Tag archives: news

Friday, 8 March 2019

Children’s and young people’s reading – latest news and views

Max & Amazing BabyYou are never too young for books!

It’s a while since my last round-up of recent research and articles about children’s reading, and lots have come out since.

New studies reveal that the number of 8 to 18-year-olds reading for pleasure has dropped to 52.5%, down from 58.8% in 2016, with only a quarter reading daily, compared with 43% in 2015, and that only 32% of British children under 13 are read to daily by an adult for pleasure, 9 percentage points down on 2012.

According to the What Kids Are Reading 2019 report, only a quarter of pupils get the recommended daily time for reading for pleasure. (It’s important to know that this report only surveys children involved in the Accelerated Reader programme, and is not representative of all children or all schools.)

New research demonstrates that parents and carers who regularly read with small children give them a language advantage of eight months. The biggest difference is with receptive language skills, i.e. understanding. Socially disadvantaged children experience slightly more benefit than others.

A study into the Too Small to Fail campaign in the US shows that when doctors explain to parents the value of talking, reading and singing with their babies and children it has a major impact.

The International Literacy Association has produced a list of children’s rights to read. These are the stand-outs for me, none of them surprising, but all of them important to re-iterate:

  • Children have the basic human right to read.
  • Children have the right to choose what they read.
  • Children have the right to read texts that mirror their experiences and languages, provide windows into the lives of others, and open doors into our diverse world.
  • Children have the right to read for pleasure.
  • Children have the right to supportive reading environments with knowledgeable literacy partners.

Also from the ILA, ‘Creating passionate readers through independent reading’ has lots of useful information and ideas.

‘Comprehension is essential to phonics lessons, and picture books are a great place to start’ came out last summer, but I only came across it recently. Worthwhile reading for primary teachers.

Finally, there are lots of great ideas in this post from the Renfrewshire school that won the Literacy School of the Year award in 2018.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Children’s and young people’s reading – news, research and a great quote

IMG_1531I always love seeing displays of book-related work when I visit schools to give inset. This is from St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Malmesbury.

Here’s a round-up of recent news about children’s reading.

A new survey shows that reading aloud to young children may change brain activation in very positive ways.

The neuroscience of reading is attracting lots of attention. It’s worth looking at ‘How children learn to read’.

Two important new critiques question the emphasis on phonics in teaching reading and the lack of support for other methods, both available here.

In heart-warming news, a girl of eight has won an impressive victory for gender equality in children’s book and marketing.

Edutopia has drawn up a useful list of thirty-seven ways to help children learn to read, all tips from teachers and other practitioners.

It’s fascinating, and rather frightening, to see the impact of skipping reading homework. The article includes ideas for creating a reading habit in class.

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham explores why children lose interest in reading as they get older.

An interesting IFS report sets out the links between childhood reading skills and adult outcomes in terms of employment, wages and health.

Finally, though not news at all, here’s Walt Disney on why reading is valuable: ‘There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.’