The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

John P. Madden

Second Advisor

James Robinson

Third Advisor

Kyounghee Seo

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

reading, reading in English, dislike reading, factors



A large number of students, all over the world, are coming to the United States to study and acquire a degree by using English. However, some of them do not like reading in English, which is crucial to them. Further, factors that affect their reading comprehension are of great importance. In this study, the researcher aimed to find out why some students did not like reading and what were the underlying components affecting their feelings towards reading. In order to do that, a questionnaire (30 question in total) and a semi-structured interview (10 questions in total) were used. Some of the items (Question 5, 12, 15, 16, 23, 26, and 27) of the questionnaire were adapted from Yamashita’s (2004) study. Other items were designed and written by the researcher. Ninety-six participants who did the questionnaire, were from an Intensive English Program and an English as a Second Language Program for University Students in a Midwest university of the United States. In addition, 5 out of 96 participants volunteered to do the interview. Five participants’ responses to 10 interview questions were transcribed and analyzed to get a better understanding of causes that influenced students’ feelings about reading.

The results suggest that there were some students did not like reading when vocabulary was difficult to understand, when the readings had nothing to do with real life English, when the reading amount for a course was a lot. Moreover, from the interviews, the results showed that students’ attitudes, strategies use and beliefs, purposes, and motivations were the factors that affected students’ feelings towards reading.



Thanks to my thesis committee members, Dr. Madden, Dr. Robinson, and Dr. Seo, who offered precious feedback and suggestions to the realization of this study. They instilled in me the motivation to accomplish of this work. A special thanks goes to my Chair—Dr. Madden for his patience, understanding, guidance, and most of all the encouragement he has given me.

Many thanks to my friends here to accompany and encourage me when I am down. Your friendship makes my life a wonderful experience. I would like to thank my friends, especially, Minji Yoon, Mengmei Yin, Chengying Yang, and Jie Duan, for their love, advice and encouragement during my graduate studies.

Very special thanks go to my parents, Donghui Geng and Huifeng Ji, for their love, understanding, and financial support during my graduate studies in the U.S.