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Analyses of Chinese Book Reading Needs and Reading Habits in the Middle Levels of Singapore's Primary School
Tan, Hui Leng
Chinese Reading Curriculum
Singapore is a multi-cultural, multi-racial society, reflecting a rich linguistic diversity in the country. It has a language policy of English as the first language and Mother Tongue (Chinese) as the second language in schools. As a result, there was a trend of declining standards and command of Mandarin amongst young Chinese Singaporeans. Furthermore, in a recent survey conducted, the reading frequency of English books was more than reading Chinese books. Reading has a lot of benefits and gains. Hence, the government is actively promoting reading activities and schools are the ideal platform to promote reading amongst the younger generations. Chinese Teachers in Singapore have been facing challenges in cultivating students the habit of reading Chinese books. Currently, the Chinese Reading Curriculum was not standardized by the Ministry of Education, as it wanted to give more autonomy for the schools to set the reading curriculum according to the needs of the students. Thus, the schools and teachers must design the Chinese reading curriculum. At such, this Research Paper aimed to conduct survey and the interview of Chinese teachers to find out the reading needs and reading habits of Primary Three and Four students. In order to gain a deeper understanding, the relations between the students’ backgrounds and reading behaviours were being analyzed. The findings were as follow: 1. The students’ reading behaviours and their family’s reading environment were in the state for improvement. The reading needs of Reforcement classes were different from Core classes and Enrichment classes. 2. Except for the reading attitude, there was no significant difference between the reading behaviours and gender. However, there was significant difference between the reading behaviours and the modular classes. 3. There was no significant difference between family’s reading environment and gender. Besides family’s reading, there was significant difference between family’s reading environment and the students’ modular classes. 4. Family’s reading environment and reading behaviours were positively correlated.
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