Reading Motivation of Young ESL Learners in Brunei Darussalam
In recent years, a large number of nations across the globe have shown an increasing focus on developing lifelong readers within their education system. To cultivate lifelong readers, research has found the importance of engaged reading. To encourage engaged reading, studies have found that apart from instructional practices that focus on cognitive competency (skills to read), a child’s motivation to read (will to read) too plays a pivotal role in this area. However, little attention has been given to ESL learners’ motivation to read, especially that of young ESL learners. To explore this, this study looks into the motivation to read of 13 young ESL learners from 3 government schools in Brunei. The students in Year 4, aged between 9 to 10 years old, were interviewed on their habits and motivations to read in English to provide an insight into the factors influencing their reading motivation. The questions posed to students were adapted from the conversational interview questions of Gambrell et. al .’s (2013) Motivation to Read Profile-Revised Questionnaire. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. The transcriptions were analysed and coded using the principles of the Constant Comparative Method, where eventually themes and sub-themes were derived. From the analysis, findings suggest that young ESL learners’ motivation depends on the following: self-competency beliefs, reasons for reading, environment, and access to engaging reading resources. The study gives an understanding of factors influencing young learners’ reading motivation, which in turn can inform stakeholders on the choice of reading pedagogy to help young learners become better and engaged readers.
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