The Role of Motivation When Teaching Reading

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ESP – English for Specific Purposes
Lesson 4 – Assignment 2
Sofia G Besenyi
It is often said that motivating students to read is one of the greatest challenges teachers face these days. Today’s generation of teens prefer playing video games, watch TV or spend time with the computer. Reading seems to be the last choice from a variety of leisure time activities for a majority. While it is true that as teachers we have little, if any, control over external factors that influence our student´s behaviour and engagement, we play a vital role in shaping what occurs in the classroom. I am convinced that the central most important goal of reading instruction is to foster the love of reading. What factors are crucial when teaching reading to teens? A survey on reading and student interests was carried out among twenty advanced teenage students. Many said they read when necessary to complete an assignment. The few who responded that they enjoyed reading said that they read only if they considered the text “interesting”. Another common theme is their need to understand what they read and to score well at reading tests.

What is motivation and what motivates students to read? According to Dörnyei, motivation is responsible for why people decide to do something, how long they are willing to sustain the activity and how hard they are going to pursue it. In particular to the construct of reading motivation can be defined as “A complex construct that influences readers´ choices of reading material, their willingness to engage in reading, and thus their ultimate competence in reading” (Pitcher, Albright, Delaney, 2007).

,There are many factors that affect an adolescent´s attitude towards reading. Attitudes are developed over time through the influences of reading experiences. School and home are both important factors that shape teen reader´s attitudes. One way to impact motivation at home is through encouragement....
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