Reading Interest Surveys: An Analysis
Nicole Milks, Nicole Miller, Larrissa Mangione
Grand Canyon University
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
This paper contains an analysis of a variety of surveys about reading motivations and habits. The various surveys analyzed were administered to grade levels ranging from second grade through high school. The data has been analyzed in a table and summarized in essay format. The essay includes an analysis of reasons why students lack motivation as well as strategies recommended to increase student motivation in reading. The analysis looks at reading habits of students, how many books they own, their attitude (feelings) towards reading, why students read, likes and dislikes in reading and reading in the home.
Title of the Survey Reading Habits of Students How many books does the student own? Attitude Towards Reading Why do students read? Reading likes and dislikes Reading in the Home
A Study of reading motivation Techniques with primary Elementary School Students by Whitney Burlew and others.
(Survey answers for most questions include: agree, unsure, disagree, and strongly disagree.)
Not Addressed Not Addressed Do you like reading books? 59% agree, 24.5% unsure, 7% disagree, 9.5% strongly disagree
Are you good at reading?
55% agree, 25% unsure, 10.5% disagree, 9.5% strongly disagree Circle two things you do during your free time?
Computer, TV, Video games 73.6%, Reading 55.4%, playing with friends 71%
( Study states that children chose activities over reading 72.3% of the time) Do you like receiving books for a present? 51.8% agree, 25.5% unsure, 12.3% disagree, 10.4% strongly disagree Do you read at home for fun? 52% agree, 24.5% unsure, 7.5% disagree, 16% strongly disagree
Improving Student Reading Motivation through The use of Oral reading Strategies by Dorothy Carr and others Availability of reading materials: 41 own a library card, 28 subscribe
to a newspaper, 31 subscribe to a magazine Ownership of reading materials: 22 own nonfiction books, 24 own fiction books, 23 visit public library Feelings and Attitudes towards reading:
22 enjoy silent reading, 11 enjoy oral reading, 11 enjoy reading, 14 enjoy receiving books as gifts, 19 enjoy reading with friends
Not Addressed Not addressed Presence of reading material in the home: 24 students had magazines, 23 had newspapers, 24 had fiction books, 23 had nonfiction books in their home
Increasing Student Motivation to Improve reading Performance by Sandi Barber and others
Enjoy going to the library: 20% of 10th graders, 35% of 4th graders, 86% of 2nd graders, and 86% of 3rd graders
Use the public library frequently: 40% of 10th graders, 35% of 4th graders, 40% of 2nd graders, and 52% of 3rd graders
Read in free time: 30% of 10th graders, 30% of 4th graders, 57% of 2nd graders, and 19% of 3rd graders Not Addressed Read a book in the last 3 months: 30% of 10th graders, 60% of 4th graders, 73% of 2nd graders, and 71% of 3rd graders Not Addressed Always have books to read: 70% of 10th graders, 75% of 4th graders, 50% of 2nd graders, and 57% of 3rd graders Not addressed
Improving Attitudes in Reading through Multiple Instructional Strategies in an At-Risk Environment
By Bauer D., & Lupo How do you choose books to read? (Gives choices such as if it’s easy, hard, teacher recommends etc.) They ranked the top three strategies as reading the first few pages, looking at the front cover and taking a friends advice respectively.
When do you prefer to read?
20 percent of the students prefer to read in their spare time, 15 percent like to read as part of class work, 15 percent during SSR, and 50 percent enjoy reading at home.
How do you like to read? (with friends, by myself, with kids at same level, with teacher in group)
50 percent of second graders liked to read with a friend and 30 percent liked to read by themselves. Five percent of students prefer to read with students at their reading level and fifteen percent like reading with a teacher in a group.
Not Addressed 60 percent of the students like to read a lot 25 percent felt that reading is okay and 15 percent would rather do other things than read. Not addressed What kind of books do you like to read? (lists different genres and students check which they like)
The top three choices were picture books, plays and poetry. Not addressed
Improving Elementary School Students’ Attitudes toward Voluntary Reading by Haverty, L., & And, O.
When asked about enjoyment in choosing books at the library:
0 students said they didn’t like it, 1 said it’s okay and 16 said they like it.
When asked if they enjoy sharing and reading books with others: 2 students didn’t like it, 3 said it was okay, and 12 didn’t like it.
I enjoy having my teacher or parents read aloud to me: 3 students didn’t like it, 1 felt it was okay and 13 like it. Not Addressed When asked if they enjoyed reading a book more than watching tv: 7 students said they don’t like it more, 4 said it was okay and 6 said they like it.
When asked about enjoying reading more than playing games: 4 students didn’t like it, 6 students said it was okay and 7 students said I like it. Not Addressed When asked if they enjoyed receiving a book as a gift, 1 student didn’t like it, 2 students said it was okay and 14 students said they like it.
When asked about reading for enjoyment at home: 1 student didn’t like it, 7 students felt it was okay and 9 students said they liked it.
Students were questioned about reading over summer vacation: 1 student doesn’t like reading over summer vacation, 7 students said it was okay and 9 students said they like it.
