Literacy is invaluable for everything from language development to communication. Mental health, too, can benefit from regular reading habits for stress and anxiety. Yet, studies reveal that 1 in 11 disadvantaged children in the UK don’t have a book of their own.
This contributes to the 16.4% of UK adults who report poor literacy skills, and is something that you could actively overcome by implementing these five literacy skill-boosters today.
# 1 – Find ways to read every day
Reading just twenty pages a day can prove invaluable for mental health, and a whole lot more, including empathy, heart rate, and brain connections! As such, you should start this journey by finding ways to make a daily reading habit possible. In the modern age, this is often about finding short bursts of time to make use of easily-digestible literature such as the audiobooks that are enjoyed by an average of 67 million people each year.
# 2 – Read out loud
Reading out loud has proven especially beneficial for language development as it helps to create stronger comprehension/understanding. Yet, outside of school, few of us think about developing our reading fluency or ever really reading this way. That can be bad news for the continued development of literacy skills and is something you can overcome by making an effort to read out loud either to your family or (if need’s must) to your reflection in the mirror.
# 3 – Sign up to the library
Books are controversially considered as luxury items, meaning that prices can be sky-high and out of reach. Luckily, libraries in every major UK town or city mean that even those underprivileged children we mentioned before have the right and capability to access literature. And, it’s never too late to sign up. With a library card to hand, you can enjoy benefits including –
- Free books
- Access to movies, music and magazines
- Entry to online portals with ebooks, audiobooks, etc.
- Access to educational materials
- And more
# 4 – Try writing
Far from being all about reading, literacy is really about language comprehension. That’s why reading out loud can be so beneficial, and it’s why everyone should also try their hand at writing. Whether you write a shopping list or a diary entry, this is the best way to develop language comprehension, as well as bringing benefits that include emotional intelligence and logical thinking.
# 5 – Find ways to make reading fun
Reading can be a whole lot of fun, and remembering that is the best way to boost your literacy skills at any age. The audiobooks mentioned are a great way to enjoy this benefit, as are the many apps out there aimed towards overcoming growing literacy issues, including LiteracyNow, iCommunicate, and more. These allow you to play with language, and learn as you do!
Literacy matters more than many of us know, and developing skills in this area is essential to help us in employment, mental health and everyday life.
For more information about our literacy support visit our Literacy Hub