A Study On English Reading Habits Of Students Of English Study Program Of Riau University

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Reading, as one of the four language skills, is not a kind of a natural act. Unlike listening skill, which is a natural act, reading is a holistic act. Anderson, et al (1985) defined reading as a holistic act, they mention that reading can be analyzed into sub skills such as discriminating letters and identifying words, performing the sub skills one at a time does not constitute reading. In adds that reading can be said to take place only when the parts are put together in a smooth, integrated performance. Later, reading is an important activity of human in order to gain the information from the schoolbooks which can help students to understand or to solve the problems that they found in the learning materials. However, it is easier to understand the reading material that is written in the mother tongue/first language more than to understand reading material which is written in other languages, such as English. In this case, Indonesia is one of countries which using English as foreign language, and English was put in the curriculum of schools in Indonesia as a major subject.

Some difficulties which are faced by some of students in learning English is that they do not only must to understand the meaning of the content, but they must face the new vocabularies and the word orders that is totally different with the word orders in Indonesian. Fortunately, not all of students in Indonesia must to read English everyday at school, since English is not the first or the second language in this country. But, there are some educational environments which applies English in the learning subject which mean they face reading in English in teaching and learning process. One of these educational environments is English department of universities in Indonesia. Based on the university where the study is held, that is Riau University, the courses of reading in English department which are on the curriculum i.e. Reading Comprehension I, Reading Comprehension II, Reading Comprehension III, (the three courses learn about the intensive reading), and Extensive Reading.

This curriculum of reading course is similar with the other English departments in other university in Indonesia. As general, the main courses for reading skill in English department of the universities in Indonesia are in the area of intensive reading and extensive reading. In addition, the four reading courses of English Study Program of Riau University are aimed to prepare the students for the higher reading course that is Academic Reading and Writing. In this course, the students not only learn about the intensive or extensive reading, but they learn both of the main courses. In purpose, this course is aimed to make the students familiar with the academic reading materials, such as essay or journals, which will direct them into the thesis writing. In fact, the observation towards the students of generation 2011 in English Study Program of Riau University reveals that as amount of 69 students, for more than half of them hampered in the process of thesis writing, especially in determining the title for thesis, even though they had finished the Academic Reading and Writing course.

The lack of reading activity, or in this case, do not has a habit toward reading activity, may be one of reasons that causes the students have a less idea in determining the title for thesis. In addition, promoting reading habits nowadays is important, especially among the students, since reading besides to increase the intellectual of a person; this activity has been listed as the requirement to determine the status of a country. A country is called as developed and developing country when the population or community has a high interest with evident from the number of books published and the number of libraries in the country, means that the people in that country have high interested in doing reading activity. In fact, Indonesia, as a developing country even listed as the country which has low reading habits among its society. It was reported by UNESCO in 2012 that index reading interest in Indonesia just reached 0.001 people. It means that in every 1000 people, there is only one person who has interest in reading.

Further, the data from the Central Bureau of Statistic in 2013 also mention that people read in Indonesia only 20 percent while nearly 80 percent of people prefer watching TV (television) and listening to radio. Due to the fact that reading habit is an important thing that needs to be promoted in Indonesia nowadays, and the observation result which reveals that the students of English study program of generation 2011 in Riau University still do not have a high interest toward reading activity or do not have a habit toward reading, especially reading in English, which causes most of them found difficulty when they were in the last semester that is difficult in deciding the topic for thesis because of the lack of idea for writing the thesis. This study was conducted to answer the question „How does the habit of English reading of students of English Study Program of Riau University?‟

Name : Hafiz Al Nazhari, Syofia Delfi, Syafri K

Source : https://media.neliti.com/media/publications/188946-EN-none.pdf