This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

The Fashion For Fiction: a rant.

A very large study by Professor Keith Topping of books read by children in Britain has analysed reading-levels from the age of five or so up to sixteen (though the sample is much bigger at the lower ages).

The results show that overall the books children read get gradually harder until the age of about eleven (which is the age most British children change school) but after that the difficulty stays at about the same level until the age of about fourteen, after which it actually declines.

The report talks of children being under-challenged, and treats this as an area of concern. 

Is it? 

Well, I don't know. At the age of fifteen I was reading a lot of easy books. It made a break from all the physics and the other stresses of being a teenager. Nevertheless, I don't think my reading age was declining, and I've have hated to have been force-fed Dickens.

Perhaps it'd be good to see some more variety in the books we leave around in the hope of attracting older children, though. 

I mean, it couldn't do any harm. Could it?

Word To Use Today: easy. This word comes from the Old French aise, ease or opportunity, from the Latin adjacēns, neighbouring.

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