L2 willingness to read amongst young EFL learners: social economic background, linguistic competence and gender as predictors

Samsiah Abdul-Hamid, Azza Jauhar Ahmad-Tajuddin, Suria Hani Ibrahim, Noor Durrah Farahi Alias, Alyani Ayub

Abstract


Even though previous research have shown that reading improves one’s language proficiency and a lot of research have been done to examine how young learners learn a second or foreign language, our knowledge on their willingness to read second (L2) or English as a foreign language (EFL) materials  remains inadequate and limited. The current study aims to explore young EFL learners’ willingness to read English materials and if it can be predicted based on their social-economic background, English language proficiency and gender. Ninety-five young EFL learners from two elementary schools in a monolingual community participated in a reading programme called Ace Your English: Read for Life. All participants completed a survey questionnaire on their willingness to read English materials/books before the start of the reading programme. The study revealed that young EFL learners’ willingness to read English books materials is not necessarily influenced by their SES. However, linguistic competence and gender are strong predictors of their willingness to read. Based on the findings of this study, almost all young EFL learners are willing to read English books either voluntarily or through persuasion from the teachers or parents.


Keywords


Willingness to read; L2 proficiency; young EFL learners; socio-economic background; reading programme

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 ISSN: 1305-3515