated to find out the general reading habits and attitude among secondary school students in urban area. A lot of topics such as the amount of time students spend on reading, the type of materials that students likes to read ,and the languages preference of the reading materials that the students likes to read are discussed. Possible reasons for the result gathered The first answer for the question does the students likes to read or not is being answered from the research data findings. The conclusion for this question is the students do read something. Although the amount of time they spent reading is greatly varies by gender and age. From the research data, on average, form 5 students (age 17) spend a lot more time reading than form 1 students (age 13) did .This may be due to the reason that form 5 student has the SPM exam on the year, this may encourage them to read more to be succeed in their exam, compared to form 1 students which they had just finished their UPSR examination and is their first year in the secondary school, they do not felt the pressure for the need to read. In terms of gender difference to reading habits, I think that generally it Form 1 female students read more than form 1 male students, and for the form 5 students, the result are generally around the same. The findings I get might be due to some external reason such as the number of male students surveyed in each form is significantly more than female students. For form 1 student, (23 male and 12 female) for form 5 students, (33 male and 5 female).

For the question of whether the student do enjoy reading voluntarily or involuntarily, I think that the result shows that the students do enjoy reading voluntarily because in the data I gathered, it shows that 84% of the students actually show that they enjoy reading and 42% of the student surveyed indicated that they would rather read than do most of their other favorite activity, but this is just the indication for general readings, this includes all types of reading material such as the ones for entertainment purpose and is not an indication of students attitude toward school text book. For the question of what type of reading materials the students like to read, I also have found out some findings through the research. For the type of reading material that the students like to read, the research data pretty much sums up that students only read materials that interests them (90%) and majority of the students (82%) disliked reading school text book. This research finding may show some negative impact regarding the feasibility of our schools text book. I feel that there is a need to make the school text book more interesting for the students to read, because it shows that students do read on material that they finds to be interesting to them. Students of form 5 and form 1 generally preferred to reading books (story book, factual book, and textbook) than other type of reading materials such as the newspaper or magazine .The students also found to be like to read comic book. Especially for form 1 students (age 13) where the comic book dominated other type of reading materials that they indicated that they like to read. This may lead to my personal suggestion that making the school text book as a kind of story like comic book style for the lower secondary form may attract the students interest in reading the textbook. I also think that generally student likes to read fictional

material. This may be due to the reason that fictional reading materials has more different kinds of setting that makes reading less boring for the students to read on. Another research question that had been answered from this research is students particular preferred to read mandarin based material than other languages; this may be due to the reason that the school I had conducted my research at is Chinese schools with majority Chinese students. But it shows that students do prefer to read in their own mother tongue. Finally for the question of whether students like to read physical book or reading material in digital format, I found that students generally preferred reading physical book. But there is a strong raise in the number of people that likes to read on a digital devices among Form 1 (age 13) students compared to form 5 (age 17) students .The reason is that they might be grow up with technological devices already available since they are young and age 17 students are not that interested in digital material because when they are young, technological devices such as tablet pc are not commonly available yet. Comparison to previous researches: There is a common relationship with the research from Sri Lanoka on is that both shows that students do read, and they enjoyed reading. It also shows that students are generally more geared towards reading so that they can achieve good scores in their examination. My findings also shows similarity with the research of the reading habits of the Malaysian Chinese university students, it shows that Chinese students usually

preferred to read materials written in language of their mother tongue and students do read on digital reading materials.

Suggestion for further research For further researches on this topic, I suggested doing the research in various type of secondary school, Chinese school, Secular Kebangsaan and English based school, mainly because my research are being confined to only Chinese secondary school in Penang. I also suggest doing the research on rural area again due to the reason that my research are being done in an urban school. Final conclusion I think that reading is a very important part of our life as a lifelong learner, and reading not only makes us more knowledgeable, it also entertain us and help us pass time. I also feel that reading should not only be confined to students only, everyone from young to old can benefits greatly from reading, and by knowing more about the habits and attitude of reading among students, we can encourage them to read since they are young.