EXPLORING THE EFFECT OF UTILIZING WATTPAD PLATFORM ON THE STUDENTS’ EXTENSIVE READING MOTIVATION
Intan Permatasari ; Nafisatul MuawanahSebelas Maret University
Wattpad is a free social platform in which anyone can read or write on any devices: smartphone, tablet, or computer. This online platform is getting popular in which most viewers are teens and young adults commonly students. Using Wattpad, they can freely read massive e-book especially fiction stories. This belongs to extensive reading where people read for enjoyment. In this case, the researchers aim to find out the effect of using Wattpad platform on the students’ extensive reading motivation. The data was collected through questionnaires on the students’ reading motivation through Wattpad application on their gadgets. The participants in this study were 40 undergraduate students of English education program who are Wattpad readers. The questionnaires were then described to answer the problem statements. From the data obtained, the study revealed that reading content on Wattpad helped students improve their extensive reading motivation. Therefore, it is suggested that teachers use Wattpad in the classroom to foster technology and literacy skills and motivate them to read extensively.
Keywords: Wattpad, Online Reading, Extensive Reading Motivation
Reading is an important skill to develop a more literate society. The importance of reading skills for learners has become the focal concern of theorists (Kieffer;Vukovic, 2013; Olson, Keenan, Byrne ; Samuelsson, 2014; Tighe;Schatschneider, 2016; van Staden;Bosker, 2014). Reading is deemed a vitally important skill students should have to attain high achievements in school (Luckner; Michele, 2008), a fundamental skill for understanding across disciplines (Lei, Rhinehart, Howard ; Cho, 2010), and as a means for achieving a good life skill (Saunders, 2007; Inderjit, 2014; McGeown, Norgate, ;Warhurst, 2012; Ahmadi, Ismail ; Abdullah, 2013). In other words, it is true that reading skill is crucial for students to achieve the progress of a nation and it is also needed in every country in the world to compete globally. However, most Indonesian people still hold the assumption that to achieve their dreams, they do not have to read a lot (Rusyana, 1984). This opinion in fact creates an influence that in terms of literacy level, most Indonesian students have low reading motivation whereas this skill is a key to the development of human resource that all countries need to be able to compete globally. In terms of literacy level, although Indonesia does not really lag behind, most Indonesian people still have low reading motivation.
In addition, based on the data released by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as written in The Jakarta Post in 2013, Indonesia ranks second-last in reading interest. Indonesia ranks 60th out of 61 countries in terms of reading interest. In other words, the reading motivation of Indonesian people is in 1000 compared to 21. It means, there are only 21 out of 1000 people who regularly read books. This data is alarming since the availability of printed book is adequate enough in public library and bookstore.
The data is in line with the fact nowadays that people prefer to spend their time on social media as a result of globalization and technological literate. It is proven by the JakPat survey report on Social Media Trend Q4 in 2017. The data said that smartphone is the most widely used handset, and most activity is done using social media. Most of the respondents stated that their smartphone is mostly used to access social media, chat and gaming applications. Some other activities include listening to music, watching movies, learning, working, making calls and others. The highly used of social media through gadget, the researchers would like to propose a way of using social media Wattpad, online reading platform, to improve students’ reading motivation.
Wattpad is a place to discover and share stories: a social platform that connects people through words. It is a community that spans borders, interests, languages. With Wattpad, anyone can read or write on any device: phone, tablet, or computer. This online entertainment is getting stronger and most of viewers are teens commonly students. As we all know things are not always in a good influence to people. It is a community for discovering and sharing stories. It is a new form of entertainment connecting readers and writers through storytelling, and best of all, it is entirely free. With thousands of new stories added every day, an incredibly active community of readers and the ability to read on your computer, phone, or tablet, Wattpad is a place that offers a truly social media and entirely mobile reading experience. Rochester, S. in 2012 conducted an interview with the CEO of Wattpad, Allan Lau, and found that Wattpad has more than 65 million users who as part of the Wattpad community collectively spend 15 billion minutes each month using Wattpad. What most of the students do? Well, reading for the most part. All the stories on Wattpad are free. Readers do not have to pay to join the site or download the application, or to read any of those stories, which can also be read on any computer, laptop, or tablet. There is a lot of interaction on the site too. Comments are open at the bottom of each “part” and the most popular stories generate a lot of feedback.
From the facts above, the researchers intended to relate Wattpad with extensive reading activity. Extensive Reading is the practice time where learners read a lot of easy-to-read texts. One The main aims of extensive reading, by contrast, are to build the learners’ fluency, reading speed and general comprehension of reading texts as well as practicing the skill of reading itself. (Widodo, H. ; A. Cirocki, Eds., 2011). The importance of extensive reading for students is probably a joyful way in learning English since students read based on their interest. That is why the researchers conducted the research to explore the effect of Wattpad on students’ extensive reading motivation.
The researchers used the qualitative research design to explore the effect of utilizing Wattpad platform on the students’ extensive reading motivation. Cresswell (2008) defined qualitative research as a means for exploring and understanding the meaning individuals or groups ascribe to a social or human problem. The process of research involves emerging questions and procedures, data typically collected in the participant’s setting, data analysis inductively building from particulars to general themes, and the researcher making interpretations of the meaning of the data.
Specifically, the descriptive qualitative method was applied. This qualitative research strategy involves data collection and analysis. The participants of the study were 40 students especially Wattpad readers who are undergraduate students of English Department of Sebelas Maret University and Muhammadiyah University of Surakarta. The two institutions were chosen with the consideration of effectiveness and efficiency especially in time and connection. In choosing the sample, the researchers used purposive sampling. According to Oliver (2006), purposive sampling is a non-probability type of sampling in which decisions concerning the individuals to be included in the sample are taken by the researchers. It is based upon a variety of criteria that may include specialist knowledge of the research issue, and the capacity and willingness of the participants to participate in the research.
