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The link between fiction and teenagers’reading skills: International evidence from the OECD

The link between fiction and teenagers’reading skills: International evidence from the OECD PISA study

John Jerrima,b* and Gemma Mossaa UCL Institute of Education, London, UK;

bFFT Education Datalab, London, UK

Abstract

It is well known that children who read more tend to achieve higher scores in academic reading tests. Much less is known, however, about the link between reading different types of text and young people’s reading performance. We investigate this issue using the Programme for Inter-national Student Assessment (PISA) 2009 database, exploring the association between the frequency with which teenagers read five different types of text (magazines, non-fiction, fiction,newspapers and comics) and their PISA reading scores. Analysing data from more than 250,000teenagers from across 35 industrialised countries, we find evidence of a sizeable ‘fiction effect’;young people who read this type of text frequently have significantly stronger reading skills than their peers who do not. In contrast, the same does not hold true for the four other text types. We therefore conclude that encouraging young people to read fiction may be particularly beneficial for their reading skills. Interventions encouraging fiction reading may be especially important for boys from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, who are less likely to read this text type.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/berj.3498

Stephen

Posted on: November 20, 2019, 6:20 am Category: Uncategorized

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