Reading practices of first year natural science students: the case of Bonga college of teachers education
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The main objective of this study is to examine students' classroom reading practices in relation to the theoretical framework of the reading practices. Hence, a descriptive survey method with both qualitative and quantitative design was made use of The study was conducted at Bonga College of Teachers' Education. The subjects of the study were first year natural science stream students and teachers who offered them the course Communicative English skills-I. In the study104 students and four (4) teachers were involved. The selection of students was made random using simple random sampling technique in order to give equal chance for all participants to be selected. For teachers, purposive sampling technique was employed. To collect the necessary information from the subjects, two data collection instruments: Classroom observation and questionnaire were used. The findings showed that most students employed word level meaning processing as they read the text. In other words, they didn't use strategy based processing including reading for gist, reading for specific information, and guessing meanings from context and the like. In addition, students' limited linguistic knowledge and lack of commitment from teachers' side were the major problems that hampered students' effective reading practices. Among the challenges that influenced the teaching of reading was the tradition of teaching and learning reading in which students passed through and lack of awareness about contemporary theories and practices of reading. Based on the findings, it was concluded that students reading practices appear to be inconsistent with the theoretical framework of reading practices suggested by experts. Subjects of the study did not employ approaches, procedures and strategies suggested by scholars and researchers of reading. Thus, it is suggested that inability to employ inputs from research findings may lead to failure unless the actual practices should be harmonious with theoretical assumption and framework of teaching and learning reading.