Benefits of English Reading Practice

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People naturally learn at least one language to communicate with others, but they do not automatically learn how to read. Reading has to be learned and taught intentionally because people will not be able to read if they do not learn how to read. Teaching to read is, hence, significant to be carried out as early as possible. Some previous studies have proven that reading is essential. It can enhance people’s social skills, improve hand-eye coordination, and provide people with endless hours of fun and entertainment. It is an access to social, economic, and civic life (Clark & Akerman, 2006) and an underlying means of supporting the success of learning process (Broaddus & Ivey, 2001; Renandya, 2007). It also has positive influence on academic performance (Adetunji and Oladeji, 2007). Without the ability to read, therefore, the opportunities for academic and occupational success are limited. Regarding the importance of reading, it is essential that students who learn English as their foreign language (hereafter, EFL students) establish good English reading habits because they are very much involved in and greatly benefit from English reading practices. In the context of Indonesian education, the skill of reading English as part of English subject is taught integratedly with other English skills since the students study in Elementary school for 6 years. Some pre Elementary schools have also included English subject in their curriculum. English subject is then continuously taught in the secondary (Junior and Senior High) schools for 6 years and tertiary education for two semesters /one year on the average. This means that EFL students in Indonesia generally learn English and are engaged in reading English texts for at least 13 years. How does such teaching and learning English bring about the establishment of English reading habits? Reading as one of the indicators of being literate is an art of interpreting a written discourse. Meanwhile, a...
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