Closing the Reading Gap

Alex Quigley

Having read, enjoyed and found useful ‘Closing the Vocabulary Gap’ I felt I had to read ‘Closing the Reading Gap’ the second book by Alex Quigley.

The book starts by showing why we have to close the reading gap – approximately a quarter of children starting secondary school in England are below the expected standard.  The author also states (repeatedly) that reading is the ‘master skill of school’.  However the author does not believe that reading is given the importance it deserves.  The book then goes on to look at the history of reading.

Quigley then goes on to look at the way we teach reading and talks about the current debate around different approaches.  He discusses the science of reading and the debate around phonics.  He outlines the need for fluency and about the importance of developing motivation to read while learning about word reading and fluency.

From here, the book then focuses on classroom practices and gives the reader lots of practical strategies to improve reading.  These chapters focus on different things including:

  • Reading comprehension
  • Reading barriers 
  • Reading in the subject disciplines
  • Practical strategies for closing the reading gap

This is another book which I would highly recommend. I’m no longer classroom based but this book would change my practice if I was.