Do Children Read Purely For Enjoyment Education Essay

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The term reading for pleasance is the 1 used most frequently in official British course of study paperss. Pleasure and enjoyment are both words that occur, for illustration, in England 's National Curriculum ( NC ) programmes of survey for reading ( DfEE/QCA, 1999: 46 ) . Reading is an of import first measure to personal development, and to societal, economic and civic life ( Holden, 2004 cited in Clark and Rumbold, 2006 ) . It allows us to larn `` about other people, about history and societal surveies, linguistic communication, scientific discipline, mathematics, and the other content topics that must be mastered in school. The National Literacy Trust defined reading for pleasance as

`` reading that we do of our ain free will, expecting the satisfaction that we will acquire from the act of reading. It besides refers to reading that holding begun at person else 's petition we continue because we are interested in it ''

Nell ( 1988 ) , besides states that reading for pleasance is a signifier of drama that allows us to see other universes and functions in our imaginativeness. This is supported by Holden ( 2004 cited in Clark and Rumbold, 2006 ) who besides regarded reading as a `` originative activity '' that is far removed from the inactive chase it is often perceived to be. Others such as Graff ( 1992 ) have described reading for pleasance as an interpretative activity, which is shaped by the reader 's outlooks and experiences every bit good as by the societal contexts in which it takes topographic point.

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However, reading for pleasance could be described as being much more than merely a signifier of drama and escape ; it is besides a manner of linking with a text. Pullman ( 2004 ) , wrote on the characteristics that make reading pleasurable:

`` See the nature of what happens when we read a book... It is n't like a talk: its like a conversation. There 's a back-and-forthness about it. The book proposes, the reader inquiries, the book responds, the reader considers.

And we are active about the procedure... We can plane or we can read it easy ; we can read every word, or we can jump long transitions ; we can read it in the order it presents itself, or we can read it in any order we please ; we can look at the last page foremost, or make up one's mind to wait for it ; we can set the book down and... we can accede or we can differ. ''

This infusion has been taken from a Guardian article, and is written by the writer Phillip Pullman. He describes reading as a democratic activity because the reader can take charge of what they read. On the other manus, he states that theocracies have a narrow thought of what literacy is, in that they believe it contains merely one thing, and has merely one intent ( Pullman, 2004 ) . Although the article was most likely to hold been written with grownups in head, the infusion taken could be applied to readers of all ages.

All definitions fit in with thought of reading for pleasance. Connecting with a text enables the reader to prosecute to the full in what they are reading. However, when engaged in a text we are able to see different universes and functions which can spread out our imaginativenesss.

Are kids reading for pleasance?

Harmonizing to Clark and Rumbold ( 2006 ) , research suggests that a turning figure of kids do non read for pleasance, and that there appears to be a diminution in the Numberss of kids reading for pleasance over clip. Between 2000 and 2009, on norm, the per centum of kids who reported reading for enjoyment day-to-day dropped by 5 % , from 69 % to 64 % ( OECD, 2010 ) . This signals the challenge for schools to prosecute immature people in reading activities that they find relevant and interesting.

The primary purpose of the research conducted by Clark and Rumbold ( 2006 ) was to research reading for pleasance, with the chief focal point being on kids. Their research has been used a great trade within this paper for its relevancy to the assignment rubric.

This determination is supported by grounds from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study ( PIRLS ) , which indicated that attitudes to reading hold declined somewhat in England ( in 2006 compared to 2001 ) ( Twist et al. 2007 cited in ESARD, 2012 ) . What was found highlighted that kids in England had less positive attitudes to reading than kids in most other states. It was besides identified that misss by and large enjoy reading more than boys. This is looked at, more in deepness, farther on in the paper.

