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Reading aloud and discussing books 'can enhance literacy skills'

28/04/2017 Joanna

Children should be encouraged to read aloud and discuss books with friends as a means of enhancing their literacy, according to a new report.

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has reviewed the best available research to provide schools and teachers with practical recommendations on how to improve literacy teaching in order to deliver better outcomes.

Last year, tougher Sats tests were introduced to reflect the more challenging national curriculum introduced in 2014, with only 53 per cent reaching the expected standard in reading, writing and maths by the end of primary school. This percentage fell to 35 per cent among those from poorer homes.

To address this problem, the EEF has suggested a number of changes in approach, such as speaking and listening activities that encourage children to read aloud and have conversations about the content with their friends, while also making sure that students are exposed to a broad range of media, texts and topics.

It was also indicated that speed and fluency should be considered just as important as accuracy when teaching children to write, as it is vital that primary school students are able to perceive writing as an automatic function. This will make it easier for them to focus on the content of their writing.

The guide the EEF has compiled will be sent to every primary school in England to help them develop a better literacy strategy for teaching seven to 11-year-olds.

Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the EEF, said: "Good literacy skills provide the building blocks not just for academic success, but for fulfilling careers and rewarding lives. Yet despite our best efforts too many children, particularly those from poorer homes, are leaving primary school without reaching the levels in reading and writing they need to achieve."

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