Free course

Developing Reading for Pleasure: engaging young readers

Free statement of participation on completion
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Developing Reading for Pleasure: engaging young readers

It is widely recognised that supporting children to become capable and engaged readers plays an important role in their future success. Reading empowers; it facilitates education and employment, and it enriches one’s personal life and growth. Learning to read is therefore a key goal of primary or elementary education, and high-quality literacy instruction is fundamental to any literacy curriculum. An effective literacy curriculum not only teaches children how to read, it also inspires them to want to read.

Developing the skill to read and the will to read are interrelated, however, this course focuses on the latter; it is an exploration of Reading for Pleasure and its significance for children’s lives and development. You will consider current research, debates and challenges that impact on children’s reading and gain knowledge and strategies to help you promote reader engagement across schools, homes and communities.

This free course has been written by Dr Lucy Rodriguez Leon, Professor Teresa Cremin, Dr Helen Hendry and Dr Sarah Jane Mukherjee from The Open University. It is primarily aimed at teachers, teaching assistants and school leaders, and some activities will focus on the curriculum. This course will still be of interest to reading volunteers, parents and all those interested in promoting children’s reading, but not all activities will be relevant to these groups. 


Enrolling on the course will give you the opportunity to earn an Open University digital badge. Badges are not accredited by The Open University but they're a great way to demonstrate your interest in the subject and commitment to your career, and to provide evidence of continuing professional development.

Once you are signed in, you can manage your digital badges online from My OpenLearn. In addition, you can download and print your OpenLearn statement of participation – which also displays your Open University badge.

The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations for the course before you begin, in our optional start-of-course survey. Once you complete the course we would also value your feedback and suggestions for future improvement, in our optional end-of-course survey. Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.

Developing Reading for Pleasure: engaging young readers

Earn this free Open University digital badge if you complete this course! The badge can be displayed, shared and downloaded as a marker of your achievement. The badge is awarded for completing the course and passing the quizzes.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand how reading changes children's life chances
  • recognise the relationship between reading for pleasure and reading attainment
  • describe the social and emotional benefits of being a keen reader
  • identify challenges and barriers to fostering readers, and how to overcome them
  • apply research that demonstrates ways to establish a life-long love of reading.

First Published: 22/07/2021

Updated: 22/07/2021

You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.

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