Additionally, a study by the publishing houses Pearson, who questioned instructors, identified that 74 % warned that students did non pass adequate clip reading outside the schoolroom ( BBC News, 2012 ) . Children 's writer Frank Cottrell Boyce highlights the issue by stating, `` It 's worrying to believe that so many immature kids are non being inspired to pick up a good book and acquire lost in a narrative. '' ( BBC News, 2012 ) . This highlights a clear demand to do certain that kids are being provided with the right types of books which stimulate their involvement, capture their imaginativeness and do them desire to turn the following page.

Why do kids read?

Evidence suggests that reading for pleasance is non ever cited as the chief ground for kids reading. Surveies have explored the issue of why kids read and there have been comparable consequences. The bulk of kids surveyed responded with accomplishments based grounds, grounds to make with acquisition and apprehension, or emotional grounds ( ESARD, 2012 ) . This is supported by a study conducted by the National Literacy Trust ( NLT ) as portion of Reading Connects ( Clark and Foster, 2005 ) , who found that the bulk of kids emphasised accomplishments related grounds for reading. One-half of the kids said they read because it is a accomplishment for life and because it will assist them happen what they want or need to cognize. More male childs than misss reported that they read because it will assist them acquire a occupation or because they have to. Girls indicated that reading is fun, teaches them how other people live and because it gives them a interruption.

However, a survey conducted by Dungworth et Al ( 2004 ) showed consequences that pointed more strongly towards pleasance being a ground for kids reading. This fitted in with the thought that reading was emotional, and related to the manner reading made them experience. Some kids besides said that they read because it was loosen uping. It should be noted that this study was merely conducted with twelvemonth 5 students and hence does non possibly demo a true representation of primary school kids of all ages.

The literature suggests that there is a split between grounds why kids read. On the one manus there are the kids who read for enjoyment and for relaxation, whilst others do it chiefly because it is educational and enlightening. However, the bulk of kids do look to tilt towards more skill related grounds as to why they read. This indicates that the pleasance may be taken out of reading for them.

The benefits linked with reading for pleasance?

Research with kids has shown that reading for pleasance is positively linked with many benefits. Clark and Rumbold ( 2006:8-9 ) identified these chief countries as the benefits to reading for pleasance in the National Literacy Trust 's Reading for Pleasure:

  • Reading attainment and composing ability ;
  • Text comprehension and grammar ;
  • Breadth of vocabulary ;
  • Positive reading attitudes ;
  • Greater self assurance as a reader ;
  • Pleasure in reading in ulterior life ;
  • General cognition ;
  • A better apprehension of other civilizations ;
  • Community engagement, and
  • A greater penetration into human nature and decision-making

Harmonizing to the National Literacy Trust, they are dedicated to constructing a literate state and emphasize the importance of reading for pleasance as one manner to progress literacy attainment in kids. Similarly, Clark and De Zoysa ( 2011 ) , who have been referred to below, besides focussed their research on immature people. Due to the complexness of some of the inquiries and constructs, they decided to curtail the age scope of take parting students to upper KS2 ( 9-11 old ages and older ) , hence the findings can non possibly be generalised to all students in lower KS2 and KS1. Reading for pleasance in KS1 and lower KS2 is an country that does necessitate more focal point and research.

Clark and De Zoysa ( 2011 ) found a important positive relationship between enjoyment and attainment. This indicates that kids who read more are besides better readers. However, they made no deduction sing cause and consequence, hence higher attainment may take to more enjoyment of reading or greater enjoyment may take to higher attainment. In a big graduated table study, Clark ( 2011 ) likewise found that those who reported basking reading were six times more likely than those who did non bask reading to read above the expected degree for their age. In contrast, kids who reported non basking reading at all were 11 times more likely than those who enjoyed reading to read below the degree expected for their age. It was besides found that merely one in 10 kids who read seldom or ne'er, scored above the degree expected for their age compared with one in three of immature people who read everyday. This is once more strongly supported by PIRLS, who reported that `` there is a strong association between the sum of reading for pleasance kids reported and their reading accomplishment. ''

Guthrie and Wigfield ( 2000 ) besides discovered that kids, who become engaged with reading, provide themselves with `` spontaneous '' larning chances that are tantamount to several old ages of instruction. They besides identified that kids with a positive attitude to reading are more likely to pattern the reading accomplishments they are larning at school. Similarly, like Clark and Rumbold ( 2006 ) , Guthrie and Wigfield have focussed chiefly on immature people, through discoursing occupied reading, with its attending being on the part of kids 's motive.

