English is used almost everywhere around the world as a mode of communication and contact
with people for different purposes. So, English is taught and learnt as foreign or second language for
communication, higher study and getting a good job etc. In Bangladesh, English is taught as foreign
language and is considered as compulsory from primary to tertiary education. To learn the language
effectively, we need to achieve mastery over the four basic skills of language learning such as Reading,
Writing, Listening and Speaking. In order to gain expertise in these skills, the students have to follow
some strategies thoroughly and appropriately.
Among the four basic skills of language learning, reading is one of the most important skills in
which the students of English as Foreign Language (EFL) must achieve proficiency in order to learn
the target language successfully. During our waking hours, we read in a way or another. For example,
we read newspapers, books, articles, letters, emails or have a glimpse at the headlines or signboards or
the label of any packet or bottle of medicine etc. So, reading is the most significant part of language
learning because it helps the learners develop other related skills like grammar, vocabulary,
pronunciation, fluency in speaking and writing also. For this purpose, the use of different reading
strategies are emphasized greatly to improve students’ basic reading skills and this article aims to
explore the challenges of reading skills among the students of Bangla Medium Institutions of our
country while reading an unknown English text.
In recent decades, improvement in reading skills have been one of the main areas of interests.
Due to ever increasing demand of reading in every aspect of our life, it is essential to find new methods
or techniques to improve students’ reading skills. Effective reading strategies are essential for the
improvement of reading skills and they should be promoted in English language teaching. Our students
don’t find interest in reading because of the vocabulary problem and the obstacles in pronouncing new
words. While reading an unknown English text, they have been found stammering and this makes
them reluctant to continue reading.
As the students have poorer knowledge in English vocabulary, they are not motivated in reading English
text. Though the learners use social media 3-4 hours per day, they usually avoid using English rather they chat in
Bangla using English alphabet which makes them devoid of learning English properly and effectively. So, to
solve this problem, the students should be motivated to use and utter English words as much as possible. They
need to pronounce the new words and learn the meaning of the words and use those words in daily
communication. The more they will utter the new English words, the more they will be habituated with those
words and feel comfortable in reading the unknown text.
Some recommendations are given below to meet the challenges of reading an English text:
Focusing on English vocabulary building.
Being aware of the correct English pronunciation.
Encouraging the students to use English words.
Following different strategies in English classrooms.
Reading the text with pleasure and interest.
Motivating the students to participate in reading willingly.
Growing a habit of reading from early childhood.
-Alia Rawshan Banu