9 Jul 2024 | 3 min read

Troubling trend – reading abilities dropped among children

Children’s reading abilities has declined, as noted in several reports and studies. Today’s children read less than previous generations, which could have severe implications for their future success. In this article, we delve into these studies and discuss why reading is an invaluable skill for life.

For many of us, reading is a fundamental skill that has been with us for most of our lives. Most children learn to read during elementary school, and their reading abilities continue to improve throughout their education.

Unfortunately, reading isn’t as common in all parts of the world. Currently, 773 million adults worldwide can’t read. Illiteracy is most common in the least developed countries, where the average literacy rate is 65%, significantly lower than the global literacy rate of 86.3%.

Reading abilities have declined

Every five years, the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, known as PIRLS, evaluates and monitors trends in reading comprehension among fourth graders. Since its start in 2001, PIRLS has played a crucial role in providing valuable insights into the reading literacy levels of students worldwide.

The latest PIRLS study, published in 2021, revealed a decline in reading abilities in many countries. Twenty-two out of 31 countries showed an increase in children not meeting the minimum reading proficiency level. Average scores dropped in various countries, including high-income nations.

Also, the most recent PISA study, conducted in 2022, indicates a decline in children’s reading abilities. The average reading score in the study was 482, which is 11 points lower than the score from the previous study made in 2021.

The pandemic might be a factor

There is no definitive answer to why children’s reading abilities have degraded in recent years, but the COVID-19 pandemic may be a significant factor. During the pandemic, many children were forced to stay home from school or participate in online classes. The quality of education declined, and many children struggled to keep up with distance learning.

A study found that many young people reported their home environments were too noisy or distracting to support reading. The pandemic also created an environment of worry and distress, leading to decreased motivation to read.

Reading is important for future success

In conclusion, the decline in reading abilities among children is a worrying trend with far-reaching consequences. Addressing this issue requires a multifaceted approach, including improving educational practices and addressing the broader societal impacts of crises like the pandemic.

It is important to remember that reading is more than a hobby; it’s a tool for acquiring knowledge, fostering creativity, and developing critical thinking skills. By encouraging children to read at an early age, you lay the foundation for a lifetime. Investing in their reading skills unlocks their full potential and contributes to their success both in school and in future careers.

C-Pen helps with reading

At C-Pen, we work on developing products that facilitate reading for children and adults with reading disabilities such as dyslexia. Our different scanning pens are invaluable tools for individuals who wish to make reading easier and more enjoyable.

With a scanning pen, the reader can simply scan a word or paragraph that they find challenging, and the pen will read it aloud. A scanning pen is a great tool for overcoming reading obstacles and making the process smoother. The pens are portable and easy to bring on any adventure, making reading more manageable.

Together, we make reading fun, easy, and accessible!