Reading for pleasure in secondary school children – the Chatterbooks intervention.

Reading for pleasure in secondary school children – the Chatterbooks intervention.

First Author: Luisa Tarczynski-Bowles -- Coventry University
Additional authors/chairs: 
Clare Wood; Emma Jackson; Sam Waldron; Donna-Lynn Shepherd; Helen Cunnane; Francesca Mann; Ashley Bloom
Keywords: Intervention, Word reading, Reading comprehension, Socio-emotional issues, Reading For Pleasure
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose: The act of reading for pleasure is of importance for both educational and personal development (Clark and Rumbold, 2006). Lack of reading for pleasure is a concern due to the potential benefits of it, such as text comprehension and positive reading attitudes (Clark and Rumbold, 2006). This study indented to both develop an approach for promoting reading for pleasure in vulnerable and underachieving secondary school children, and then to robustly evaluate this approach.
Method: This intervention evaluated a large scale randomised control trial that compared two versions of a reading group format, known as Chatterbooks (classic vs. structured), to an untreated control across twelve schools sites to ascertain which Chatterbooks intervention is the most effective. Each intervention group comprised up to 12 children, aged 11 to 12 years. They engaged in weekly, one-hour sessions, over 10 weeks. Pre-, post- and delayed spelling, reading and reading attitude data were collected.
Results: Preliminary analyses indicated no interaction between treatment groups and outcomes for spelling. When examining reading attitudes, there was a significant interaction between treatment group and improvement in reading attitude. This was attributable to the structured Chatterbooks group improving more than the classic Chatterbooks group. There were also a number of noteworthy interactions between treatment groups and gender. The reading data is currently undergoing analysis.
Conclusion: There is evidence that an appropriately structured approach to running reading groups in secondary schools can impact reading attitudes, which in turn is likely to impact reading attainment longer term.