Effectiveness of sustained silent reading on reading attitude and reading comprehension of fourth-grade Korean students
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The purpose of this study was to reevaluate the effectiveness of SSR on reading attitude and reading comprehension of fourth-grade Korean students by employing a multivariate approach. 58 experimental students participated in a daily 15-minute practice of SSR wherein they were given a fixed period of time to read materials of their own choosing with the teachers in classroom. 61 control students participated in a daily 15-minute self-study activity wherein they engaged in any activities such as writing, social studies, arithmetic, or writing Chinese characters. Three instruments were used: (a) Korean Version of McKenna and Kear’s Elementary Reading Attitude Survey, (b) Korean Reading Comprehension Test, and (c) Informal Daily Reading Log. For data analyses, a multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) and a multiple analysis of covariance (ANCOVAs) were performed. Descriptive statistical procedures were used to analyze participants’ reading logs. Several conclusions were drawn from this research. First, the SSR activity has a positive impact on reading attitude. Approximately 9% of the variability in reading comprehension and reading attitude vector scores was attributed to it. This effect size is considered as a large effect size, indicating the activity is effective for increasing students’ reading attitude. Unique characteristics of SSR such as self-selection, role modeling, non-accountability, and print-rich environment appeared to serve as the mechanism to develop reading attitude. Second, the SSR activity has no positive impact on reading comprehension. Only 1% of the variability in reading comprehension and reading attitude vector scores was attributed to it. This effect size is a very small one, indicating it is not effective for increasing students’ reading comprehension. Because a positive intention to reading influenced by a positive reading attitude does not always increase a student’s reading behavior (i.e., exposure to print) after school, especially when his or her reading behavior should compete with other options such as sports, computer games, out-of-school extra classes, social communities, and watching TV. Consequently, even significant change in reading attitude may not directly produce significant change in reading comprehension. Finally, on the whole students in the experimental group enjoyed participating in the daily reading activity with great satisfaction and enthusiasm throughout the study period.