The Missouri Reader Vol. 42, Issue 2 | Page 28


Resourceful Research

The International Literacy Association supports the power of teacher-led read-alouds and independent reading to encourage life-long readers. Following is an excerpt from the ILA Literacy Leadership Brief: The Power and Promise of Read-Alouds and Independent Reading. Dr. Molly Ness is the principal author with input from a panel of leaders from around the world.

The Power and Promise of Read-Alouds and Independent Reading excerpt:

Recent research shows that reading is on the decline in the United States; in a 2014 survey, only 17% of students ages 6 to 17 reported daily in-school independent reading. Research also shows the reading habits of young adults have sharply decreased in the past two decades; students read less outside of school hours as they spend more time with technology.

With these discouraging findings, the National Endowment for the Arts warns that literacy—as a leisure activity—will virtually disappear in a half a century. As less of our population engages in pleasurable literacy activities in adulthood, our schools hold an increasingly important responsibility: carving out instructional time, space, and resources for literacy practices that build engagement, motivation, and joy in reading.

Two powerful instructional practices—teacher-led read- alouds and in-school independent reading—have the power and promise to set students on a path of lifelong reading. When instructional time is devoted to these practices, we rouse students into embracing literacy as a perennial skill and practice. Yet as instructional time today becomes increasingly scarce because of content coverage and standardized test preparation, these cornerstones of effective literacy instruction are too often pushed aside. Schools today must treat these tried-and true practices as the essential, nonnegotiable components that bring us closer to the International Literacy Association’s (ILA) goal of giving every child the right to read.

From The Power and Promise of Read-Alouds and Independent Reading, by International Literacy Association. Copyright 2018 by International Literacy Association. Reprinted with permission.

Visit to access the full brief and other content reflecting ILA's perspective on current topics and trends within the educational landscape.


ILA Literacy Leadership Brief:

The Power and Promise of Read-Alouds and Independent Reading


Independent Reading

Principal author: Dr. Molly Ness