The relationship between young children’s enjoyment of learning to read, reading attitudes, confidence and attainment

  • McGeown S
  • Johnston R
  • Walker J
 et al. 
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Abstract

Background: While there is a considerable body of research exploring the relationship between older primary school children?s reading attitudes, confidence and attainment, there is a noticeable lack of research with younger children. Furthermore, there is relatively little research exploring the extent to which children?s reading attitudes, confidence and attainment are related to their enjoyment of learning to read.Purpose: To understand the relationship between young children?s reading attitudes, reading confidence, enjoyment of learning to read and reading attainment.Sample: Two hundred and three children (103 boys) with an average age of 6 years and 9 months (.32 years standard deviation) participated in this study. Children were from 11 primary schools in England, located within a wide range of socio-economic neighbourhoods.Design and methods: All children completed questionnaires examining their attitudes to reading, reading confidence (using Progress in International Reading Literacy Study items) and enjoyment of learning to read. Children also completed an assessment of word reading. All assessments were administered individually.Results: Children?s attitudes to reading, reading confidence and enjoyment of learning to read correlated with their word reading skill; however, only reading attitudes and reading confidence predicted variance in reading success. With regard to gender differences, girls reported more positive reading attitudes than boys, even after controlling for differences in reading skill.Conclusions: Results highlight that the relationship between children?s reading skills and the affective aspects of learning to read develops from a young age. Therefore, methods of reading instruction need to foster affective aspects of reading, in addition to developing cognitive skills to best support young children?s reading development.; Background: While there is a considerable body of research exploring the relationship between older primary school children?s reading attitudes, confidence and attainment, there is a noticeable lack of research with younger children. Furthermore, there is relatively little research exploring the extent to which children?s reading attitudes, confidence and attainment are related to their enjoyment of learning to read.Purpose: To understand the relationship between young children?s reading attitudes, reading confidence, enjoyment of learning to read and reading attainment.Sample: Two hundred and three children (103 boys) with an average age of 6 years and 9 months (.32 years standard deviation) participated in this study. Children were from 11 primary schools in England, located within a wide range of socio-economic neighbourhoods.Design and methods: All children completed questionnaires examining their attitudes to reading, reading confidence (using Progress in International Reading Literacy Study items) and enjoyment of learning to read. Children also completed an assessment of word reading. All assessments were administered individually.Results: Children?s attitudes to reading, reading confidence and enjoyment of learning to read correlated with their word reading skill; however, only reading attitudes and reading confidence predicted variance in reading success. With regard to gender differences, girls reported more positive reading attitudes than boys, even after controlling for differences in reading skill.Conclusions: Results highlight that the relationship between children?s reading skills and the affective aspects of learning to read develops from a young age. Therefore, methods of reading instruction need to foster affective aspects of reading, in addition to developing cognitive skills to best support young children?s reading development.

Author-supplied keywords

  • attitudes
  • confidence
  • gender
  • reading

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Authors

  • Sarah P. McGeown

  • Rhona S. Johnston

  • Jo Walker

  • Kathryn Howatson

  • Ann Stockburn

  • Paul Dufton

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