Improve the Reading Motivation of Third-Grade Children with Extra Time, Encouragement and Choice by Harrison Not addressed Not Addressed When asked how they felt about how well they were able to read: 25 students responded positively, 4 responded undecided and 10 responded negatively.
When asked how they felt about reading to the teacher: 20 responded positively, 6 responded undecided and 13 responded negatively.
When asked their feelings on reading aloud to a group: 21 responded positively, 7 were undecided and 11 responded negatively.
Students were asked how they felt about reading out loud to the teacher: 20 responded positively, 6 were undecided and 13 responded negatively.
Students were asked about their feelings on reading new words: 22 responded positively, 3 responded undecided and 14 responded negatively.
The last question asked how do you think your friends feel when you read out loud?
21 of the students responded positively, 5 were undecided and 13 responded negatively. Students were asked how they thought their friends felt about reading: 25 responded positively, 4 were undecided and 10 responded negatively.
Not addressed When asked how they felt about reading books for fun at home: 24 students responded positively, 4 were undecided and 11 responded negatively.
Sixth Grade Reading Interests: A Survey by Leena Snellman Do you like to read in your free time?
Do you like to read magazines?
Do you like to read the newspaper?
Where do you usually get your books from?
The following was listed by the students throughout the class:
School library, public library, ‘a friend loans it to me, a teacher loans it to me, buy from the school book fair, buy from the bookstore, parents other. Not Addressed Not Addressed What made you like this/these books?
The types of books that were selected by most of the students were “funny” or “humorous”. Twenty-two percent of the students listed “funny or humorous”. Other common responses were “adventure”, “excitement”, “suspense”, and “mystery”.
What made you dislike this/these books?
17% of the students reported that the book was “dull”, “boring” or “was not exciting”.
Which of the following things make you want to read a certain book?
• A friend recommends it.
• I like other books by the same author.
• My teacher recommends it.
• My mom or Dad recommends it.
• I have seen the movie
• It has an interesting cover
• It is about a topic that I like
Boys:92% Name one or two of your favorite books. If you do not have a favorite, name a book that you liked pretty much.
Results indicated that there was a wide range of titles, that also ranged in several different types of books by both girls and boys.
Do you have a favorite author?
Have you read any series?
Have you ever read a book that you really did not like?
Using Literature to Increase Reading Motivation by, Kristen Aiden, Jane Lindequist, and Carrie Lubkeman. How often do you go to the library?
The study showed that there was a steady increase in the numbers of students visiting the library post-interventions.
How many days per week do you read?
The number of students reading everyday decreased by 17% post-interventions.
Would you rather read to yourself or have someone read to you?
The number of students that liked to be read to increased to 20% from 18% post-intervention.
About how many books do you own at home? Do you like to read?
Do you think reading is important, sort of important or not important?
The importance of reading was exactly the same for students who felt that it is very important from pre- to post-interventions. Not Addressed What types of books do you enjoy reading the most?
The majority of the students chose non-fiction as their favorite type of reading materials.
Do you have a favorite author?
The number of students with a favorite author decreased form 48-41% post-intervention. Not Addressed
A Leisure Reading Interest Survey of Lake Dallas Junior High School by Barbara Swanson Students were asked to indicate if the books selected in previous sections of the survey were acquired from the school library, public library, or if they were a personal copy.
Female: 51.0 This is indicated by students answering question previously asked, such as indicating where their selections of book were acquired. Students were asked if they enjoy reading for pleasure. Not Addressed Students were asked to list the books that they enjoy reading or disliked readings that were not mentioned in the previous questionnaire.
Students were provided with a list of eighty-eighty author-title selections. They were to indicate if they liked the book by writing a plus sign, or if they disliked the book by writing a minus sign.
In the surveys which were given to elementary school students their reading habits, attitude toward reading, reason for reading, their likes and dislikes and how they felt about reading were most often assessed. Generally, the surveys asked about feelings more so than their motivation for choosing a particular book or preferring to read silently versus out loud. The findings of the surveys were that students in elementary school enjoy reading.
The reading habits of students in elementary school showed that they chose books by reading the first few pages, or looking at the front cover and lastly by taking a friends advice. They enjoy reading at home, during vacation, being read aloud to, reading with a partner, to the teacher, aloud in class, to themselves and within groups of their peers. Students also enjoy sharing and reading books with others and choosing books at the library. They prefer to read at home, in their spare time, during SSR and as part of their class work respectively.
Students like reading picture books, plays, and poetry. They enjoyed receiving books as gifts and having books to read.
Despite their enjoyment of reading, most students would choose to play games, watch television, use the computer or play video games over reading when given the choice.
The students in third and fourth grade have a slightly negative outlook on reading. They enjoy reading in their spare time less than younger students. Of the thirty-four third grade students who participated, at least ten responded negatively to each question posed. The reason for this could be that when students are in first and second grade they are still reading to learn, but as they enter third grade and continue on to fourth, the focus shifts to reading to learn. It is a new experience for the students and they are not given as much support with reading as they were in the younger grades. This can cause frustration and students begin to lack belief in their abilities. The students feel poorly about their reading ability and therefore do not enjoy nor choose to read.
