Research: “The modern literacy in Finland”

The aim of the campaign was to find out, how 4th graders (9-10 years old) find traditional reading compared to e-reading. ‘The modern literacy in Finland’ (Uusi lukutaito) campaign concentrated on investigating, would the children be more motivated in reading on tablets compared to reading a printed book. The aim was also to find out, how reading activities, such as emotional stickers, would affect reading motivation.

The study was carried out in three regions, which vary in size and are situated in different parts of Finland: Helsinki, Rovaniemi and Kontionlahti.

The project is supported by a comprehensive website Lukukami, a gateway to ebooks sponsored by WSOY/Tammi publishing house and to the project details. www.lukukami.fi There are also instructions for teachers, links to recommended books and a blog full of encouraging and inspiring assignments. The students have a chance to publish their self-made book reviews on the site by drawing, writing or making videos.

The children’s reactions were studied on the basis of questionnaires, playful emotion stickers notebooks and online channels (blogs and YouTube). In the future, the notebook would probably be replaced by a mobile app that would enable sharing the reading experience with other children.

The campaign was funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture.

The amount of time the adolescents spend for reading has almost halved during the last 20 years. Only 10 percent of the 15-year-old Finns read fiction several times per week, and non-fiction has even fewer young readers, merely 4 percent. Smartphones and Internet have inevitably influenced the reading habits of young people. By and large, their interest towards longer texts has lost ground. The study aimed at seeing whether the changes in media use would be reflected in the preferred format of reading, too.