Research Key

The Influence of Extensive Reading on Academic Performance of Students

Project Details

Project ID
International: $20
No of pages
Qualitative method
Analytical tool
Descriptive statistics
 MS word & PDF

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Reading is considered one of the most challenging and difficult tasks that most English Language Learners face. Due to the complexity of the skill, most students do not read for the fear of not being able to achieve comprehension.

This explains why these students do not take Extensive Reading seriously as they cannot read other materials like Magazines, Storybooks, journals, and other textbooks out of the school milieu. That is, reading for pleasure greatly improves the students reading skills and their language proficiency.

The main purpose of this research is to make the learners aware of the fact that extensive reading is a very important practice for them and also the fact that English is a global language. This work consists of five chapters and examines the reading syllables and reading materials used, and at the end of the paper, some functional measures are suggested.



Background to the study

This research focuses on the needs for extensive reading in the English language for academic purposes which are aimed at improving students’ academic literacy.

This project presents research results conducted to determine the influence of extensive reading classes on the development of functional academic literacy.

Efficiency in extensive reading was evaluated by the comparison of academic literacy development of the experimental group who learned academic English through extensive reading with task and the control group who learned academic English through intensive reading and translation.

Findings indicated that extensive reading is more productive than intensive reading as the formal focuses on meaning while the latter focuses mostly on language.

Education is becoming more international and most students are spending more time learning through another language such as reading textbooks, a newspaper in another language, assessing foreign language material on the internet, or even communicating in a foreign language with native speakers in other parts of the world.

In short, besides their first language (11), students learn a foreign language (12) at school in order to read not only for pleasure but for academic development. Learning the English language entails well-developed cognitive academic language proficiency which might take a student a long time to be able to acquire Standard English.

This is the reason why most Cameroonian students who want to study in American or British universities often run into difficulties during their undergraduate studies even if they attain a particular score TOEFL exam.

Thus, an extensive reading-based program provides these students with tools because reading many books, journals, and research papers that contain comprehensible input which can enhance a number of important changes in the learner’s academic literacy level.

The idea behind extensive reading is the fact that L2 learners need a large amount of contact with the foreign language in order to become proficient in it as in the process of natural L1 development.

Extensive reading is a way of language learning through a large amount of reading, as well as facilitating acquisition and learning of vocabulary. It is believed to increase motivation

These two colonial masters imposed their languages in the newly acquired territory both in the area of education and administration. Therefore, English and French became the two official languages of Cameroon after the reunification in 1961.

As a result of this, the English language is a foreign language to the French-speaking Cameroonians who study French as a second language, while French became a foreign language to the English-speaking Cameroonians with English as their second language.

Even though English and French may be the first language to some Cameroonians, the fact remains that they cannot be as fluent as the native speakers of that language.

Reading models are broadly classified into two categories, that is; the process models and the componential models. While the process models attempt to describe the actual process of reading as a cognitive activity operating in real-time according to temporal sequence (Weir and Yan 2000), the componential models focus on what component to be involved in their reading process (Urguhait and Weir, 1998).

As opposed to processing models, the componential model attempts to model the reading ability rather than the reading process and to understand reading as a set of theoretically distinct and empirical separable constituents (Berhnaidt 1991, Coady 1971; Elooven and Tummer 1993).

Reading is the most readily available form of comprehensible input especially in places where there is hardly any contact with the target language.

It is important to know that, reading is of great importance to all students studying the English language. Anderson (2003) stated that the mastery of reading skills could help EFL learners achieve success not only in the English language but also in other context-based classes where English proficiency is required.

Reading places a crucial role in the overall development of language skills and even in academic success for decades (Cochran, 1993).

Carrel (1988) observed that EFL learners’ reading is the most important of the four skills. Reading is seen as an important medium that helps learners not only to explain their vocabulary but also to improve their grammar.

When learners read, there are introduced to a wide range of words and contents in which the words are used. Through this, learners are exposed to a variety of vocabulary and expressions. It also helps to improve writing; there a well-established link between reading and writing.

Basically, the more you read the better you write and the better you understand. Reading also creates and sustains motivation to read more.

This chapter is divided into the following subheadings; background knowledge of the study, statement of the problem, the objectives, research questions, significance and scope of the study, and definition of terms.

Statement of Problem

The ineffective use of extensive reading by students has led to the poor performance and inaccuracy of the communicative skills of the English language. When a student is unable to read extensively, and then there will be a problem of poor communication and ineffective use of language through the use of wrong and unlimited choice of vocabulary.

Reading is the main aspect of learning; therefore reading extensively extends, consolidates and sustains vocabulary growth which is aimed at improving students’ academic literacy and their communicative skills. According to standard, all University students of the English Department are expected to be proficient in the English language.

Therefore, it is necessary to see what progress students make in terms of language skills and general proficiency after reading extensively.


To find out how extensive reading influence students’ academic performance and communicative proficiency.

 To find out methods to implement in order to improve the reading ability of students.

 To find out why extensive reading is not popular with students.

Research Questions

General Research Question

How does the lack of extensive reading affect students’ academic performance and communicative skills in the English Language Department of the University of Buea?

Specific Research Question

What problem do students have in reading extensively?

How does the lack of extensive reading affect students’ academic performance and their communicative skills in the University of Buea?

How can students’ reading abilities be improved?

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