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Reading comprehension is a fundamental skill that plays a crucial role in academic achievement and lifelong learning. The concept of reading comprehension refers to the ability to understand and interpret written texts, making meaning from the information presented. It involves various cognitive processes, including decoding words, understanding vocabulary, making inferences and connecting ideas. Research has highlighted the importance of reading comprehension in academic success across different subject areas. Effective reading comprehension is influenced by factors such as prior knowledge, vocabulary development, metacognitive strategies and text complexity (Kendeou, 2014). Furthermore, socio-cultural factors, such as home literacy environment and parental involvement, can also impact reading comprehension skills. Enhancing reading comprehension is a key goal of educators, who employ various instructional strategies and interventions to support students’ comprehension abilities. Ongoing research continues to explore the intricacies of reading comprehension and its relationship with other aspects of literacy development, aiming to inform instructional practices and interventions that promote effective comprehension skills in learners of all ages.

Reading comprehension is of paramount importance as it serves as a foundational skill that underpins academic success and lifelong learning. The ability to comprehend written texts is crucial for individuals to access and understand information across various domains, including literature, science, social studies and mathematics. Research has consistently highlighted the significant relationship between reading comprehension and academic achievement (Cain & Oakhill, 2011). Proficient reading comprehension enables learners to extract meaning from texts, make inferences, draw connections and critically evaluate information. It also facilitates the development of vocabulary, background knowledge and critical thinking skills. Furthermore, reading comprehension plays a vital role in higher-order cognitive processes, such as problem-solving, decision-making and effective communication. Individuals with strong reading comprehension skills are better equipped to navigate complex texts, engage in independent learning and succeed in academic and professional endeavors. As such, educators strive to foster and enhance reading comprehension abilities through explicit instruction, targeted interventions and the cultivation of a supportive literacy environment.

Reading comprehension in secondary schools presents several challenges that impact students’ ability to comprehend and engage with texts effectively. First, one challenge is the increasing complexity of texts. Secondary school curricula often introduce more advanced and discipline-specific texts, requiring students to navigate unfamiliar vocabulary, complex sentence structures and abstract concepts (Stahl & Miller, 2012). Second, limited vocabulary knowledge can hinder reading comprehension. As texts become more sophisticated, students may struggle to understand unfamiliar words, which can impede their comprehension and hinder their ability to make connections within the text. Third, the lack of background knowledge can pose difficulties. Some students may not have the necessary prior knowledge to grasp the context or make inferences, particularly in subject areas outside their areas of interest or expertise (Cain & Oakhill, 2011). Additionally, students’ motivation and engagement can impact their reading comprehension. If students lack interest in the topic or find reading tasks unengaging, their comprehension may suffer. Finally, limited instructional strategies and support can contribute to challenges in reading comprehension. Teachers may not have the necessary training or resources to address individual students’ needs, resulting in inadequate instruction and support for developing comprehension skills.

When it comes to approaches to teaching, educators have a wide range of strategies and methods at their disposal to facilitate effective learning in students. One approach is the traditional teacher-centered approach, which emphasizes the role of the teacher as the primary source of knowledge and instruction. This approach involves direct instruction, lectures and structured lessons where the teacher imparts information to the students (Driscoll, 2015). While this approach can be effective for delivering content and providing foundational knowledge, research suggests that it may limit student engagement and active participation in the learning process. On the other hand, student-centered approaches, such as constructivism and inquiry-based learning, prioritize active student involvement and hands-on experiences. Constructivism emphasizes the role of students in constructing their own understanding through active engagement, reflection and collaboration. Inquiry-based learning encourages students to explore and investigate real-world problems or questions, fostering critical thinking, problem-solving skills and a deeper understanding of the subject matter. Additionally, technology-enhanced approaches, such as blended learning and flipped classrooms, leverage digital tools and resources to provide personalized and interactive learning experiences. These approaches offer flexibility, individualized instruction and opportunities for self-paced learning. However, it is important to note that no single approach is universally effective and a combination of different approaches and instructional methods may be necessary to meet the diverse learning needs of students.

