Indonesian government always attempts to increase reading interest of people in Indonesia. Indeed, the government even proclaims a program known as Gerakan Literasi Sekolah (GLS – a school literary movement). The program enforces all students and teachers to read at least fifteen minutes before the lesson begins. In GLS, students and teachers are free to set their reading choices. Luckily, they can choose non-academic books. Therefore, a community service team of Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY) comprised of lecturers of Department of Arabic Language Education (PBA) and Department of English Language Education (PBI) conducted a reading activity at SMA Negeri 1 Kasihan, Bantul, starting from February to April 2019.
Head of the community service, Lanoke Intan Pradita, S.S., M.Hum addressed that the program aims to render a comprehensive reading experience to the students. “We collaborate with Office of Research, Community Service, and Community Service (LP3M) of UMY to conduct the program. Our team comprises of lecturers of PBA and PBI. We devised a post-reading activity that aims to render a major reading experience for students,” explained Lanoke.
She added, “Besides, we also introduced a Graded Readers program. This program is contrived to train students learning English. The books are stacked based on their difficulty levels. These books possess tiered vocabulary difficulties, so that students can choose which books they favor to read.”
Furthermore, Lanoke concluded that the students were allowed to choose their favorite books to read. “Our program does not force students to read books they do not fancy. Students are surely allowed to pick books they are interested to, or books that are more easily to comprehend. Rather compelling students with academic books, we urge them to read storybooks with various genres they desire. Reading fiction books is a means to attract students to read. Unlike academic texts, fiction books often involve emotional explorations through their storylines and characterizations,” maintained Lanoke.
“The post-reading activity can be a means for students to practice reading and writing activities. However, importantly, the program emphasizes on reading signification so that students can feel as they own the stories. As they begin to develop a predilection of reading, they soon will develop a reading motivation, especially in English Language,” declared Lanoke.
Additionally, Lanoke asserted that the team even engaged all students to conduct an anti-bullying campaign through a poster-making based on stories they read.