The UK’s National Literacy Trust has published a literature review summing up The Impact of eBooks on the Reading Motivation and Reading Skills of Children and Young People. In 2012, for the first time ever, the National Literacy Trust’s annual literacy survey reported that the number of children ‘reading on screen outside school outnumbered those reading in print’. This paper explores what such a dramatic shift in reading patterns means for young people’s literacy levels, by systematically reviewing the current thinking on the subject. The review addresses the negative concerns that screen reading detrimentally effects comprehension and recall, as well as the positive claims that eReading motivates typically reluctant readers (such as boys or those from less advantaged backgrounds).
The paper pools together an intriguing and useful collection of easy to understand statistics on the matter, for example:
– Scholastic US research found that of children who had read an eBook, 26% of boys and 16% of girls said they were reading more books as a result.
- A 2012 study of 36 struggling readers at KS3 found ‘substantial gains in both accuracy and comprehension’ following an intervention involving both print and enhanced eBooks.
- A 2013 study of 103 US high school students with dyslexia found that students offered texts on an iPod touch showed significantly improved reading speed and comprehension compared with reading on paper.