Why are Students Reluctant to Read in English?


  • G.L.T. Piyumali Pasdunrara National School of Education
  • G.H.D.J.P Gurunada Pasdunrara National School of Education
  • B.W.R. Damayanthi University of Sri Jayewardenepura


Though English is a compulsory subject for school students as the global language, today most of the students do not like to read English although it is a part of the main skills. The main objective of this research was to examine the reluctance of Grade 7 students to read in English. The research sample was a group of forty ESL learners of Grade 7 who have had a very limited exposure to the target language. This research was conducted as a case study to find out the reasons behind the aversion of Grade 7 students towards reading in English. Fifteen days were spent in interviewing the students on the basis of three students per day. Therefore this research can be considered as a qualitative one.
According to the results, 61percent of the sample had no knowledge of English. 23 per cent of the sample liked to learn English, but they did not have facilities for reading at their homes or school. 15 percent of the sample were from uneducated family backgrounds. That was why they had lost their interest in English. 8 percent of the sample did not like to learn English. They had a myth that they would never be able to read in English as they liked. It was found that there are four main reasons behind the students’ reluctance of reading. They are: lack of knowledge of English, lack of facilities for reading, low educated family background, unwillingness to learn English. The following methods can be suggested for language teachers to help improve the students’ reading ability: develop a better classroom environment, maintain a good relationship between the teacher and the students, provide positive reinforcement for the students and conduct reading activities to improve the reading skills of the students
Keywords: English; reading; school students; English language