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ERIC Number: ED541603
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Dec
Pages: 94
Abstractor: ERIC
Children's and Young People's Reading Habits and Preferences: The Who, What, Why, Where and When
Clark, Christina; Foster, Amelia
National Literacy Trust
This report, based on a recent survey of over 8,000 primary and secondary pupils in England, explores why some pupils choose to read and others do not. The research literature shows that reading for pleasure benefits children in numerous ways. Yet, research also shows that young people's reading enjoyment may be declining. Given current political concerns about reading and the clear benefits that reading for pleasure can bring, it is vital that more emphasis is placed on reading enjoyment both at school and at home. The National Literacy Trust therefore conducted a survey for Reading Connects in 2005 to collect evidence about children's and young people's reading preferences and reading behaviours with the aim of supporting parents, teachers and other literacy professionals in promoting wider reading. The key findings include: (1) Half the sample of pupils said they enjoy reading either very much or quite a lot and rated themselves as proficient readers; (2) The majority of pupils read every day or once/twice a week; (3) Almost half the sample believed that they were reading enough. A fifth of pupils stated that not only were they not reading enough, but they also would not want to read more; (4) Pupils generally held positive attitudes towards reading-agreeing with statements that reading is important and disagreeing with statements that reading is boring, hard, or for girls rather than boys; (5) Pupils indicated reading a diverse range of materials outside class, which included texts other than books. When asked specifically about fiction preferences, adventure, comedy and horror/ghost stories were the most frequently chosen types; (6) Most pupils read in the bedroom, followed by the classroom and the living room; (7) When asked why they were reading, most pupils indicated that they read because it is a skill for life, it helps them find out what they want/need to know and because it is fun. Only a fifth of pupils read because they have to; (8) Pupils said that they would read more if they had more time, if they enjoyed it more, if books were cheaper and if books were about subjects they were interested in; (9) When asked what activities would encourage them to read more, half the sample stated that designing websites/magazines, meeting authors/celebrity readers and reading games would motivate them. Rating books and writing book reviews were only motivating for a fifth of pupils; (10) Over 80% of pupils reported that it was their mother who had taught them to read, followed by their teacher and their father; (11) Almost half the pupils never or almost never talked with their family about what they were reading. Their mother, father and friend were the top three people with whom pupils discussed their reading. Their mother, teacher and father were also the most frequently cited reading partners; (12) Pupils also believed that their mother spends more time reading than their father; (13) A quarter of pupils reported that their father never spent any time reading; (14) Pupils stated that their mother encourages them to read more frequently than their father; and (15) Finally, when asked who should teach them to read and who should encourage them to enjoy reading, the majority of pupils stated that these should be done by both the home and the school. (Contains 90 figures, 20 tables, and 19 endnotes.)
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; Grade 2; Grade 6
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Literacy Trust (England)
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A