Comic books help boys read

Young boys should be encouraged to read comics, according to new research

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Boys at primary school should be encouraged to read comic books to help them develop their reading skills, new research has said.

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The study, by the Canadian Council on Learning, found that boys who read comics often were more likely to read other text, reports the Daily Telegraph.

This research follows news that at the age of 11 a large gender divide exists between boys and girls in Sats results, with only 76% of boys reaching the standard expected compared to 85% of girls.

“Despite their popularity with young male readers, comic books are still considered unsuitable reading material by many educators and are often associated with poor quality, cheapness and disposability,” argued the report.

Response to the research has been positive, with many offering a different opinion to yesterday’s suggestion that comic book superheroes make bad role models.  

“Comics are an incredibly rich, valuable genre in their own right,” said Ian McNeilly, director of the National Association of the Teaching of English, to The Evening Standard.

“As a boy I went to the library and read all the Asterix and Tintin books. Thanks to my dad I had a subscription to The Beano, The Dandy and Whizzer and Chips.

“They did me an untold amount of good. For boys, comics are accessible and entertaining,” added Ian.

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 “Considering the evidence, it is time that educators and parents embraced comics as a positive teaching and learning tool,” added Dr Paul Cappon, president of the Canadian Council on Learning.

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