Pleasure reading is very important for any student that wants to improve his/her writing skills. There are various ways to reading and studying. One of reading types that influence writing skills is pleasure reading. In this article we will examine the correlation between pleasure reading and students’ writing skills.
Pleasure reading can be defined as reading that is freely chosen or that readers freely and enthusiastically continue after it is assigned. Reading for pleasure was defined as reading done in anticipation of the satisfaction it would bring or continuing required reading because the reader found the subject matter interesting. Pleasure reading is a personal experience that “typically involves materials that reflect our own choice, at a time and place that suits us”. As such, a natural assumption was that students would be more willing to engage in an activity over which they had full control; however, the reading habits of children indicated that instances of pleasure reading began to decrease around the age of thirteen and fourteen. Dissatisfaction with required reading contributed to student reluctance to read self selected literature. Unfortunately, the decline in pleasure reading was counter-productive to student success. In fact, “Acquiring the habit of turning to books for pleasure or to find out what you want to know does more for reading development than working on decoding words or trying to speed up fluency”.
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Pleasure reading builds reading comprehension, increases background knowledge (which is useful in all content areas), increases student vocabulary skills, and has been shown to increase our understanding of human behavior and help us to empathize with others. Pleasure readers not only experience greater success academically than their non-reading counterparts, pleasure readers go on to experience greater success in the workforce. Many language arts educators are aware of the benefits of pleasure reading and make every effort to immerse students in a wide selection of literature; however, schools, at all levels, fail to establish a culture that values reading.
BENEFITS OF PLEASURE READING
Becoming a lifetime reader is predicated on developing a love of reading. Although reading for pleasure has not been a research priority, studies are accumulating that emphasize the importance of reading for pleasure for both educational as well as personal development5. These studies show that promoting reading can have a major impact on children/young people and adults and their future. For example, research with children has shown that reading for pleasure is positively linked with the following literacy-related benefits:
The above relationships hold for first and second language acquisition, and for children and adults. Correlational studies have also consistently shown that those who read more are better readers. Indeed, reading amount and reading achievement are thought to be reciprocally related to each other – as reading amount increases, reading achievement increases, which in turn increases reading amount.
Academic achievement is an issue that deeply concerns students, parents, teachers and authorities not only in our country, but also in many other Latin American countries and continents. The complexity of the academic achievement starts from its conceptualization. Sometimes it is known as school readiness, academic achievement and school performance, but generally the difference in concepts is only explained by semantics as they are used as synonyms. Conventionally, it has been agreed that academic achievement should be used in university populations and school performance in regular and alternative basic education populations. We will point out just a few because there is a diversity of definitions. Several authors agree that academic achievement is the result of learning, prompted by the teaching activity by the teacher and produced by the student. Academic achievement is “the product given by the students and it is usually expressed through school grades”. Academic achievement as a measure of the indicative and responsive abilities that express, in an estimated way, what a person has learned as a result of a process of education or training. Academic achievement involves meeting goals, achievements and objectives set in the program or course that a student attends. These are expressed through grades which are the result of an assessment that involves passing or not certain tests, subjects or courses. Academic achievement also can be seen as the level of knowledge shown in an area or subject compared to the norm, and it is generally measured using the grade point average.
Writing achievement can be defined as the capability of expressing one's own ideas and thoughts through the written form in either a second or a foreign language while ensuring a level of accuracy and coherence. Writing achievement can also be seen as the outcome of five dimensions, which are: 1) taking a clear stance regarding the issue, 2) supporting that stance with relevant and accurate information taken from the source materials, 3) using information from said source materials, 4) organizing ideas in logically and effectively, and 5) expressing said ideas in one’s own words with both clarity and fluency). In addition, writing achievement can also be the outcomes of one’s learning experience that were obtained during the writing process within a particular field, such as knowledge and skills; these outcomes show the level and status of the person’s learning experience and their ability to apply what they have learned throughout a standard test.
PLEASURE READING AND STUDENTS WRITING SKILLS
The current study attempts to identify what pleasure reading can play positively on enhancing writing achievement and reading comprehension. As per previous studies, and after examining the literature above, the researcher is able to conclude some important points that can enrich the research in the field of this study. Firstly, when it comes to Pleasure reading, it can be concluded that it has a positive impact on enhancing writing achievement and reading comprehension. It helps improve literacy and enhance the thinking skills, as well as clarify and explore future goals and interests. Another interesting point found that Reading skills can be strengthened and improved through employing both reading and writing skills. When it comes to writing achievement and skills, the analyzing of the previous literature has led the researcher to conclude that written texts are usually derived from pleasure reading, where the reading text is self-selected rather than imposed on the reader. Moreover, Pleasure reading provides readers, especially young ones, with historical knowledge and information regarding the current events. Moreover, it helps them develop positive feelings, such as compassion and empathy, which would empower them to act upon their beliefs, and understand the consequences of improper behaviors. Interestingly, Pleasure reading provides readers with entertainment, relaxation, comfort, as it also offers them a creative outlet and means of escape, which, in turn, affect positively writing performance. Lastly, Reading helps learners develop their writing experience by providing them with inspiration, an extensive pool of vocabulary items, and grammatical structure. Furthermore, Pleasure reading increases reading speed and comprehension, motivates the attitudes of the reader toward learning the target language, develops their language competency, and improves their language skills.