Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number3   September 2021                                         Pp.385-399

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Reading Habits and their Correlation with Reading Achievement among
ESL Learners in Selected Malaysian Secondary Schools

Isyaku Hassan
Faculty of Languages and Communication
Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Terengganu, Malaysia

Mohd Nazri Latiff Azmi
Faculty of Languages and Communication
Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Terengganu, Malaysia
Corresponding author:

Siti Normala Muhamad
Faculty of Social Development
Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Malaysia

Ahmad Taufik Hidayah Abdullah
Faculty of Languages and Communication
Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Terengganu, Malaysia


Received:  6/24/2021                 Accepted: 9/15/2021                 Published: 9/26/2021


Reading is a complex process that involves cognitive, physical, intellectual, cultural, and linguistic processes. Research shows that learners who read extensively tend to accomplish a high level of academic achievement. In Malaysia, the educational goal has shifted from simply forming literate citizens to nurturing a well-educated and intellectual society. Promoting efficient reading habits can be an effective approach to realizing this goal. This study, therefore, aims to examine reading habits and ascertain their correlation with reading achievement among final-year English as a Second Language (ESL) learners in selected Malaysian secondary schools. The study utilized a cross-sectional survey in which data were gathered from a sample of 351 ESL learners using questionnaires and written tests as data-gathering instruments. The analysis was conducted by means of descriptive statistics, Pearson correlation, and simple linear regression. The findings revealed a significant relationship between ESL learners’ reading habits and their reading achievement. Additionally, ESL learners’ reading habits contribute significantly to their reading achievement. These findings highlight the significance of reading habits in determining ESL learners’ reading achievement itself. However, this study is limited to reading habits and reading achievement among students in selected secondary schools. Thus, further research may replicate this study in the context of computer-assisted or blended learning.
Keywords: Cross-sectional survey, ESL learners,  Malaysian ESL learners, reading achievement, reading habits, secondary schools

Cite as:  Hassan, I., Azmi, M. N.L.,   Muhamad,S. N., &  Abdullah, A. T. H.  (2021). Reading Habits and their Correlation with Reading Achievement among ESL Learners in Selected Malaysian Secondary Schools.  Arab World English Journal, 12 (3) 385-399.


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Received: 6/24/2021
Accepted: 9/15/2021
Published: 9/26/2021

Dr. Isyaku Hassan is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Faculty of Languages and Communication, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA), Malaysia. He is an active researcher with a keen interest in the areas of media linguistics, media and religion, cultural communication, interactive media, and language studies.

Dr. Mohd Nazri Latiff Azmi is an Associate Professor of English Language in the Faculty of Languages and Communication, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA), Malaysia. His areas of research interest include literacy and comparative literature, language studies, and applied linguistics.

Siti Normala Muhamad is a PhD candidate Faculty of Social Development, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), Malaysia. She researches how reading activities in the context of English as a Second Language (ESL), particularly how reading habits and interests relate with ESL learners’ reading performance.

Dr. Ahmad Taufik Hidayah Abdullah is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Languages and Communication, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA), Malaysia. His areas of research interest include public speaking, second language acquisition, reading strategies, and error analysis.