Is Reading an Unpopular Pastime for Young People?

By Knight, Gavin | NATE Classroom, Summer 2010 | Go to article overview

Is Reading an Unpopular Pastime for Young People?


Knight, Gavin, NATE Classroom


According to recent National Literacy Trust findings from a major study of 17,089 pupils from 112 schools, only half (50.6%) of young people enjoy reading very much or quite a lot. This finding comes in a new report, Literacy: State of the Nation which can be found at the NLT website at http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/state_of_the_nation

The report reveals that:

* One in six people in the UK struggle with literacy. This means their literacy is below the level expected of an eleven-year-old.

* A quarter of young people do not recognise a link between reading and success.

* Men and women with poor literacy are least likely to be in full-time employment at the age of thirty.

Director of the National Literacy Trust, Jonathan Douglas, stated,

'The fact that only half of the young people in our comprehensive study enjoy reading very much or quite a lot is extremely worrying. We believe this should be of great concern to all political parties as reading for pleasure helps to develop strong literacy skills and ultimately, supports academic and future success.' Other key findings from the report indicated that,

* 73% of parents and carers say their child often reads.

* Age is closely linked to attitudes towards reading and reading behaviour. 30% of five to eight-year-olds read a book every day compared with only 17% of fifteen to seventeen-year-olds. However, teenagers are more likely to read other materials such as blogs, websites and newspapers.

* 14% of children and young people in lower income homes rarely or never read their books for pleasure.

The figures for students in my own school who took part in the survey reflected the national position. Nearly 60% agreed that they could not find things to read that interested them. Paul Jennings, the much loved Australian writer, argues that there is no such thing as a reluctant reader.

'A reluctant reader is a child for whom adults have not been able to find a good enough book ... If I try to light a fire and it doesn't burn, I may curse the matches, I may damn the wood. I may blame the fireplace, but it is I that failed to produce the spark. When a child does not like reading, it is I that failed to ignite the flames. Is there reading material which is easy to read and yet compelling in content? The answer is yes.'

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

I was reminded of this when worrying about the survey findings and picking over the wealth of exciting new reading materials that had somehow found their way onto my desk recently. There are some truly amazing books for children being written right now. The challenge for us as teachers is to find ways to raise awareness of these treasures and get them into the hands of those children who need encouragement and guidance.

The Lord of the Mountain, the first book of a new sequence from Barrington Stoke called 'The 5 Lords of Pain' is a case in point, and just happened to be sitting on top of the pile. Written by popular science fiction writer James Lovegrove, this series of martial arts based fantasies will be fought for by young readers in libraries and classrooms for years to come. Barrington Stoke publications have been enormously valued by teachers in the know for a long time. They provide carefully targeted accessible reading for young readers who are struggling to become more confident. Never patronizing, they rely on good storytelling to hook in their readers.

I've always loved Kim by Rudyard Kipling, so a graphic novel re-telling this classic tale mysteriously found its way into my paws next. Adapted by Lewis Helfand and illustrated by Rakesh Kumar, Kim, from the Campfire imprint, is a sumptuous production. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Is Reading an Unpopular Pastime for Young People?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.