Aspects of the reading motivation and reading activity of Namibian primary school readers

Emmarentia Kirchner, Maria Louise Mostert, Juan de Dios Martínez Agudo
2017 Cogent Education  
This paper reports on the reading motivation and reading activity of 402, urban, Namibian learners in 6 schools in the central region of Namibia. From the fourth grade these Grade 7 learners received their instruction through the medium of English, and offered English as Second Language in addition to another Namibian language. They were enrolled in schools that performed above-average in the Namibian Standardised Achievement Test for English language and with reasonable access to reading
more » ... ss to reading resources. Employing adapted formats of instruments, developed by John T. Guthrie and colleagues, the relationships between various aspects of reading motivation, reading activity and achievement, as well as gender differences, were explored. Different from early adolescent readers in North America, the group showed moderate reading activity and high levels of motivation. Learners reported that they read slightly more often for pleasure than for academic purposes, and read fewer texts in digital than print format. Recognising the multifaceted nature of motivation, this study revealed that aspects, such as curiosity about specific topics, the importance of reading and reading for grades, were factors that highly motivated these Namibian learners. Positive relationships between motivation and reading activity, as well as between reading motivation and reading achievement, were established. Contrary to expectations, no statistically relevant correlation between academic achievement and reading activity was found. Relationships between these variables and gender, though modest, corroborate findings from previous research. These results may prove valuable in further research regarding the development of effective and inclusive classroom practices in the Namibian context. not include any studies from African countries, like Namibia. Greaney and Neuman (1990) conducted a cross-cultural study on reasons for reading in 13 countries, and included Nigeria. While they identified three important reasons for reading across varied cultures, nothing specific is reported on reading motivation of African children. The research of Mucherah and Herendeen (2013) is a notable exception, and deals specifically with the reading motivation of Grade seven and eight learners in Kenya. One of their findings specifically point out that the relationship between reading motivation and engagement does not seem to be similar across countries and cultures (p. 590). This article will, therefore, contribute further to existing knowledge regarding the nature of reading achievement, reading motivation, as well as the preferred modes and purposes for reading, of Namibian, early adolescent learners studying through a second or third language in an African urban context. The following questions guided our research: What is the nature of reading motivation and reading activity amongst urban, Grade 7, Namibian learners who have adequate reading skills in English as a second language? What are the relationships between reading motivation, reading activity and reading achievement among these learners, and to what extent do these variables differ between boys and girls?
doi:10.1080/2331186x.2017.1411036 fatcat:g6yj4phueracbjx4zzindwmkv4