Full Project – INFLUENCE OF HOME LITERACY ENVIRONMENT ON READING ACHIEVEMENT OF PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPILS
1.1 Background to the Study
The basic 3Rs of education are arithmetic, Reading and writing. Reading is an important aspect of our day to day learning as it serves as one of the basics. Reading are well-planned and deliberate pattern of study which has attained a form of consistency on the part of learners toward understanding academic subjects and passing at examinations at different levels. Reading determine the academic achievements of pupils to a great extent as it helps instructional process effectively. Both reading and academic achievements are interrelated and dependent on each other. Pupils often come from different environments and localities with different levels of academic achievement. Therefore, they differ in the pattern of reading while some pupils have good reading habits, others tend to exhibit poor reading habits (Micheal, 2014, Bashir &Mattoo, 2012).
Palani (2012) perceived that reading is important avenue of effective learning and reading is interrelated with the total educational process and hence, educational success requires successful reading. Palani revealed that reading is the identification of the symbols and the association of appropriate meaning with them. Reading has been the passion of the greatest personalities of all times. Humans have been reading since ages and thus words of knowledge have been passed on through generations. Reading habit influences the promotion of one’s personal development in particular and social progress in general. Regular and systematic reading sharpens the intellect, refines the emotions, elevates tastes and provides perspectives for one’s living; and thereby prepares a person for an effective participation in the social, religious, cultural, political and academic life. Reading fires the imagination of the person. It adds new sight to eyes and new wisdom to the mind. The individual who reads well has a means for widening his or her mental horizons and for multiplying opportunities of success. Reading is a vital factor affecting intellectual and emotional growth. Sir Richard Steele has logically quoted, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to body”.
Reading requires identification and comprehension. Comprehension skills help the learner to understand the meaning of words in isolation and in context. African countries like Nigeria are confronted with poor reading habit which is really affecting the performance of the pupils in other subject areas. Pupils attitude towards reading are generated from their literacy level. Pupils acquire reading literacy through a variety of activities and experiences within different contexts.
With the advent of modern technology, reading which was one of the most favored recreational activity which provided a lot of enjoyment and entertainment to many students and adults began to suffer (Soliman, 2012). Students, once upon a time, did spend much time learning how to read in schools. This seems not to be the case in our contemporary society. Both adults and students alike now spend precious times of the day and night watching programmes, movies on television and videos (Crammer & Castle, 1994; Kolawole, 1999; Owuegbu, 2000).This phenomenon has been an issue of concern among stakeholders and researchers and has generated series of debates to the extent that the reading portion of the English language curriculum which is supposed to cultivate in students the culture of reading is brought to query as this has affected the performance of students at both internal and external examinations (Adegbile & Igweike, 2002).
During primary school years, they develop the skills, behaviors, and attitudes associated with reading mainly at home and in school. Various resources and activities have fostered their reading, including those that occur as a natural and informal part of daily activities. Less structured activities can be as critical in helping pupils develop reading as the more structured activities that occur in classrooms and most especially the literacy level of the home as part of reading instruction (PIRLS, 2011).
The functional uses of reading in schools and in most work places continue to be important but in order to fulfill this, students need to be able to read flexibly and critically. In institutions of learning, students are required to read books and other printed information to support their learning across all areas of the curriculum. Lawal (1995) asserted that reading is the core of the curriculum because it is unique among school subjects in being both a subject of instruction and a tool for the mastery of other phases of the curriculum. As indispensable as reading is to proper learning, it is not a language art that students develop by chance.
Barber (1997) stated that students are expected to develop the skill of independent learning using all kinds of text on a wide range of subjects. Through their use of the written word, students are expected to develop an understanding of the world by finding out about life in other times, places, circumstances and experiments and inventions that have changed lives. So reading is a complex language skill and unless conscious effort is made by students to develop the habit of reading to learn and learning to read, reading may prove elusive to students. Furthermore, education depends on both intensive and extensive reading, since all the important study skills require quick, efficient and imaginative reading.