Some reasons cited for this lack of motivation are weak reading skills and inadequate practice, ineffective reading models both in the home and classrooms, a lack of parental involvement, lack of literature in the home, low motivation, and inconsistent reading programs throughout the school. Students do not view reading as a priority, are not reading for pleasure, and felt reading was only linked to schoolwork and took up too much time, time that could be spent watching television or playing games. Additionally, students were not being exposed to a wide variety of reading materials, meaning that they may not have been exposed to texts that interest them and therefore view reading as a task instead of a joy.
The studies had some common motivational methods that they recommended using. They include the use of read-alouds, storytelling, supplying students with a variety of reading materials and allowing them choice in what they read. When given choices students are motivated because they feel empowered and they tend to choose texts that interest them. An incentives program in which students set goals and are rewarded when they achieve them was also recommended. Additionally, they recommend improving reading skills as a way to motivate students to read.
Some other suggestions for motivating students include using reading interest surveys, introducing a variety of genres, and book buddy discussion activities (Alden, Lindquist, & Lubkeman, 2003). More suggestions are to teach students to independently select books at their own reading level, and create a well organized and well stocked classroom library that includes books at a variety of reading levels. Independent silent reading and the use of journals and logs is another tool for motivating students. Lastly, studies recommend having students share what they are reading with other students. Some ways of doing this are having students create posters and displays for the classroom as well as by having students discuss what they are reading with the class.
In the surveys administered to older readers, sixth grade through high school, their habits were examined, the number of books they owned, why they read, reading likes and dislikes, and reading at home. The questions asked at this level were more in depth and often required explanation.
The reading habits of students showed that students in 7th, 8th and 9th grade were more likely to own personal copies of books over possessing copies from the school library. Even less students used the public library. Students in sixth grade also used the school library, public library, and purchased books. Sixth grade students also listed borrowing books from friends or teachers as well as parents as ways of acquiring literature. They enjoy reading in their free time; however, girls enjoy it more than boys. Both boys and girls reported liking to read magazines.
The motivation for reading in sixth grade is based on the topic, the author,
recommendation of a friend, the cover, having seen the movie, recommendation of parent, and recommendation of teacher respectively. Students said that they enjoyed books that were funny or humorous as well as books that had adventure, excitement, suspense or mystery.
Students choose the books they read based on their likes and dislikes. Over half of the
students stated that they had a favorite author which influenced their reading choices, a large number of students enjoy reading books in a series and about a third of the students stated that they had read a book they didn’t enjoy.
Motivation was lacking in this age group due to ineffective reading models in the home as well as the classroom, lack of time spent reading, a lack of variety in reading choices, poor attitudes toward reading and overall lack of interest in reading.
As a result of the findings, the researchers suggest that motivation will increase if students share their selections and help each other find books. Also, they recommend students use reading logs, engage in daily oral reading periods, listen to guest readers and performers, take part in extended reading and writing activities, and have a class log of books during oral readings.
Snellmen states that the essential motivating tool for teachers to use with their students to increase motivation towards readings is to identify why students would choose a book and what they liked the most about that book (Snellmen,1993). Further recommendations are to make sure not to stereotype book interests by gender and to provide students with the full-range of preferred reading materials to the smallest percentage displayed in the survey results (Snellmen,1993).
Overall, the reasons for lack of motivation are very similar and, in some cases, exactly the same throughout the grades. Some of the suggestions for motivating students are the same across the grades as well. This indicates that the reasons students are not motivated readers begins in elementary school and will continue through high school and possibly their lives, if they don’t become motivated. We as teachers must show students that reading can be fun and exciting and that it takes you places. By letting students know that there are many purposes for reading and exposing them to all different genres covering a variety of subjects and themes while modeling fluent reading for students and allowing them opportunities to become fluent readers themselves.
Alden, K., Lindquist, J., & Lubkeman, C. (2003, May 1). Using Literature To Increase Reading Motivation. Retrieved from ERIC database.
Barber, S., & Others. (2002, May). Increasing Student Motivation to Improve Reading Performance. Retrieved from the ERIC database.
Bauer, D., & Lupo, J. (2001, May 1). Improving Attitudes in Reading through Multiple Instructional Strategies in an At-Risk Environment. Retrieved from ERIC database.
Burlew, W., & Others. ( 2005, May). A Study of Reading Motivation Techniques with Primary Elementary School Students. Retrieved from ERIC database.
Carr, D., & Others. (1995, May 1). Improving Student Reading Motivation Though the Use of Oral Reading Strategies. Retrieved from ERIC database.
Harrison, I. (1994, January 1). Improve the Reading Motivation of Third-Grade Children with Extra Time, Encouragement and Choice. Retrieved from ERIC database.
Haverty, L., & And, O. (1996, April 1). Improving Elementary School Students' Attitudes toward Voluntary Reading. Retrieved from ERIC database.
Snellman, L. (1993). Sixth Grade Reading Interests: A Survey. Retrieved from ERIC database.
Swanson, B. (1977, May 1). A Leisure Reading Interests Survey of Lake Dallas Junior High School. Retrieved from ERIC database.