There are various approaches to teaching reading comprehension that educators can employ to support students’ development of this critical skill. One approach is the cognitive strategy instruction approach, which focuses on teaching students specific cognitive strategies to aid their comprehension. These strategies may include making predictions, visualizing, summarizing and monitoring comprehension. Research has shown that explicit instruction in these strategies can improve students’ reading comprehension abilities. Another approach is the socio-cultural approach, which emphasizes the social and cultural factors that influence reading comprehension. This approach recognizes the importance of background knowledge, cultural context and sociocultural experiences in understanding texts. It encourages students to draw on their prior knowledge and personal experiences to make connections with the text. Additionally, the metacognitive approach focuses on developing students’ metacognitive awareness and self-regulation skills. It involves teaching students to reflect on their thinking processes, monitor their comprehension and use strategies to overcome comprehension obstacles (Paris & Paris, 2021). This approach empowers students to take an active role in their own learning and comprehension. Finally, the balanced literacy approach integrates various instructional methods, such as explicit instruction, guided practice, independent reading and meaningful discussions, to create a well-rounded reading comprehension program. It incorporates both skill-focused instruction and opportunities for meaningful application and engagement with texts. By combining these approaches, educators can provide a comprehensive and differentiated approach to teaching reading comprehension.

The literature-based approach is a teaching method that utilizes literature as a central component of instruction to promote reading comprehension, language development and critical thinking skills in students. This approach involves selecting high-quality literature, including fiction, nonfiction and poetry and integrating it into various aspects of the curriculum (Short, 2013). By immersing students in rich and diverse literary texts, the literature-based approach aims to foster a love for reading, enhance vocabulary acquisition and deepen understanding of different cultures and perspectives. This approach encourages students to engage with literature through discussions, reflections and creative activities, allowing them to make personal connections, explore themes, analyze characters and develop their literary interpretations. Research has shown that the literature-based approach can significantly improve students’ reading comprehension skills, expand their vocabulary and enhance their overall literacy development (Morrow, 2017). Furthermore, this approach provides opportunities for teachers to address social-emotional learning by using literature to explore empathy, diversity and ethical decision-making (Short, 2020). By incorporating literature into the curriculum, the literature-based approach supports holistic student development and cultivates a lifelong love for reading and learning.

The impact of the literature-based approach on the reading achievement of senior secondary school students has been a topic of interest among researchers and educators. Several studies have examined the effects of incorporating literature-based instruction in the curriculum and its influence on students’ reading skills. For instance, a study conducted by Stahl and Miller (2012) found that using literature-based instruction significantly improved students’ reading comprehension skills, vocabulary development and overall reading achievement. Similarly, a study by Hiebert and Fisher (2011) demonstrated that the literature-based approach positively affected students’ reading fluency and comprehension abilities. Furthermore, research by Duke (2010) indicated that exposing students to a variety of literary texts through the literature-based approach enhanced their reading motivation and engagement, leading to improved reading achievement. These findings suggest that incorporating literature-based instruction in senior secondary school settings can have a positive impact on students’ reading achievement by promoting comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, motivation and engagement.

It is in line with the above discussion that this study seeks to examine impact of literature-based approach on the reading achievement of SSI students in selected secondary schools in Jos South Local Government Area.


In a normal situation, Senior Secondary School students would have a high level of reading achievement. They would demonstrate strong reading skills, including proficient comprehension, vocabulary acquisition and the ability to analyze and interpret a variety of texts. These students would be able to apply their reading skills across different subjects and excel academically. However, the current situation indicates that these students are experiencing challenges in their reading achievement (Hassan, 2023). Many students are struggling to attain the desired level of reading proficiency. They face difficulties in comprehending complex texts, extracting relevant information and critically analyzing the content. As a result, their performance in various subjects that require strong reading skills, including literature, social sciences and sciences, may be negatively impacted.

Various approaches have been implemented in the past to improve the reading achievement of secondary school students. These measures include traditional teaching methods, such as explicit instruction and teacher-led discussions, as well as some innovative instructional approaches, such as using technology-based resources and collaborative learning strategies. However, despite these efforts, the desired improvement in reading achievement has not been fully realized.