Reading as a language skill has been conceived differently by reading experts from linguistic, psycholinguistic, pragmatic and metaphysical perspectives with comprehension as the basis of whatever type (Lawal, 2005). Araromi (2002) opined that reading is a simple process of decoding – of identifying the visual symbols on a printed page. He viewed reading as a complex process involving comprehension, interpretation, analysis and application of ideas. Corroborating this view, Unoh (1991) conceived reading as essentially the process of extracting meaning from printed words. He stressed that without comprehension, reading is a mere visual exercise.
Olajide (1995) asserted that reading is the crux of intellectual development. Olajide (1996) also stated that reading stimulates and propels thinking. Since one of the highest functions of the human brain is reading, it is a complex process demanding the application of several separate, yet interrelated skills (Lawal, 2005). Reading also involves communicative interaction between the reader and the text. The reader perceives the symbols as language and responds to them as he would in face-to-face interaction and allows the writer talk to him via the symbols (Obanya, 1987; Ezeokoli, 1998; Onukaogu, 2002). This extends the frontier of reading beyond learning to read and reading to learn. Oyinloye (2002) and Olajide (2009) observed that there are different types of reading. They are skimming, scanning, intensive and extensive reading. Skimming is a technique used for identifying the main idea of a text or the gist. Scanning on the other hand is reading to look for a particular piece of information, taking note of striking and novel expressions and making cross reference to ensure comprehension of the text.
Most primary school pupils experience academic problem that manifests itself in the form of academic poor performance. Many researchers have sought to find out the reasons for the downward trend in the academic performance of pupils. Adesehinwa (2013) reported effect of family type and poor funding on students’ academic achievement; Ogbemudia and Aiasa (2013) reported lack of good home foundation for pupils as cause of poor performance by students; Achieng (2012) found home factors, student factors and institutional capacity as the causes while Adesehinwa and Aremu (2010) posited that factors resident in child, family, society, government and the school may be composite causative effects for these downtrend; they, however each of this variables could be linked to home literacy environment.
One of the objectives of the National Policy on Education (NPE, 2013) is to train young people to become useful members of the society and this training begins at home in the informal way. The home of the child is the first place he/she enters when born into the world by parents. A home is a place where pupils live with their parents or guardian and it is the place where they are groomed. It is a place where the pupils begin to learn the norms and values of the society in which they find themselves. The family is a social unit in any society and it is the source of early stimulation and experience in children (Collins, 2007).
The environment is the immediate surroundings in which the pupils find themselves. It is also referred to as the physical and psychological conditions that affect children (Ogbemudia & Aiasa, 2013). The parents or guardian of the pupils are responsible for providing the right home environment that will facilitate effective learning for their wards and also affects their literacy level which is known as home literacy environment.
The home literacy environment is often understood within a context of family socioeconomic status levels (SES). SES is a complex construct that consists of resources (education, income, and wealth) and relative status or rank such as social class (Committee on Pediatric Research, 2000). Although researchers often operationalize this construct in different ways, income, education, and occupation are frequently measured to represent SES (Bradley & Corwyn, 2002; Strenze, 2006). Despite some inconsistent findings regarding SES differences in home literacy, many studies have suggested that pupil’s emergent literacy skills differ significantly among SES families and that these variations may partly be a result of SES differences in the home literacy environment (Aikens & Barbarin, 2008; Son & Strasser, 2002). Among diverse measures of home literacy, it is likely that pupil’s exposure to print-rich environments in the home is strongly influenced by their family socioeconomic characteristics (Neuman, 1996). Also, the quality of interactions between parents and children has been found to vary in families with different economic resources (Korat, Klein, & Segal-Drori, 2007).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Much research has provided insight into the importance of home literacy environments for pupil’s reading achievement. Long before pupils develop the cognitive and linguistic skills necessary for reading, early experiences with printed and oral language establish a foundation for learning (Verhoeven, 2002). Particular home characteristics can create a climate that encourages children to explore and experiment with language and various forms of texts. Parents and other family members impart their own beliefs about reading that shape the way that children are exposed to and experience text (Julius, 2014).
