In this chapter various related literature and research pertaining to this research will be presented. It addresses the views and effect of using extensive reading method to improve comprehension and motivates reading.
2. Related Literature
Up until now there is still no definite definition for ‘reading’ as Criscuolo (1973) says “There is no exact definition for reading’. Another view, Alderson and Urguhart (1984) in Fauziah Hassan HBET3203 (2004:3), “If the ability (to read) involves so many aspects of language, cognition, life and learning, then no one academic discipline can claim to have the correct view of what is crucial in reading: linguistics certainly not, probably not even applied linguistics”. But as one reads he or she is expose to graphic symbols and later will assign meaning to the written symbols in the text. In Fauziah Hassan HBET3203 (2004:3), Walker (1946) asserts, “reading is an active process in which readers shift between sources of information (what they know and what the text says), elaborate meaning and strategies, check their interpretation (revising when appropriate), and use the social context to focus their response.
Wardhaugh (1974) seems to agree to that as he argues that “reading is an active interactive, productive, and cognitive activity. It involves an active search for information and interaction with text; it requires the constant constructive involvement of the reader in what he is doing; and it demands the use of a higher order mental abilities”. He also further elaborates on that account, stating “reading activity itself requires both a language and knowledge base”. Anderson (1999) cited in Grabe (1992) strengthens Wardhaugh’s point of view with this statement “a description of reading has to account for the notions that fluent reading rapid, purposeful, interactive, comprehension, flexible, and gradually developing”.
Is it possible to ‘see’ how far does a reader comprehend or understand what had been read? To some extend, possibly yes but normally it is quite difficult to say so or be exact about it. Sometimes the reader may be able to read fluently but that does not conclude that the reader understand on what has been read. In Fauziah Hassan HBET3203 (2004:3), Williams (1984) states, ‘A simple (and provisional) of reading is that it is a process whereby one looks at and understands what has been written. The key word here is, ‘understand’, merely reading aloud without understanding does not count as reading’. Comprehension occurs in the mind and it is quite impossible to claim to know what exactly takes place in the readers’ mind. However when reading takes place, it must be supported with understanding. As Neate (1992) regards “reading without comprehension is a meaningless activity”.
Lunzer et. al. (1979) cited in Beard states reading comprehension as to ‘penetrate beyond the verbal forms of the text to the underlying ideas, to compare these with one already knows and also with one another, to pick out what is essential and new, to revise one’s previous concepts”. Therefore when reading takes place, getting new ideas, using past knowledge and being able to create new ideas and concepts happens. Then comprehension happens. That is what students should acquire when reading is done.
3. Related Research
It is through my observations and experiences as an English teacher for 17 years that students learning to read in English do not like reading and they rarely read especially in the rural areas where English language is seen as an alien language and hardly being used (they do not need English to survive) . Furthermore other supporting factors such as materials or human role models are not easily available or non at all.
Through my personal experience people become good readers through reading. The more read our vocabulary, grammar, schemata and other elements will increase to boost our...