Mapping the Interrelationships of Reading Enjoyment, Attitudes, Behaviour and Attainment

It is frequently said or implicitly assumed that there is a positive relationship between enjoyment, attitudes, behaviour and attainment, with pupils who enjoy reading or writing having more positive attitudes towards it, doing it more and thereby getting better at it. This paper, undertaken by the UK’s National Literacy Trust, explores to what extent this is an assumption or to what extent it is based on empirical evidence and concludes by highlighting findings from our own research.

This paper includes a brief review of the literature, which uncovered a predictably complex picture, with findings that sometimes contradict each other. This picture is aggravated by a lack of common definitions, frequently confused terms, over-used buzz words and, frankly speaking, oftentimes sweeping statements that are not based on empirical evidence.

Turning to our own research as a second step, we then explored the frequently neglected aspect of the interrelationships of pertinent variables. Using structural equation modelling based on a survey of 4,503 young people for whom we had attainment data as well as information on their reading enjoyment, attitudes and behaviour, we explored the validity of various possible models of relationships. Reading enjoyment emerged as a prominent variable that influences reading attainment indirectly as well as directly. The implications are discussed.

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Source: National Literacy Trust

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