Reading motivation is defined as “the motivational drive to read, an area of interest in the field of education,” (McRae, Guthrie, 2009); and the lack of motivation for reading has been a growing problem in the school system. It is especially prevalent in elementary-aged students because this is when children learn to read. Lack of motivation for reading is a problem that needs to be addressed because if it continues to grow, it will not only impact the child’s life, but also society as a whole.
Think back to when you were a child and stories were read to you, maybe before bed, or at school. Perhaps there was a favorite story that you would ask your parents to read to you all the time, there is a good chance over time your parents didn’t need to look at the book anymore because they had read it out loud so many times. This is because reading aloud helps us to remember easier, and some studies have begun to prove this, “MacLeod has named this phenomenon the “production effect.”
It means that producing written words – that’s to say, reading them out loud – improves our memory of them.” (Hardach) Colin MacLeod, a psychologist at the University of Waterloo in Canada, has done studies over a variety of age groups to show the impact reading aloud has on our memory. In the studies, people were given a list of words and were told to read some aloud and some silently and then correctly identify them. “When asked which ones they recognized, they were able to correctly identify 80% of the words they had read aloud, but only 60% of the silent ones.” (Hardach)
Without reading motivation students are less inclined to read out loud whether it be at home or at school. This would have an impact on their ability to remember facts that might be important to them. Reading is also a part of our everyday lives, most people, especially children, or teenagers, text to communicate with their friends. Yes, often there is not a lack of motivation to read a text from a friend. However, if these children never learn how to read properly, they might not have the ability to read that text.
If lack of reading motivation continues to become a problem in schools, our society will see a drastic change in the coming years. The next generation of businessmen and businesswomen, teachers, doctors, etc. will not have the same abilities or opportunities that the previous generation had.