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  1. 1. Critique ArticleInvestigating Reading Habits and Preferences of Student Teachers at Foreign Language Department Written by Muchlise Cosgun Ogeyik & Esin Akyay Trakya University Faculty of Eduaction Edirne, Turkey Muclise Cosgun Ogeyik & Esin Akyay are interested in areas of Teaching andLearning as a Foreign Language, which encouraged them to write this research articleas part of a doctoral dissertation. Published in The International Journal of LanguageSociety and Culture in December 2009, the article of above title explores on readinghabits and preferences of the students. Ogeyik and Akyay assert that reading is oneof language skills that as a way for reaching new information and assumed to beconsistent with the comprehension capabilities of individuals. Reading is theimportant way to the knowledge space. It can make individuals to gain theircreativeness and develops their critical thinking. In educational institutions, it is amust to give a motivation to the learners to read some text comprehension becausethe motivation is able to increase reading amount and both intrinsic and extrinsicreading habits. They also quoted from Calkins ( 2001) that positive attitudes arecreated by motivating individual habits and interest, and they are all interrelated andsupportive items for boosting reading habits. The motivation that given by the
  2. 2. educators can direct students to gain awareness in their social interaction and selfesteem. Even there are many aims of reading such as reading for giving fun or forhaving some information, reading is a factor affecting the initialization of the readingprocess and/or reading action. Individuals’ interest, gender, culture, and occupationare some common factors that influenced the reading habit in choosing reading text.But individuals‘ reading habit is able to be fostered through some arrangements. Oneof the effective arrangements in education through which learners can increase theirreading habits due to the fact that teaching and training are built on reading. Such asinteraction between educational aims and reading habits can be seen as therequirement of education process. This article delivers three purposes; (1) to find out how the reading habits ofthe students attending foreign language department are, (2) to find out what types ofbooks or texts they generally prefer reading, and (3) to find out whether they enjoyreading texts in foreign language. Therefore, this research study tries to investigatereading habits of foreign language learners aims at determining learners’ tendenciesand attitudes towards reading. Under the heading of this general topic, the study hassubcategories exploring reading preferences. The research article is limited in finding out how the reading habits of thestudents attending foreign language department are using both qualitative andquantitative approaches. The writers, Ogeyik and Akyay, employed specified
  3. 3. research methods from participant selection, design, materials, procedure, and stagesof analysis. It could be deemed that the researchers’ intention of identifying thespecific areas of the methodology is effective not only on understanding how thefindings were gathered and measured; rather it also addresses the issue of validity andreliability. On the aspect of participant selection, 187 students of the second, third,and fourth year who were attending English Language Teaching and GermanTeaching Divisions at the Faculty of Education in Trakya University, Turkey. Theparticipation was on a volunteer base. Since there were a few students in bothdepartments, gender differences were not examined on the study. They were asked toanswer a 40-item questionnaire. The items were designed for evaluating readinghabits, general attitudes towards reading, and reading preferences of the students.Each item has two choices --yes or no--. The questionnaire was completely by thestudents for 15 minutes. During the application process, the written instructions werealso explained verbally. The statistical analysis of the data was computed throughSPPS 11.0 software program. Each item was evaluated on the base of frequency andpercentile values. The questionnaire was analyzed and displayed in four tablesseparately; General attitudes towards reading table, Reading preferences of thestudents table, Effect of reading on students’ performances table, and negative viewsof students about reading table. The findings of the articles show that (1) the students have reading habits andpositive attitudes towards reading activities. In addition, they are conscious readers.
  4. 4. Because they investigate about the books before they buy books and do not havegeneral tendency for reading only best sellers. (2) Most of the students prefer readingthe books of Turkish and foreign authors and they mostly like reading in foreignlanguage. (3) The students find reading resourceful in all aspects of life, particularlyby referring to individual’s emotional satisfaction and fast reasoning. (4) Most thestudents did not explain any negative attitudes towards reading. Despite theiroptimistic views on reading, nearly half of the students cannot reach much due toheavy workload. From the discussion above, it is able to be taken an account that there aresome weaknesses that appear in this article (1) the writers do not describe the mainpoints of the articles clearly because it only gives the concepts of reading. It isrecommended that the writers also give the concepts of habits and preferences. (2)The writers still used references from 1990 even though it still can be used for therecent research. (3) Despite the suggestions that given by the writers to overcome thenegative view of students about reading, that is to give motivation through readingactivities both in school an out of school, the writers do not explain clearly how tomotivate the students to read those kind of books and the strategies to make thestudents to read so that the students will be fond of reading and then become theirhabits. According to the National Reading Research Center (Baumann & Duffy 1997)in, children need to be motivated toread and use literacy to develop into fluent readers. There are some way that can be
  5. 5. used by the teacher to motivate the students to do reading such as; assign the readingat least two sessions before it will be discussed, assign study questions, if your classis small, have students turn in brief notes on the days reading that they can use duringexams, ask students to write a one-word journal or one-word sentence, asknonthreatening questions about the reading, use class time as a reading period,prepare an exam question on undiscussed readings, and give a written assignment tothose students who have not done the reading (Davis:1999). It also shows that thereare some strategies that can be used by the teacher to make the students to read suchas read aloud everyday, book talk, use a picture book, maintain a large classroomlibrary, time to read, and have fun with books. (4) The article does not show the roleof the teachers in reading class even the writers only focus the students’ readinghabits and preferences. Because there are some tips that can be used by the teacherto motivate the students to read, for example; focus on the content; avoid languageexercises and tests; teacher should read parts of the story dramatically aloud. Otherparts should be read silently by the class. This allows the teacher to help others whohave finished or those experiencing language difficulty; during semi-extensivereading, teach helpful strategies such as prediction and inference; and the teacher cantalk about what the students read at home in class. Start the lesson with one leadingquestion regarding the text. (Sasson, 2007). On the other hand, the article also gives some strengths, such as the articlealways compare the findings to the former findings whether they are in line or not.So that the readers are not only having the information about the article’s finding but
  6. 6. also from the others. It gives some advantages to the readers that want to investigatea similar topic because they have the guidance from the writers. Besides that, thefindings are able to be used as a feedback to the educators in teaching reading to thestudents. Even it looks simple to ask the students to read but the educators mustconsiders some factors that always faced by the students in reading assignments. In conclusions, the motivation is needed to the students in growing theirreading habits because it should be one of the main objectives of education policiesfrom the very beginning to the end. The students can transfer some information fromreading, as a channel for learning about other cultures, so that it is recommended tothe educators to encourage the students to read some different txt type. It is hopedthat the students are not reading the books because they have to read them butbecause they need them to read. The findings in this article are recommended to beinvestigated by other researcher to have better outcomes that can be used for thereaders.ReferencesDavis, Barbara Gross.1999.Motivating Students. Retrived September 1999 from motiv.htmMotivating Students To Read taken from
  7. 7. Ogeyik M.C. & Akyay, Esin. 2009. Investigating Reading Habits and Preferences of Students Teachers at Foreign Language Department. Retrieved 2009 from, A. 1990. The Reading Habit-A Missing Link Between Literacy and Libraries. Retrieved September 6, 2007 from http.// services/READRAB.pdfSasson, Dorit. 2007. Motivating Children to Read. Get Children Reading! Tips and Ideas on How to Motivate Them. Retrieved 2009 from www.lesson-plan-