Thursday, 25 February 2016


Children who read for pleasure are likely to do significantly better at school than their peers, according to new research from the Institute of Education (IOE). The IOE study, which is believed to be the first to examine the effect of reading for pleasure on cognitive development over time, found that children who read for pleasure made more progress in maths, vocabulary and spelling than those who rarely read.
The research was conducted by Dr Alice Sullivan and Matt Brown, who analysed the reading behaviour of approximately 6,000 young people, looked at how often the teenagers read during childhood and their test results in maths, vocabulary and spelling at ages 5, 10 and 16. The researchers discovered that those who read books often and more than once a week gained higher results in all three tests at age 16 than those who read less regularly. Perhaps surprisingly, reading for pleasure was found to be more important for children's cognitive development than their parents' level of education. The combined effect on children's progress of reading books often and going to the library regularly was four times greater than the advantage children gained from having a parent with a degree. Children who were read to regularly by their parents at age 5 performed better in all three tests at age 16 than those who were not helped in this way.

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