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Study reveals booklovers have improved literacy and maths ability

By Maria Elisa Anacay     Sep 18, 2013 in Science
Considering they read for fun, it comes as no surprise that most booklovers have improved literacy rates, as reading gives them an avenue to improve their vocabulary. What could be surprising is that the hobby is also linked to enhanced maths ability.
Institute of Education (IOE) Centre for Longitudinal Studies researchers Dr. Alice Sullivan and Matt Brown have successfully established that reading for fun puts children ahead of their peers in classrooms. The researchers tapped the 1970 British Cohort Study which followed the lives of 17,000 participants born in England, Scotland, and Wales in a single week in 1970.
The IOE researchers studied the cognitive results of 6,000 individuals from the group when they were 16. The results showed that those who frequently read from childhood until when they were 16 had better test results than those who did not read as much. As it stands, Sullivan concludes that “reading for pleasure was linked to greater intellectual progress, both in vocabulary, spelling and mathematics. In fact, the impact was around four times greater than that of having a parent with a post-secondary degree.”
The IOE’s research is not the only one that tied reading and maths together. University of Edinburgh psychological scientists Stuart Ritchie and Timothy Bates established that children who had higher math and reading skills at age 7 have significantly higher incomes, better jobs and better homes at age 42 than their peers who did not read as much.
The two studies determine that reading at an early age has a positive influence not only in school but also in a person’s adult life.
More about New study, Reading, Mathematics, Maths, Institute of Education
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