In add-on to this, research has shown how developing a love of reading is of import for kids 's life opportunities. Harmonizing to the OECD ( 2002 ) , detecting ways to prosecute students in reading may be one of the most effectual ways to act upon societal alteration. Their analysis showed that students whose parents had the lowest occupational position, but who were extremely engaged in reading, obtained higher mean reading tonss than pupils whose parents had high or average occupational position but who were ill engaged in reading ( NUT, 2011 ) .

`` Reading for Pleasure '' is a cardinal policy for the National Union of Teachers ( NUT, 2011:4 ) their usher proposes that,

`` the National Curriculum and its statutory appraisal system, Ofsted reviews and the answerability government, mark scene, school betterment and action programs all exert a important influence on what instructors do in the schoolroom. ''

As a consequence, reading for pleasance can be viewed as a luxury and occurs seldom in the schoolroom. Besides, the inclination towards utilizing infusions from books instead than whole texts for pattern and readying, the attraction and immediateness of a scope of digital media, the shrinking of school and public libraries and the clip demands of guaranting full course of study coverage have all gone against schools promoting students to read for pleasance.

Other research into benefits of reading for pleasance has identified that kids who are read to everyday, at age three, have a vocabulary of a kid aged five which is about two months more advanced than those who are non ( Washbook and Waldfogel, 2010 ) .

Furthermore, grounds besides illustrates that reading for pleasance can profit kids beyond the schoolroom and into their grownup life, hence enriching the universe around us. The International Reading Association ( 1999 ) believes that kids who enter the grownup universe in the twenty-first century will read and compose more than any other clip in history. They will necessitate advanced degrees of literacy to execute their occupations, run their families and conduct their personal lives etc. They deem literacy to be that of import that they will necessitate it to get by with `` the inundation of information they will happen everyplace they turn. '' This is supported by Hargreaves Macintyre ( 2005 ) who stated that hapless reading accomplishments show a relationship with deficiency of employment, lower rewards and fewer chances for promotion.

Harmonizing to Clark and Rumbold ( 2006 ) , reading for pleasance has non been a immense research precedence. Nevertheless, surveies are roll uping that emphasise the importance of reading for pleasance, for both educational every bit good as personal development. These surveies show that advancing reading can hold a major impact on kids and their hereafter. However, it should be noted that the bulk of these surveies are based on connected research and would profit from a more strict attack.

Motivation for reading

Research into reading has identified the importance of reading motive in explicating literacy behavior. Guthrie and Wigfield ( 2000 ) , define reading motive as.

`` the person 's personal ends, values and beliefs with respect to the subjects, procedures, and results of reading. ''

They suggest that reading motive is a multi-faceted `` concept '' that includes reading ends, intrinsic and extrinsic motive, self-efficacy and societal motive for reading.

In add-on to this, the National Literacy Trust ( 2006 ) province that research has repeatedly shown that motive to read lessenings with age, particularly if kids 's attitudes towards reading become less positive ( McKenna et al, 1995 ) . Consequently if kids do non bask reading when they are immature, so they are improbable to make so when they get older.

In motive research, research workers and practicians have focused chiefly on task-mastery orientation, i.e. wining at a undertaking. Persons with a public presentation orientation enterprise to maximize favorable ratings to their ability ( Thorkildsen and Nicholls, 1998 ) . Performance orientation is seen as extrinsic motive. It is associated with the usage of surface schemes for reading and desire to finish a undertaking instead than to understand or bask a text ( Meece and Miller, 1999 cited in Guthrie and Wigfield, 2000 ) .

