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ERIC Number: ED541596
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Aug
Pages: 64
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 51
Young People and Reading: A School Study Conducted by the National Literacy Trust for the Reading Champions Initiative
Clark, Christina; Torsi, Stephen; Strong, Julia
National Literacy Trust
Imagine what a difference it would make if every child loved to read. Every teacher knows the difference that a love of reading makes to a child's performance; reading opens so many doors. However, research has long shown not only that men and boys in the developed world lag behind women and girls when it comes to engaging with reading. Thus Reading Champions was set up by the National Reading Campaign to celebrate men and boys who enjoy and promote reading in order to encourage others to do likewise. The literature shows that a love of reading is more important for children's educational success than their families' socio-economic status or wealth. Yet, research also shows that young people's reading enjoyment may be declining. A brief review highlights the importance of reading for pleasure, and outlines pervasive gender differences in reading enjoyment, reading attitudes, and reading habits. It seemed important to the National Literacy Trust, especially in the light of current political concerns about reading generally, that the issues raised in the review about reading for pleasure were explored in greater detail. This study was therefore conducted to explore young people's attitudes towards reading, their reading preferences, and what would motivate them to read more. The data for this study are based on 1,512 pupils from three primary, one middle and two secondary schools in England who participated in this survey in spring 2005. Overall, the findings from the present study suggest that pupils' reading is rich and diverse, but that the particulars vary according to gender or age. A recent Ofsted report (2004) indicated that few schools engaged the interest of children who, although competent readers, did not read for pleasure. It was also noted that schools rarely built on pupils' own reading interests and the range of reading material read outside school. Schools and the home therefore need to ensure that they tap into this richness in order to hook boys and girls into reading. Although it might be difficult to generalise these findings since only six schools were involved, these results show that young people can be drawn into reading when their creativity, personal interest and competitive nature are harnessed. Appended are: (1) Sample characteristics; (2) Pupil Questionnaire; (3) Technical Results; (4) Reading attitudes--descriptive analysis; (5) Reading Champions Framework; and (6) Reading Champions Questionnaire. (Contains 22 figures, 13 tables, and 1 box.)
National Literacy Trust. Swire House, 59 Buckingham Gate, London, SW1E 6AJ, UK. Tel: +44-2078-282435; Fax: +44-2079-319986; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Literacy Trust (England)
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)