In order to obtain the needed data and information for the study, the researchers used questionnaire instrument by conducting online survey through google form. The instrument used is entitled Motivations for Reading Questionnaire (MRQ) adapted from Dr. Allan Wigfield and Dr. John Guthrie. The instrument can be looked at the appendix. The data obtained were then analyzed in descriptive analysis in which the researchers describe the data from the questionnaire in the google form. From the analysis, the conclusion is then drawn.
FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
The students’ perception towards the effect of Wattpad platform on the effect of utilizing Wattpad on the students’ extensive reading motivation was measured using the questionnaire in the form of online survey on google form. From the data collected through questionnaire, the following are some findings:
Table 1. Part 1 (Reading Habit)
Questionnaire Indicator Very different from me A little different from me A little like me A lot like me Total
I am a good reader. 5%
I like reading the English content. 2.5%
I read to learn new information about topics that interest me. 2.5%
I read just for fun. 12.5%
I read at least once a week. 22.5%
I like to read on e-book instead of printed one. 12.5%
In part 1, there are 6 indicators. From the survey, it is more than a half of the participants stated that they are good readers. It means they like to read especially English content. Most of them also claimed that they read to learn new information about topics that interests them. Some of them read just for fun. They read mostly once a week, and prefer to read on e-book instead of printed one.
Table 2. Part 2 (Online Reading)
I prefer to read online English content on gadgets. 7.5%
I use my gadget mostly for social media. 2.5%
I spend more time on gadget with social media than printed book. 2.5%
The printed books are too old and boring. 30%
Online reading always creates a new experience and knowledge. 5%
From the survey on part 2 about online reading, it can be seen that most of the participants prefer to read online English content on gadget. They spend most of their time for gadget to access the social media. This phenomena make the printed books is sometimes left behind since they are too old and boring. Instead, the online reading always creates a new experience and knowledge.
Table 3. Part 3 (Wattpad for Reading Motivation)
One of social media I use is Wattpad. 30%
Wattpad is a social media where I can read and connect to readers and writers all over the world. 20%
Wattpad is a fun platform for reading. 20%
I read the English content on Wattpad. 30.8%
I enjoy fiction stories on Wattpad. 27.5%
Through Wattpad, I can read everywhere using my gadget. 27.5%
The fresh and interesting content on Wattpad makes me want to read a lot. 23.1%
(16) In part 3, there are 7 indicators. The survey shows that there are more percentage of people who use Wattpad than people who do not. It means that mostly, the respondents are already familiar with the online platform. The respondents also agree that through Wattpad, they can read and connect with readers and writers from all over the world. Most of the respondents agree that Wattpad is a fun platform for reading. However, when it comes to whether they read the English content on Wattpad or not, the percentage of respondents who read the English content on Wattpad and the percentage of respondents who do not is similar. This means people do not always read English stories on Wattpad. However, the survey shows that most respondents enjoy reading English stories on Wattpad. Half of the respondents also agree that they can read through Wattpad everywhere with their gadgets. Finally, most respondents who read on Wattpad argue that The fresh and interesting content on Wattpad makes them want to read a lot.
This study aims to investigate the effects of utilizing Wattpad on Students’ Extensive Reading Motivation. The researchers want to reveal whether the participants of the study have been familiar with online reading through social platform namely Wattpad and whether Wattpad has significant effects on their reading motivation. The findings show that there are more participants who have been familiar with Wattpad and use it in practice. Though, there are also a few participants who do not use it. Not all participants find Wattpad useful and interesting, but most of the participants have positive response on how Wattpad can interest and motivate them to read more. This survey is in line with the previous study conducted by Bal, M. in 2018 entitled “Reading and Writing Experiences of Middle School Students in the Digital Age: Wattpad Sample”. The study claimed that Wattpad was considered as a a venue to promote students’ internal motivation in out-of-school reading experiences. Most of the participants create reading list that address their interest. Out-of-scholl reading activity through Wattpad evoked happiness because of the rich of content that they can freely choose whether to keep on library or to read directly. In addition, stories from Wattpad can be accessed without spending a cent and can be read on tablets and mobile phones, the participants did not hesitate to engage into it because of the reading convenience they experience. Particpants were also as to what makes them continue reading on Wattpad. Another previous study conducted by Contreras, et al. in 2015 entitled “The Wattyfever: Constructs of Wattpad Readers on Wattpad’s Roles in Their Lives” found out that students remain as Wattpad readers because of the emotional satisfaction and learning satisfaction they get. They simply see Wattpad as a form of pleasure and relaxation. They find a connection whenever they read because they can relate to the stories. Furthermore, the stories help them emotionally by boosting their self-esteem, giving them hopand anticipation, and releasing their sadness and heartaches. For some participants, Wattpad has become an instrument that lightens up their mood. Stanton (2009) cited that one of the reasons why people read is to be pleased. He stated that stories and sound of words people are gaining from reading tend to satisfy their pleasure needs. In conclusion, the researchers can say that Wattpad has become part of the participant-readers’ lives. Wattpad appears to be playing a big role not just as a medium for reading but also as a medium that gratifies the participants’ emotional and cognitive needs and wants. Despite Wattpadbeing an online library of millions of fiction stories, the things that it imparts on the readers prove to be significant and can be applied in reality.
In conclusion, the researchers found out that Wattpad has become part of the participant-readers’ lives. Wattpad appears to be playing a big role not just as a medium for reading but also as a medium that gratifies the participants’ motivation to read. Despite Wattpad being an online library of millions of fiction stories, the things that it imparts on the readers prove to be significant and can improve reading motivation.
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