Wigfield and Guthrie ( 1997 cited in Guthrie and Wigfield, 2000 ) inform that extrinsic motive was made up of three facets. The first being reading for acknowledgment, this is the pleasance in having a touchable signifier of acknowledgment for success. Second, reading for classs, whereby a kid desires to be favorably evaluated by the instructor, and in conclusion competition in reading is the desire to surpass others in reading.

In contrast, Ryan and Deci ( 2000 ) refer to intrinsic motive as battle in an activity that is based on personal involvement in an activity itself. Hidi ( 2000 ) , province that readers who are per se motivated are more likely to happen a assortment of subjects that involvement them, and benefit from an attach toing sense of pleasance.

It should be noted that although the surveies by Meece and Miller ( 1999 ) , Thorkildsen and Nicholls ( 1998 ) , Ryan and Deci ( 2000 ) and Hidi ( 2000 ) focused chiefly on kids, they were conducted in America and hence attitudes towards reading may be different to those in the UK. However, a study carried out by the International Reading Association ( 1995 ) identified that like the UK, misss possessed more favorable attitudes than male childs at all class degrees.

Self efficaciousness is another facet of reading motive. Bandura ( 1986 ) defines it as `` people 's opinions of their capablenesss to organize and put to death class of action required to achieve designated types of public presentations. '' An person 's beliefs about their capablenesss can act upon motive and behavior ( Bandura, 1982 ) . Therefore, in this context, it could be said that when a kid evaluates their ain competency in reading and, believes their attempts have been successful, their assurance is increased and willingness to seek similar and more ambitious books occurs. Additional surveies by Quirk et Al ( 2009 ) and Jackson ( 2002 ) have supported Bandura 's theory.

Much research into this country has concluded that pupils with high intrinsic motive, a undertaking orientation, and high ego efficaciousness are comparatively active readers and high winners ( Guthrie et al, 2000 ) .

Boys V. Girls

Harmonizing to ESARD ( 2012 ) surveies have revealed that boys enjoy reading less than misss. A study conducted by Clark and Douglas ( 2011 ) for The National Literacy Trust, identified that there has been a important spread between male childs and misss who enjoy reading. In 2005, 10.7 % more misss than male childs enjoyed reading ; by 2009 this had widened to 15 % .

As a consequence of these statistics, Clark and Douglas ( 2011 ) made this bold statement:

`` Its deductions are important non merely for literacy but for male childs ' wider educational attainment and finally their life chances. ''

This statement stresses the importance of reading for enjoyment. Besides, despite a big figure of national publicities of reading, focused on male childs between 2005 and 2011, they are still non reading for pleasance every bit much as misss. Had these non occurred, the spread may hold been even wider.

Schemes that have been introduced to promote male childs to read hold focussed on two attacks. Through programmes such as the National Literacy Trust 's Reading Champions undertaking, the purpose is to alter attitudes to reading. Besides, male childs are given the chance to read by being provided with free reading stuffs from strategies such as Boys into Books.

Harmonizing to Maloney ( 2000 ) , the writer of Boys and Books: Building a Culture of Reading Around Our Boys, boys by and large similar to read books that reflect their image of themselves, peculiarly what they aspire to be and what they want to make, i.e. something that they can associate to. Besides, books that can do them laugh and appeal to their sense of mischievousness and fiction that focuses on action more than emotions. Interestingly, boys enjoy books that are portion of a series, such as the Harry Potter series as they appear to supply male childs with a sense of comfort and acquaintance. Possibly unsurprisingly, many male childs tend to be passionate about scientific discipline fiction and phantasy. Finally, newspapers, magazines, amusing books, athleticss cards and direction manuals, these are stuffs that are frequently non available in the schoolroom. Research suggests that when male childs read these stuffs, they do non see themselves to be reading at all, because these stuffs are non valued at school.

It could be said that The National Literacy Trust provides reasonably valuable and dependable information. 17,089 students aged 8-16 from 112 schools from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales participated in the on-line study on immature people 's attitudes towards reading in November and December 2009.