The persistent issue of low reading achievement among secondary school students is a concern that requires attention. Despite the implementation of various instructional approaches, many students still struggle to attain the expected reading proficiency levels. The problem continues to persist over time, impacting their overall academic performance and hindering their ability to fully engage with the curriculum.

The impact of low reading achievement extends beyond the academic realm and affects the students directly and indirectly. On an individual level, students with limited reading skills may find it challenging to comprehend academic texts, leading to difficulties in understanding subject matter, participating in class discussions and completing assignments. This can result in lower grades, reduced self-confidence and a lack of motivation towards learning. Furthermore, the inability to effectively read and interpret texts may hinder their ability to access information, conduct research and develop critical thinking skills necessary for higher education and future careers.

The effects of low reading achievement also extend to others, including teachers, parents and the broader community. Teachers may face challenges in delivering curriculum content and adapting instructional strategies to accommodate students with varying reading abilities. Parents may feel concerned and frustrated by their children’s academic struggles, impacting the overall family dynamics. Additionally, the community may experience long-term consequences, such as limited human capital development and reduced economic opportunities, as a result of a workforce with inadequate reading skills.

This research aims to investigate the impact of a literature-based approach on the reading achievement of secondary school students. By exploring this approach, it is believed that a more effective solution can be identified to address the persisting issue of low reading achievement. The literature-based approach emphasizes the use of literary texts, including novels, short stories and poems, as a central component of the reading instruction. It aims to foster a deeper appreciation for literature, enhance reading comprehension skills and promote critical thinking abilities.

While different instructional approaches have been employed in the past to improve reading achievement, the specific impact of a literature-based approach on secondary school students’ reading achievement in secondary schools in Jos South LGA remains relatively unexplored. Limited research has been conducted to examine the effectiveness of this approach within this particular context. Therefore, there is a significant gap in knowledge regarding the potential benefits and challenges associated with implementing a literature-based approach to enhance the reading achievement of secondary school students.


This study aims to examine the effect of literature-based approach on the performance of Senior Secondary School students in reading comprehension in Jos South Local Government Area. Other specific objectives of the study are to:

  1. Determine the effects of literature-based approach on students’ ability to Identify Main Idea.
  2. Determine the effects of literature-based approach on students’ ability to evaluate a passage.
  3. Find out the effects of literature-based approach on students’ ability to understand unfamiliar vocabulary.
  4. Examine the effects of literature-based approach on the students’ ability to make inferences from literal passages.


The following research questions are raised to guide the study:

  1. What are the effects of literature-based approach on students’ ability to Identify Main Idea?
  2. What are the effects of literature-based approach on students’ ability to judge a passage?
  3. What are the effects of literature-based approach on students’ ability to comprehend unfamiliar vocabulary?
  4. What are the effects of literature-based approach on the students’ ability to make inferences?


H01: There is no significant difference in the performance of students who were exposed to literature-based approach and those who were not exposed to it in ability to identify main ideas.

H02: There is no significant difference in the performance of students who were exposed to literature-based approach and those who were not exposed to it in ability to judge a passage.

Ho3:    There is no significant difference in the performance of students who were exposed to literature-based approach and those who were not exposed to it in ability to comprehend unfamiliar vocabulary.

Ho4: There is no significant difference in the performance of students who were exposed to literature-based approach and those who were not exposed to it in the ability to make inferences.


This study will be beneficial to some stakeholders. These beneficiaries include students, teachers, school administrators, policy makers, parents and future researchers:

The primary beneficiaries of this study are the SSI students themselves. Through the implementation of a literature-based approach, students can potentially improve their reading skills, comprehension abilities, critical thinking and overall reading achievement. By enhancing their reading proficiency, students will be better equipped to understand academic texts, engage in classroom discussions, complete assignments effectively and excel in various subjects that require strong reading skills.

Teachers in selected secondary schools in Jos South LGA will benefit from this study as it will provide insights into the effectiveness of a literature-based approach in improving the reading achievement of SSI students. The findings of the study can guide teachers in designing and implementing instructional strategies that incorporate literary texts, enabling them to enhance their teaching methods and promote better reading outcomes for their students.