Research consistently shows a strong positive relationship between achievement and socioeconomic status, or indicators of socioeconomic status such as parents’ or caregivers’ occupation or level of education (Bradley & Corwyn, 2002). Pupils with less exposure to books at home, parents less involved in schooling, and who are less likely to be regularly read to by parents are less likely to be good readers (Aikens & Barbarin, 2008). An important aspect of the home literacy environment is the availability of reading materials and educational resources. Research shows that ready access to various types of printed material is strongly associated with literacy that affects reading achievement. Homes that make such material available convey to children the expectation that learning to read is a desirable and worthwhile goal. Because learning to read is dependent on children’s early language experiences, the language or languages spoken at home and how they are used are important factors in reading literacy development.
Ogbodo (2002), Bhan & Gupta (2010), and Singh (2011) have done work on reading, especially how it affects the academic performance of students. However, most of these studies pertain to the international community and more so not on the home literacy and reading performance of pupils. Few ones such as Ward, (1997), Agbezree, (2001) conducted in Ghana, Julius (2014) was conducted in Nigeria and were limited to primary levels of education. It is against this, that it has become necessary to conduct similar study in Nigeria to examine the influence of home literacy environment on the reading achievement of primary school pupils in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to the influence of home literacy environment on the reading achievement of primary school pupils in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. Specifically, the study seeks to:
- Determine the level of primary school pupils reading achievement;
- Examine the reading achievement of primary school pupils based on home literacy environment;
- Determine the difference in the reading achievement of primary school pupils based on parental level of education; and
- Examine the reading achievement of primary school pupils based on parents’ socio-economic status.
1.4 Research Questions
- What is the level of the primary school pupils?
- Is there significant difference in the reading achievement of primary school pupils based on home literacy environment?
- Is there significant difference in the reading achievement of primary school pupils based on parent level of education?
- Is there significant difference in the reading achievement of primary school pupils based on parents’ socio-economic status?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
- There is no significant difference in the reading achievement of primary school pupils based on home literacy environment.
- There is no significant difference in the reading achievement of primary school pupils based on parental level education.
- There is no significant difference in the reading achievement of primary school pupils based on parents’ socio-economic status.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study focused on the influence of home literacy environment on the reading achievement of primary school pupils in Abeokuta. The study will be limited to primary schools in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. Purposively selected primary schools will be involved in the study. Pupils in the schools will be randomly selected. A researcher designed questionnaire will be used for the study and also, mean will be used to answer the research questions while multiple regression will be used to test the hypothesis.
1.7 Significance of the Study
This study would be of significant to primary school teachers, pupils, curriculum developers, Government at all levels and researchers should benefit greatly from this study. The study should be a guide to teachers of primary schools on how uses the outdoor learning to effectively achieve the purpose of their classes. The Knowledge derived from this study will assist school administrators and teachers to be aware of the factors associated with the learning environment, learning process, characteristic of the pupils that influence achievement of reading so that they can adjust accordingly. It is also hoped that the study findings will promote the parents awareness on the factors that are preventing achievement of reading among children and assist the pupils where necessary on the same. The findings of this study will create awareness to the Ministry of Education, Government policy makers, Non-Government Organizations and United Nations Organization about the specific factors hindering achievement of reading outcomes so that they can mount interventions to enhance the achievement of the SDGs. The study will be of much help to the primary school pupils because they will be informed of the factors that are influencing their achievement of reading. Finally, the findings from this study will add to the knowledge on which further research on related issues can be based.
1.8 Clarification of Terms
Basic Reading: Ability to identify and distinguish letters and sounds of the alphabet and use of the sound-letter correspondence to sound out words. Also known as decoding words.
Reading literacy: Ability to decode and sound out one to four syllable words.
Primary School: School for children between the ages 4years to around 12 years.
Reading literacy skill: Ability to effortlessly recognize and sound out words and text fast and accurately
Home: The place where pupils start there learning reading informally
Home Literacy Environment: factors around the home that can affects pupils reading habit
Achievement: the level of reading ability of the pupils
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