The purpose of the study was to determine the efficacy of an integrated cognitive and affective approach to improve students’ reading proficiency by improving their affective levels and strategy use. A survey was conducted by means of a questionnaire completed by both control and intervention classes before and after the intervention. The participants were 195 first-year university students in both high risk and low risk groups. The data were analysed using t-tests. The findings from the independent and paired t-tests show that students’ affective reading levels and their use of appropriate reading strategies increased significantly. The effect sizes were mainly medium to large, as determined by Cohen’s d. These findings corroborate other studies that have shown an improvement in students’ affective reading levels and their ability to comprehend what they read when the integrated approach is used. The paper argues for an integrated approach to students’ reading development in order to achieve optimal improvement in their reading proficiency.