On Tuesday 19 January 2021, Dr. Anna Tsakalaki (Lecturer in Education, University of Reading) was interviewed on BBC Radio Berkshire about her study on children reading during lockdown.

The project is looking at how changes in educational circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting on reading skills and motivation for reading of primary school aged children in the UK and Ireland.

The study is currently recruiting parents and carers to fill out an online survey about their experiences of lockdown reading with their kids, looking at how schools are promoting reading at home differently during lockdown, and people taking part can get personalised feedback and advice.

Dr. Tsakalaki who is leading the study said:

“We know that reading is one of the most important skills that is developed during early education as it sets a critical foundation for learning in the future. As the pandemic has caused major disruptions to the way that schools have been delivering learning, we wanted to find out about parents’ and carers’ experiences of literacy promotion with their children.”

“What has been interesting so far from participants and in discussions with others is that reading is seen as quite a narrow activity with children either having their heads in a book or being read to. The reality is that there are so many ways that reading and literacy are promoted in the home, from looking through a cookbook for the banana loaf recipe through to listening to a grandparent tell a story from their childhood.”

“Ultimately, we want to get a really good picture of how reading activities are being promoted in the home and from educational settings supporting parents at this time, so that we can better understand and track the true impact of COVID-19 on the educational experiences and outcomes of a generation of children.”

You can find out more about the project and sign up for the project’s updates here and listen to the interview here.