Reading programmes to encourage reading : teachers' and learners' perceptions and experiences.
This research project is aimed at investigating the reading programmes, in four schools in KwaZulu- Natal, which serve to encourage learners to read. The schools involved in this research project were single- sex schools that were either private or government funded. My research involved interviewing the Librarians and English Heads of Department (HoDs) at each school to establish their experiences and perceptions of the reading programmes that are run at each school. I also interviewed a group of Grade 10 learners at each school in an effort to gauge their experiences and perceptions of the reading programmes at each particular school. The reading programmes at each school are also described and critiqued within my investigation and offered as examples of what successful reading programmes entail. These reading programmes were defined as successful by the Librarians and English HoDs who collaboratively run these programmes. Many learners who participated in these programmes did not deem them a success and offered suggestions for the Librarians and English teachers to amend these programmes. The qualitative components of my research (interviews) were complemented by the use of a questionnaire that was randomly distributed to 50 Grade 10 learners at each school. This questionnaire constituted the quantitative aspect of my research as the results were statistically analysed in a bid to validate the results of the interviews. Other strategies employed by the Librarians and English HoDs were also assessed and are offered as suggestions to other teachers or librarians who are struggling to encourage a positive attitude towards reading amongst their learners. Through my research I was able to conclude that the reading programmes that were investigated are generally a successful means of motivating adolescents to read because all the learners involved read more than they normally would. These programmes do not, however, always instil lifelong reading habits in learners because they do not facilitate the promotion of reading as a pleasurable activity that can be enjoyed in one’s leisure time.