Reading attitudes and reading habits of Vietnamese undergraduate students.

Author: Tuong Ho

Ho, Tuong, 2016 Reading attitudes and reading habits of Vietnamese undergraduate students., Flinders University, School of Education

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This study focuses on reading attitudes and reading habits of Vietnamese university students. The study is grounded in two principal theoretical orientations. The first is a model relating reading attitudes to reading habits that is broadly based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour (Ajzen, 1991). The second is theory about reading engagement. The understandings derived from this investigation contribute to both theoretical and practical issues relating to reading in Vietnamese higher education context.

The project was conducted at a regional university located in a small city in the south of Vietnam. These universities are termed “local” universities in Vietnam. Participants are 350 second-year students. An explanatory mixed methods design is employed in this study. There is a priority on quantitative data collection and analysis to identify the potential predictive power of selected factors (the contexts) on students’ reading attitudes and reading habits. A small qualitative component then follows in the second phase of the research to explain why certain factors, tested in the quantitative phase, were significant predictors of students’ reading attitudes and reading habits.

Three important findings arise from this study. First, although the data are broadly consistent with the model of reading habits, reading attitude is the only independent factor that explains the amount of time students spent on reading for their education. Second, reading contributes directly to students’ academic achievement: the more students engaged in academic reading the more success they achieved in their courses. Last, students’ reading engagement was not only influenced by their personal characteristics but, importantly, was related to aspects of the university’s practices and services.

The above findings lead to several practical implications. To be successful, students must read. However, as the transition from the level of literacy expected of high school students to that expected at university is a challenge for many students (Armstrong & Newman, 2011), they need to be guided and supported to engage in reading. Vietnamese universities, therefore, must look to their practices in order to develop a supportive culture that motivates reading engagement among students. As students should be inspired to read, lecturers could be good reading models themselves. Teaching methods and classroom instruction should value the role of academic reading. Assessment practices should be used effectively to drive students’ reading and, therefore, their learning. In addition, the library infrastructure and services in the university at which the study was conducted were found wanting. Universities should consider ways in which their services influence student learning.

Keywords: Reading attitudes, reading habits, Vietnamese undergraduate students

Subject: Education thesis

Thesis type: Professional Doctorate
Completed: 2016
School: School of Education
Supervisor: David Curtis