BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Reading is a very important activity in the life of an educated man. It is very essential to the success of academic performance in any subject and serves as an open up of the mind of the readers to an unlimited world of knowledge which particularly keep abreast of the times and events in the modern world. According to Wilson (1974) Reading is the ability to interpret printed materials from a page. It is a decoding process by which printed words are translated and process of gaining meaning from the material and applying it in daily life. Brook G.L. (1989) sees reading as the mental process involving the interpretation of signs perceived through sense organs.
Reading is seen as a receptive skill and the popular impression held by many readers. Reading comprehension is the ability to pronounce words that is written. The students believed that they can read once they can translate writing into speech sounds. The fact however is that it is impossible to pronounce all the words in a passage very well and still unable to understand it. Reading is far more than the ability to pronounce the word on a page. The primary reason why we read is to obtain information as well as comprehend or understand a test, some students have poor foundation of reading. The primary school which further lead to some difficulties in their reading habit or performance in secondary school, it is observed that most students read without being focused on what they are reading which is known as extensive reading.
The cause of students’ poor reading habit can emerge from their lips movement as they read which later brings about sufficient `reading while eating. Thinking something else, distracted thought and above all reading and forgetting what has been read is caused by poor memory or inability to recall past learning.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
From early time to the present, Nigeria has attached much importance to reading, starting from primary schools through the tertiary level. It is important to know that exist many complex problems that may result to the problem of poor reading habit and its consequences on the academic performance of a child in the school system. This made the researcher to dive into possible effects encountered by secondary school students in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State. It is of great interest to note that most secondary schools especially in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State is faced with the problem of poor reading habit and this problem has taken deep roots on the part of the students, either as a result of lack of qualified teachers, ill-health of students, bad method of teaching, outdated textbooks, family background and psychological factors and teachers’ poor attitude towards reading and teaching students the proper reading skills.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to investigate into the causes and effects of poor reading among secondary school students.
a) To examine these causes and effects of poor reading in the general performance of students.
b) To recommend practical solution to the problems militating against good reading habit among students.
In carrying out the research the following questions were asked;
1. Does poor reading habit have any relationship with academic performance of the student?
2. What are the causes of poor reading habit?
3. Are there enough instructional materials for teaching reading skills?
4. Can the causes and effects of poor reading habit be an impediment to the secondary school students?
5. Does poor method of teaching generally affect the reading habit of students due to unqualified teachers?
6. Does distraction such television programme affects school students?
SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The significance of this research is to look into causes and effects of poor reading habit among secondary school students. It is hoped that the research will achieve the following;
i) It will be immense benefits to the students since it will make them know their areas of weakness and remedies. It is therefore aimed at making students develop good understanding so as to perform excellently in their examination.
ii) With the awareness of the cause of poor reading habit in students in secondary schools principals and curriculum planners can update their knowledge reading. The essence is to improve reading habit among students.
iii) It will also serve as an eye open to parents and teachers in regard to their children in schools.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Motivation: This is the total act of stimulating interest of personal individual to work harder.
Ambition: This refers to the interest/willingness in ones’ attitude to do something.
Decoding: This is the act of translating information from a code to an understanding language/symbol.