Does the number of books a student reads a year affect literary scores? Data management is this true?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since reading is a skill, the very act of doing so produces some improvement even if done in a non-attentive manner.  Of course, the degree to which one improves is certainly mitigated by the lack of thinking that accompanies the reading.  However, it has been proven that if students are made to read and they actually exercise this movement of the eyes on pages, usually many will begin to pay attention to what they are doing and, thus, develop some skills. 

One recalcitrant student in a particular high school was in a class in which specific times were set aside for reading. Since the majority was complying, he,too, began to read and eventually found himself engrossed in the book.  Later, he wrote that he had never read an entire book before, but he knew now why people enjoyed reading.  He continued to read and his literary scores did improve.

booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would not be able to provide statistics, but I do know that studies show that students who read a great deal have a much broader vocabulary and are often better writers because they are so much more familiar with the English language than those who do not read much or at all. (I can only speak to reading English.) Reading also helps students to get into the practice of drawing context clues in areas of the text with which they may not be familiar or have immediate understanding. These kinds of things can often be of benefit in not only standardized testing (which only matters to number crunchers and bean counters), but also with reading materials in other curriculums. I do believe, however, that while those who read may do better with test scores, there are other better reasons to read.

lhc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

According to middle school social studies and reading teacher Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisperer, independent reading does improve reading achievement in the form of test scores, and she cites research to back up what she says.  One thing she addresses is a common concern to many teachers, the idea that we are turning kids off of reading by focusing always on skills taught in isolation, and test scores.  Mosaic of Thought by Ellin Keene also touches on this.  Without going into too much detail, I will say that those two books completely changed my approach; rather than "teaching reading" my focus now is on teaching my students to be readers.  We read, discuss, write about and listen to others talk about books all the time. 

lffinj eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have come across many students who read a lot, but have significant trouble understanding what they are reading.  Furthermore, if a student is reading books below their grade level, they will not expand their vocabulary acquisition, writing skills or critical thinking skills.  Students also need to read a variety of genres.  Literacy scores will increase if students read books that are challenging.  I recently read an article about high school students reading books that are below their grade level and it is impacting their ability to be successful in college and to be informed about the world around them.

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

What it all comes down to is quality versus quantity.  I have many students who devour books, three or four a week sometimes--but reading for pleasure does not equate to critical reading skills like analysis, interpretation, prediction.  With that being said, I absolutely believe in the value of reading high-interest books for my students that they feel a connection to and desire to read.  Simply put, the more they read, the better!

wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree that there is a correlation although perhaps not a direct link.  Reading will improve vocabulary, problem solving, writing, and many other skills.  The quality and type of books you are reading will determine what level and what type of improvements you will see.  While there may not be a specific formula for improving your literary scores through reading, any reading will help.

shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It's  true that reading should be an active process. To improve your mind you should be asking questions while you're reading, looking up words you don't know, and thinking about where the book is taking you.

It's also necessary to read on a variety of topics. If you just read one kind of fiction genre you won't develop as much as someone who reads different types of things.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I do not think there is a straight one to one correlation.  If you read a lot of books that are not very complex, your scores won't go up as much as if you read fewer books that are more challenging.  If you read a lot of books but don't think a lot while you do, it won't improve your scores as much.  So it's not as simple as just saying that more books equals better scores.

William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with post #2. It isn't just reading that affects literary scores, but thinking and writing. Writing, of course, requires thinking. I believe a person who aspires to be literate as well as to get good scores should make a habit of writing in a diary or journal every day. One of the things that person would naturally write about would be the books he or she is reading.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with the other posters. While reading can affect literacy scores, to many other things attribute to literacy. For example, if a person reads texts far below their ability, they are not learning much to help with literacy. That being said, those who challenge themselves can affect their literacy scores positively.

astrosonu | Student

Reading more reference book is very very good buddy.

just-s | Student

it all depends with what intention you are reading. one can read just for entertainment and pass time or one can read to improve they vocab and better their writing skills etc...

salimj | Student

As many of the other debaters have told earlier there is no parameter for the scores in literature. If you are giving a score in the examination that will do. I am of the opinion that if you grasp whatever you read and if you have the capacity of criticism even if you read so little it will do.

pkmahapatra | Student

I agree that  the number of books a student reads affects literary scoring. But this is not the one and only short cut root for scoring high. This must be accompanied by creative thinking and writing practice. It is beyond doubt that reading enhances knowledge.Next comes how to express it in writing in an innovative way.There habit must be cultivated in the you minds.

television123 | Student

ya it affects a lot