Free Voluntary Reading is a Research Based Strategy
Of all the research-based strategies for teaching reading, wide reading is perhaps the most effective, cost-effective, and the easiest to implement. Extensive reading has been linked to improvement in general knowledge, vocabulary, spelling, verbal fluency, and reading comprehension (Cunningham & Stanovich, 2001; Krashen, 2004). Also, the amount of reading students do is positively correlated with word identification skills, academic achievement, comprehension, reading fluency, and writing (Cunningham & Allington, 2007; Guthrie, Wigfield, Metsala, & Cox, 2004). Finally, increasing the time spent reading independently has been shown to be an effective way to reduce the gap between high and low achieving readers (Allington, 2012; Krashen, 2004).
It is clear, children who read a lot become better readers and better learners.
Allington, R. (2012). What really matters for struggling readers: Designing research-based programs (3/e). New York: Longman.
Cunningham, P. & Allington, R. (2007). Classrooms that work: They can all read and write (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Guthrie, J.T., Wigfield, A., Metsala, J.L., and Cox, K.E. (2004). Motivational and cognitive predictors of text comprehension and reading amount (pp 929-953). In B. Ruddel and N. Unrau (Eds.) Theoretical Models and Processes of Reading (5th ed.) Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Krashen, S.D. (2004). The power of reading: Insights from the research (2nd ed.) Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.