Smartphones and tablets 'can encourage poor children to read'
New technology can help pre-school children from poorer backgrounds take up reading, according to a new report. The National Literacy Trust found youngsters were more likely to read at the right level if they have access to the new technology.
Just over a quarter of children (26%) use a touch screen at home to read stories, a literacy charity has found.
The National Literacy Trust (NLT) found pre-school children were more likely to read every day if they had access to smartphones and tablets, as well as physical books.
The study also found children were still more likely to read using a physical book, with almost all (95.2%) looking at print-based stories on a typical week.
Children were more likely to enjoy reading if they used both books and a touch screen than reading books alone (77.4% compared to 70.8%).
Parents were keen to give their youngsters a head start in understanding modern technology. Nearly three quarters (73.7%) agreed it was important for their child to learn to use technology from an early age.
Youngsters are more likely to enjoy looking at a book and be reading at the right level for their age if they have access to the new technology, according to the study.
Research carried out by the National Literacy Trust (NLT) and education firm Pearson pointed to growing literacy among three to five-year-olds who used both touch screen and basic print technologies.
The findings, based on a poll of around 1,000 parents, found pre-schoolers from lower socio-economic backgrounds are twice as likely to look at stories using touch screen technology on a daily basis than those from more privileged homes (16% compared to 7.2%).
The study concludes: "Technology offers a route into reading for disadvantaged three to five-year-old children. Of children who have a touch screen at home, children of lower socio-economic status are twice as likely to look at stories daily."