One piece of research that has been prevailing throughout looking at gender differences and reading for pleasance is that entree to reading stuffs for male child seems still to be an issue and seems to associate to parental attitudes towards reading. Clark and Douglas ( 2011 ) province that male childs are less likely to state that they have entree to a computing machine, magazines, newspapers or books compared with misss. Besides, whilst 79.1 % of misss say they have books of their ain at place, merely 66.5 % of male childs say they do. This indicates that there may be a demand for runs to turn to societal attitudes around male child 's reading, and the parental function in resource proviso suggests that parents may hold a function to play in turn toing the gender spread.

Interestingly on arrangement more male childs read and appeared to bask reading more, nevertheless this is merely one category and can non be generalised to the population.

The current criterion of instruction of reading in schools

The Literacy Guide for Primary Schools 2012-2013 announced that the criterion of instruction of literacy, in primary schools around the United Kingdom is better than it of all time has been. They province that schools are presenting lessons which are thorough, advanced and originative and, as a consequence kids are motivated and larning takes topographic point ( National Literacy Trust, 2012 ) .

However, there was still one in five kids neglecting to accomplish the expected degree at Key Stage 2 in 2011.

In footings of alteration, the new bill of exchange course of study for English ( 2012 cited in National Literacy Trust 2012 ) puts a strong accent on the instruction of systematic man-made phonics. Furthermore, the Teachers ' Standards require for all instructors to `` show an apprehension of and take duty for advancing high criterions of literacy, articulacy and the right usage of Standard English. '' ( DfEs, 2012 ) .

Ofsted ( 2010 ) characterised excellence in reading by set uping phonic cognition and accomplishments and their application through reading, composing and comprehension of what they 're reading. Besides broadening and widening the scope and quality of reading, and eventually, heightening the instruction of reading by its application across the wider course of study.

The 12 schools chosen for the Ofsted ( 2010 ) analyze all had above mean consequences in both KS1 and KS2. They represented a scope of cultural and socio economic backgrounds, and the schools were widely distributed and included urban and rural scenes. Although the sum of schools chosen is slightly little, the fact that they represent a spectrum of different backgrounds highlights the fact that any school can accomplish excellence in learning kids to read, and promote reading for pleasance. However, one unfavorable judgment of seting so much focal point on phonics and kids being tested on their reading at the age of six is that kids may be put off reading for pleasance ( Guardian, 2011 ) .

The study dismisses past concerns sing frights about the consequence of structured acquisition and instruction on three and four twelvemonth olds by stating that they have small foundation. However, they make the strong point that some of the rules of man-made phonics, such as inflexibleness and adhering merely to decidable books until the kid no longer needs formal systematic phonics instruction, could present an `` unreal ceiling and cut down the motive of kids who want to research books and take on the challenge of reading for themselves '' ( Ofsted, 2010 ) . It is agreed that what is of import is that kids who struggle to get the critical accomplishments of blending and segmenting are given as much aid as possible ( Ofsted 2010 ) .

Promoting reading for pleasance in the schoolroom

Aside from guaranting a deepness of capable cognition in the rules, theory and patterned advance of phonics, instructors need to `` plunge the kids in a rich reading environment '' by reading a broad scope of quality texts ( National Literacy Trust, 2012:4 ) .

The NUT ( 2011 ) discusses the benefits of kids being read aloud to in the schoolroom. Surveies have shown that kids who are read to are more likely to make better in school both academically and socially. Alan Gibbon, writer and instructor, knows firsthand the benefits of effectual, reading aloud clip. In his 'Reading for Pleasure ' usher, for the NUT, he states that reading aloud is about making a positive reading experience to prosecute the pupils. Therefore instructors need to pattern their enthusiasm for books and reading them. This can be achieved through executing the voices of the different characters in the books: inquiring inquiries every so frequently to happen out what everyone thinks might go on next to assist construct suspense and to do it more interesting for the hearers and, eventually, halting the narrative at an exciting point. This will do the hearer want to come back and read some more.

