Arresting Reading Comprehension Failures among Secondary School Students in Nigeria via the Promotion of Functional Literacy

B.A. Mbah, Iduma Ogbonnaya-Iduma Angela


Every year, schools cycle out majority of what some people may term “half-baked” graduates at different levels of our institutions. The major question that needs to be addressed is: how functional is the literacy at the disposal of these graduates? The answer to this question is very vital considering the assumption that many secondary school and university graduates cannot read or write fluently. The most worrisome is that there are reading failures among secondary school students which has a correlation effect on their academic achievements and which has also been found to relate to reading comprehension problems. The way out of this problem is to enrich the students’ environment with literacy and print materials, engage them in voluntary reading and introduce them to guided extensive reading programme. More importantly, the teachers of language should apply the eclectic method of teaching. The justification for these strategies is that a print-rich environment and literacy materials ignite reading interest in the students and encourage them to embark on voluntary reading. It has also been discovered that voluntary reading, intensive and extensive readings would bring about improved reading comprehension and this will subsequently arrest reading failures among secondary school students in Nigeria.

Keywords: Reading Comprehension Failure, Students, Functional Literacy

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