To address suggestions on improving the ways in which children learn to read, the National Literacy Strategy was conceived in 1998, but by 2003 it was evident that more new concepts were needed. Results indicated that areas of need for children learning how to read still existed.
Marian Sainsbury, principal researcher at the National Foundation for Educational Research, includes in a Literacy Today article (2004) a survey of 4,671 children, Years 4 and 6 combined, comparing 1998 with 2003, which shows that in 2003 children were significantly less interested in reading and going to the library, more interested in watching TV [SEE chart, next page]. Children surveyed in 2003, "after five years of teaching according to the National Literary Strategy" (par. 11), did show more confidence and independence, but although there had been some improvement in reading skills for the pupils in England, by comparison, their enjoyment of reading was poor.
Sainsbury notes that teachers rather than the children often choose the reading material for the "literacy hour" in some schools. This is a practice that might discourage a child's interest in further reading, since the child has no input. Children do prefer reading by themselves silently and at home, and giving them more choices in the school setting might well increase their interest level.
In a University of Reading press release (2003 ...Show more