Friday, September 13, 2013

Reading study

'Sullivan and Brown studied the performance of several thousand children in the UK on a variety of tests given when they were 16, and analyzed the effect of a number of predictors on their test scores using multivariate techniques.'...Their main finding was that 'more reported pleasure reading of books at ages 10 and at age 16 was significantly related to scores on vocabulary, spelling and math tests given at age 16. The vocabulary and spelling results are consistent with those of  many studies.' ... 'Access to books and libraries can counter the negative effects of poverty on literacy development." ... 'Sullivan and Brown point out that their analysis found that the students' own reading was a significant predictor even when reading proficiency measured at ages 5 and 10 was controlled .... This suggests "that the positive link between leisure reading and cognitive outcomes is not purely due to more able children being more likely to read a lot, but that reading is actually linked to increased cognitive progress over time." We first don't learn our skils and then use them for reading. Rather, our literacy development is the result of reading." (excerpted from S. Krashen's review at

Sullivan, Alice and Brown, Matt. 2013. Social inequalities in cognitive scores at age 16: The role of reading. London: Centre for Longitudinal Studies,
Institute of Education, University of London

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