On arrangement, the instructor demonstrated these accomplishments magnificently and it was apparent that the kids loved being read aloud to. It was clear that the instructor was familiar with the book as there was no stumbling over words and phrases which made it much more gratifying for the hearer. The voices were executed brightly and the kids were kept engaged and ever looked frontward to reading more.

Obviously, supplying the kids regular clip to read self-chosen books mutely is besides truly of import. Schraw et Al ( 1998 cited in Clark and Rumbold 2006 ) found that there was a positive relationship between pick and affectional facets of reading, such as motive. Children are much more likely to take a book that looks interesting to them. Research from the United Kingdom Literacy Association ( UKLA ) highlighted the demand for quality clip for independent reading in the schoolroom. In school, it was observed, that the kids normally read mutely when they came into the schoolroom first thing in the forenoon, nevertheless, more clip is possibly needed whereby kids get a set sum of clip to read mutely as it appeared that the sum of kids reading for pleasance was comparatively low. One scheme to be considered is Drop Everything and Read ( DEAR ) ( NUT, 2011 ) . At a set clip of the hebdomad, everyone in the school ( including all staff ) , stops what they are making and read something they enjoy for 20/30 proceedingss.

Finally reading publicity programmes need to be implemented that make reading an experience that is actively sought out by pupils ( Clark and Rumbold, 2006 ) . There is besides a demand for schools to recognize that a broad scope of reading stuffs will promote pupils to read.

From pattern, it was made cognizant that schools tend to read aloud infusions instead than the whole book. A survey commissioned by the educational publishing house Heinemann, portion of Pearson Education, was the first wide-scale research into the usage of books in literacy instruction in the UK. The research involved over 500 primary learning staff from 500 schools in the state. Amazingly, 12 % of primary school instructors said they had ne'er read a complete book with their category. It appears that this depicts a distressing image of dependance on little infusions, instead than whole books, for literacy. The research besides identified that about two-thirds of instructors felt that reading merely extracts in category could potentially turn kids off reading, at the same clip a farther one in five say they saw grounds of this already go oning. It was besides found that six in 10 instructors believe that reading whole books in their schoolrooms would hold existent academic benefits on their students, both in test public presentation and academic success ( Edinger, 2009 ) . The job that appears to originate here is that if kids are n't acquiring the experience of reading whole books in category, they may ne'er acquire that grasp for them. Reading extracts merely, may besides intend that you are losing out on the best and most critical spots of a book.


To reason, the research suggests that there has been a little diminution in kids reading for pleasance. It is besides apparent that misss tend to read for enjoyment more so than male childs. However, there are spreads in this country, and more research is required. Male childs who do read are more likely to make so for skills-related grounds, such as, to assist them to acquire a occupation in the hereafter ( Clark and Foster, 2005 ) . It has besides been made evident that there are many benefits to reading for pleasance ; these include reading attainment, positive reading attitudes and greater ego assurance as a reader ( Clark and Rumbold, 2006 ) .

There are assorted ways to acquire kids reading for pleasance in the schoolroom. Including the instructor reading aloud to them ; seting on the voices of the different characters and, halting to inquire inquiries associating to the book. Besides, giving the kids the chance to read mutely to themselves and giving them the freedom take their ain book. Finally, there are schemes presently in topographic point to promote kids to non merely read more but to besides read for pleasance.

Overall the topic of reading for pleasance has been reasonably good researched. However, there are spreads. One subject that requires more focal point is whether higher attainment leads to more enjoyment of reading or greater enjoyment lead to higher attainment as there is small research in this country. Although the bulk of research workers province that kids who read more and, bask reading are better readers, there is no deduction of its causality. Besides, although there is grounds of research into the country of reading motive, much of it has been conducted in America and therefore it is unknown whether it can be made relevant to the UK. For this ground it would be interesting to carry on work in the UK to see if the findings are the same or if they differ.

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