1st Edition

Reading Multiple Perspectives

Edited By Roger Beard Copyright 2023

    The field of reading is a compelling one, characterised by many debates and discussions. It is also amenable to investigations through a range of theories and research studies. In this book, eight leading authorities provide a ‘state-of-the-art’ overview of reading, using perspectives that have informed their work. There are overviews from linguistic, psychological, sociological and literary viewpoints, as well as more hybrid ones from investigations of digital literacy and multi-modality. This book celebrates what has already been achieved by bridging research, scholarship and practice; it also suggests what still needs to be done to bring the positive rewards from reading to greater numbers of young people. It also recognises that the benefits of reading extend beyond the personal. Accomplished reading skills empower people to meet the challenges of everyday life: making decisions, solving problems, and dealing with unexpected events.

    The need to refresh and renew our knowledge of reading has gained further impetus in the ‘information age’. New technologies for information and communication continually appear: manifestations of ‘fake news’, disinformation and conspiracy theories spread rapidly across the globe. The book underlines the importance not only of reading, but also the fact that reading between and beyond the lines is more important than ever, in print and across multiple media platforms.

    The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Education 3–13: International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education.

    Introduction: Reading – a personal and professional view

    Roger Beard

    1. The linguistic base of initial reading and spelling in English: a tutorial review

    Greg Brooks

    2. How psychology helps us to understand word reading

    Rhona Stainthorp

    3. Literacies and social practice: sociological perspectives on reading research

    Gemma Moss

    4. Perspectives on dealing with reading difficulties

    Sinéad Harmey

    5. Reading children’s literature

    Victoria de Rijke

    6. The reader, the text, the poem: the influence and challenge of Louise Rosenblatt

    Anthony Wilson

    7. Reading with technology: the new normal

    Guy Merchant

    8. Exploring reading in social semiotics: theory and methods

    Jeff Bezemer and Kate Cowan


    Roger Beard is Emeritus Professor of Primary Education at the UCL Institute of Education. He has published over a hundred articles and books and undertaken research reviews for the UK, Brazilian and European parliaments. In 2019, Roger was elected to the Literacy Research Association’s Hall of Fame in the United States.