Promoting English language development and the reading habit among students in rural schools through

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This paper describes an extensive reading program conducted in three rural secondary or middle schools in Malaysia, aimed at motivating the students to read extensively in English and helping them overcome their problems in understanding English texts as a means towards increasing their proficiency in the language.

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Reading in a Foreign LanguageVolume 15, Number 2, October 2003ISSN 1539-0578Promoting English language development and the reading habit among students in rural schools through the Guided Extensive Reading programRatnawati Mohd AsrafandIsmail Sheikh AhmadInternational Islamic UniversityAbstractThis paper describes an extensive reading program conducted in three rural secondary or middle schools in Malaysia, aimed at motivating the students to read extensively in English and helping them overcome their problems in understanding English texts as a means towards increasing their proficiency in the language. The paper begins by discussing the rationale for extensive reading for students in rural schools, the aims and features of the reading program, the materials used, as well as the perceptions of students undergoing the program. The problems faced by the students in understanding texts written in English are particularly highlighted, and implications drawn for the successful implementation of extensive reading programs in rural schools.keywords:extensive reading, sustained independent reading, guided independent reading, reading programs, rural schoolsIntroductionResearch suggests that one of the best ways to help students increase their language proficiency is to encourage them to read extensively. Krashen (1993), as a result of an examination of research on in-school reading and "out of school" self-reported free voluntary reading conducted in many different

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