Reading enjoyment, behaviour and attitudes in pupils who use Accelerated Reader

mulitiple schools, multiple cities, England, United Kingdom


From the abstract: "Do pupils who use Accelerated Reader (AR) think differently about reading, do they enjoy reading more and do they do it more often than pupils who do not use AR? We explore this question using two sources of data.

The first utilises data from our 2014 annual literacy survey in which more than 32,000 children and young people aged 8 to 18 participated. 3 in 10 (29.9%; N = 9,551) of participating pupils said that they use AR. The 2014 findings are contextualised by recourse to findings we made in 2012 and 2013.

The second source uses data from a longitudinal study we set up in 2011. We followed 1,500 pupils who were aged seven to eight (Year 3) in 2011 until they were aged 10 to 11 (Year 6) in 2014. 37% of these pupils said that they used AR in 2011. All pupils completed our attitudinal survey each year, and each year schools also sent us their attainment data. These data uniquely allow us to compare AR pupils with non-AR children over time on their reading enjoyment, reading behaviour and reading attitudes.

Both cross-sectional and longitudinal data sets unanimously show that more pupils who use AR enjoy reading, read frequently and think more positively about reading than their peers who do not use AR.

Our analyses also show that reading enjoyment is the only variable in a complex interplay of variables that has a strong bi-directional influence, regardless of gender and whether children use AR or not, not only highlights the importance of reading enjoyment as a variable that matters, but also underlines the need to develop effective methods to encourage children and young people to read for enjoyment.

We are hopeful that an increased understanding of the relationships between reading enjoyment, attitudes, behaviour and skills will not only help us to strengthen the work carried out across the National Literacy Trust and the sector, but it will also help us to influence education policy and practice to promote the importance of reading for pleasure."

Citation: Clark, C., & Cunningham, A. (2016). Reading enjoyment, behaviour and attitudes in pupils who use Accelerated Reader. London: National Literacy Trust.

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