Tips for Improving Reading Motivation

Importance of Reading Motivation

Motivating students to read can be a daunting task for some educators, especially if early habits have not been well developed or students are struggling readers. Understanding what motivates each individual student to increase their overall reading time will, in turn, improve performance.

Developing Self-Confidence in One’s Abilities

Self-efficacy is an important tool in regard to reading motivation. Famed Canadian-American psychologist Albert Bandura (1986) noted that motivation is a result of self-efficacy in relation to a task. Bandura’s developed theory is that mastery experience (self-evaluation of competence and the success of their efforts) is the reason behind children continuing to challenge themselves.

The Lexile framework for reading supports this mastery, with a strong focus on providing students with text that is not far above their reading level, and in turn allowing them to constantly progress without being overwhelmed.

Allow Options for Reading Material

There are numerous strategies to enhance reading motivation, backed by significant research into the subject. One such strategy is to allow choice into the equation. Although educators should assist in challenging each reader, allowing them the option to make choices and have input in regards to what they are reading can increase engagement and drive motivation.

Reading aloud and discussing reading material can also impact behavior, while also improving understanding and interpretation of the written word. Providing students with the scaffolding needed to improve their comprehension abilities will lead to a better understanding and commitment to learning the text. Widening the choice of reading material is also beneficial, as studies have shown that children in kindergarten can often prefer informational text while first graders also indicated strong interest in non-fiction. Newspapers, magazines, and other reading materials add to the variety of texts to choose from. It additionally allows each student the opportunity to discover written work that best plays into their individual interests. For example, a student that is interested in cars is more likely to read about them when presented the opportunity of choosing specific material.

Of course, introducing the appropriate literacy learning platform can greatly enhance literacy development, confidence, and reading motivation. LightSail Education is a comprehensive Lexile and standards-aligned literacy platform and digital e-book library.  Featuring books from leading publishers, LightSail holistically assesses and nurtures each student on their K-12 literacy journey.

Insights for your ELA Classroom

We've gathered information on the topics educators ask us about most often. Each post is written to be insightful, practical and most of all, based on what we know works from our experiences with tens of thousands of classrooms across the country.

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