Thesis

The effects of providing scheduled sustained silent reading in a high school senior English class on reading motivation

Thesis (M.A., Education (Curriculum and Instruction))--California State University, Sacramento, 2014.

Students are taught how to read, but that does not always lead to a desire to want to read. Motivating students to want to read is a challenge teachers face every day. In an educational world driven by standardized test scores, fewer English teachers incorporate sustained silent reading into the regular part of their curriculum. Teachers have mixed feelings when it comes to whether or not sustained silent reading is an effective strategy to use amidst the pressures of teaching to the standards. Some students may be provided sustained silent reading time, but not use it appropriately, or demonstrate a lack of motivation to participate in the act of reading silently. Frustrated teachers who are not sure how to approach these problems, may decide, as a result, to give very little class time, or none at all, to reading for pleasure. Most reading that students do is required reading assigned by an instructor. Few adolescents choose to read outside of school. Thus, teachers want to know how to increase students’ motivation to read. The purpose of this work was to investigate the value of providing a dedicated time for sustained silent reading during the school day in order to increase reading motivation and the promotion of reading enjoyment. Additionally, the role and impact of the teacher during and between those reading sessions, and the different structures of sustained silent reading implemented during the dedicated time were evaluated for their effect on students’ reading motivation. The intent of this research was to use the results and analysis of the study to determine if the various processes used will facilitate reading motivation in high school students. 
 The participants of the study were 31 College Preparatory English 12 students at Elk Grove High School. Three different sources of data were collected and analyzed. The researcher developed a 13-question reading interest survey to discover the students’ attitudes about reading and about sustained silent reading in school. The researcher implemented a structured, once a week, independent reading program. Halfway through the study, the researcher conducted a whole class interview to find out how the students are feeling about the reading program, and whether student participation in this program relates to increased reading motivation. The study concluded with a 16 question post-survey to capture the students’ views of the reading, the independent reading program, and their reading motivation. 
 As a result of the implementation of the sustained silent reading program, most students enjoyed reading during the school day. Student interest in reading at school increased because reading for pleasure now worked in their busy schedules, and it was a consistent routine the students came to expect and enjoy. The students preferred having free choice in what to read, and appreciated the elimination of a grade or project associated with the completion of independent reading. The importance of having access to a classroom library, and teacher and peer recommendations and modeling seem to impact students’ willingness to read. It can be concluded that a one-day-a-week sustained silent reading program can affect students’ willingness and motivation to read for pleasure.

Students are taught how to read, but that does not always lead to a desire to want to read. Motivating students to want to read is a challenge teachers face every day. In an educational world driven by standardized test scores, fewer English teachers incorporate sustained silent reading into the regular part of their curriculum. Teachers have mixed feelings when it comes to whether or not sustained silent reading is an effective strategy to use amidst the pressures of teaching to the standards. Some students may be provided sustained silent reading time, but not use it appropriately, or demonstrate a lack of motivation to participate in the act of reading silently. Frustrated teachers who are not sure how to approach these problems, may decide, as a result, to give very little class time, or none at all, to reading for pleasure. Most reading that students do is required reading assigned by an instructor. Few adolescents choose to read outside of school. Thus, teachers want to know how to increase students’ motivation to read. The purpose of this work was to investigate the value of providing a dedicated time for sustained silent reading during the school day in order to increase reading motivation and the promotion of reading enjoyment. Additionally, the role and impact of the teacher during and between those reading sessions, and the different structures of sustained silent reading implemented during the dedicated time were evaluated for their effect on students’ reading motivation. The intent of this research was to use the results and analysis of the study to determine if the various processes used will facilitate reading motivation in high school students. The participants of the study were 31 College Preparatory English 12 students at Elk Grove High School. Three different sources of data were collected and analyzed. The researcher developed a 13-question reading interest survey to discover the students’ attitudes about reading and about sustained silent reading in school. The researcher implemented a structured, once a week, independent reading program. Halfway through the study, the researcher conducted a whole class interview to find out how the students are feeling about the reading program, and whether student participation in this program relates to increased reading motivation. The study concluded with a 16 question post-survey to capture the students’ views of the reading, the independent reading program, and their reading motivation. As a result of the implementation of the sustained silent reading program, most students enjoyed reading during the school day. Student interest in reading at school increased because reading for pleasure now worked in their busy schedules, and it was a consistent routine the students came to expect and enjoy. The students preferred having free choice in what to read, and appreciated the elimination of a grade or project associated with the completion of independent reading. The importance of having access to a classroom library, and teacher and peer recommendations and modeling seem to impact students’ willingness to read. It can be concluded that a one-day-a-week sustained silent reading program can affect students’ willingness and motivation to read for pleasure.

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