School administrators, such as principals and curriculum coordinators, can benefit from this study by gaining a better understanding of the impact of a literature-based approach on reading achievement. The research findings can inform decision-making processes related to curriculum development, resource allocation and instructional practices. Administrators can use this information to support teachers in implementing effective reading instruction and to develop policies and guidelines that prioritize the integration of a literature-based approach in the curriculum.

Policymakers at the local and regional levels involved in shaping educational policies and reforms can benefit from this study. The research findings can provide evidence to support the inclusion of a literature-based approach in educational policies and guidelines aimed at improving reading achievement. Policymakers can consider integrating this approach into broader educational initiatives and allocate necessary resources to support its implementation in secondary schools.

Parents and guardians of SSI students in selected secondary schools in Jos South LGA can benefit from the study by gaining awareness of the potential impact of a literature-based approach on their children’s reading achievement. They can be informed about the effectiveness of this approach and the benefits it can bring to their children’s academic performance. This knowledge can encourage parents and guardians to actively engage in their children’s reading development, including providing support at home and advocating for the implementation of effective instructional approaches in schools.

The study on the impact of a literature-based approach on the reading achievement of SSI students can serve as a valuable resource for future researchers interested in the field of literacy education. It can contribute to the existing body of knowledge and provide a foundation for further research on effective instructional approaches, reading interventions and strategies to improve reading achievement among secondary school students. Future researchers can build upon the findings of this study to explore related areas of inquiry and contribute to the development of evidence-based practices in literacy education.


One possible theory that could serve as a theoretical framework for the study is Reader-Response Theory. Reader-Response Theory, developed by Louise Rosenblatt, emphasizes the active role of the reader in the process of interpreting and understanding a literary text. According to this theory, the meaning of a text is not solely determined by the author’s intent but is co-created through the interaction between the reader and the text. The reader’s background, experiences and personal responses shape their understanding of the text.

In the context of the study, Reader-Response Theory can provide insights into how a literature-based approach, which involves engaging students with literary texts, may impact their reading comprehension skills. By focusing on the students’ responses and interpretations of the texts, the theory can help uncover the ways in which their active engagement with literature influences their comprehension abilities.

The theoretical framework based on Reader-Response Theory can guide the study by considering the following components:

  1. Active Engagement: The theory suggests that when students actively engage with literary texts, their comprehension can be enhanced. The study can explore how students’ interaction with literature-based materials, such as novels, short stories, or poems, stimulates their thinking, imagination and personal connections to the texts.
  2. Personal Response: Reader-Response Theory emphasizes that readers bring their own experiences, beliefs and emotions to the reading process. The study can examine how the literature-based approach elicits personal responses from the students, such as emotional connections, identification with characters and reflections on their own lives. These personal responses can contribute to deeper comprehension and critical thinking.
  3. Interpretation and Meaning-Making: Reader-Response Theory highlights that readers actively construct meaning through their interpretations of the text. The study can investigate how the literature-based approach encourages students to make meaning by analyzing literary elements, identifying themes and engaging in discussions about the texts. This exploration can shed light on how the approach enhances students’ comprehension skills.
  4. Reading Comprehension Outcomes: The theory suggests that an active and personal engagement with literature can positively impact reading comprehension. The study can measure the effects of the literature-based approach on students’ reading comprehension through pre- and post-assessments, comparing their performance before and after exposure to the approach.


The scope of this study is on the effect of literature-based approach on the performance of Senior Secondary School students in reading comprehension. The study will focus on students’ reading comprehension skills specifically related to identifying the main idea, evaluating passages, understanding unfamiliar vocabulary and making inferences from literal passages. The literature-based approach will be implemented as the primary instructional method during the study. However, it is important to note the delimitations of this study. Firstly, the study will be limited to Senior Secondary School students within Jos South Local Government Area and the findings may not be generalizable to other regions or educational levels. Secondly, the study will primarily assess the effects of the literature-based approach on the specified reading comprehension skills and may not comprehensively cover other aspects of reading or language development. Furthermore, the study will have a specific duration, which will be determined based on the available time and resources. Lastly, the study’s results may be influenced by factors such as the specific curriculum, teaching methods and individual student characteristics that are present in Jos South Local Government Area.

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