Browzly Ltd released results of the impact on students’ reading and engagement based on the 13 months of usage of Browzly Reading for pleasure program in Dubai British School together with the results of 2019 Browzly Summer Reading Challenge. This year’s challenge had 175 students from 8 schools participate. The schools included Gems Modern Academy, Kings Nad al Sheba, Gems Cambridge International, The Millennium School in Dubai, Dubai Scholars Pvt Ltd, The English College, DBS and DBS JP. You may also read this article published in the Gulf News, the biggest English daily in the UAE.
Haneya Multani, Year 5 student at DBS, read 147 books this summer to win the 2019 title of Reader of the highest number of books for third year in a row.
“At the start of this summer break, I asked Haneya if she would like to take part in the Browzly reading challenge and she told me that she would love to win three times in a row. I am so happy that she has achieved the goal which she had set for herself. The Browzly app itself has come a long way since then, this summer break, the app helped her in figuring out which genre of books most students were reading. So, whenever she would run out of ideas for the next book to read, she would look at which books others are reading. She also enjoyed reading book reviews by her friends on Browzly”.– Haneya’s mother Rabbia Qaswar
Rabbia feels that reading more has helped her daughter develop vocabulary, made her writing mature and improved comprehension Belle Hererra from DBS won Creator of the best video review title- for her fantastic review of ‘Call me Alastair by Cory Leonardo’ and also the Writer of the best text review award for her review of ‘The Shapeshifter’s Guide to Running Away by Lori Don’ in the 9-13 age group.
“Belle is what you might describe as an “avid reader”. She and her identical twin sister, Venice, use every spare minute to read – on the school bus, at the breakfast table, in the car, on school break and lunchtimes. Keen readers will always be hungry for more, and apps like Browzly provide the ideal platform for children to share and promote their favourite books”– Stephanie Hererra, the library teacher at DBSJP & Belle’s mother
Edward Menadue, a student of Year 1 also from DBS won the writer of the best text review title in the 6-8 age category for his review of ‘Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants by Dav Pikey’.
“I am very, very happy to win my award! I love reading so much and love choosing new books. My favourite kind of books to read are adventure and funny ones. I liked using the Browzly App with my Mum in the holidays, it’s fun to scan the books and see what other kids are reading too”– Edward Menadue, Student of Dubai British School
“We are delighted that Edward has been recognised for his love of reading books. He has honestly been a bookworm since he was a toddler. Now he is choosing his own titles, reading chapter books independently. He is performing at a high standard particularly in reading, comprehension and writing. Edward’s reading has also developed his ability to concentrate for long periods which impacts on his class work”– Harriet, Edward’s mother upon her son winning the writer of the best text review title in 6-8 age category
Dubai British School (DBS), an outstanding rated British curriculum school by Taaleem, have been using Browzly as a student-led reading for pleasure program since July 2018.
Starting July 2018, students at DBS connected to record the books they read, add their reviews, swap books and also participate in 2 rounds of Browzly Summer Reading Challenge in 2018 and 2019. This 13-month (424 days) of usage, generated collective data from 147 DBS students, this was split into two halves of 212 days each to compare and contrast the impact of Browzly Reading for pleasure program on DBS students reading
The data shows that during the course of the year, average student engagement with reading improved significantly to triple the number of reading-related interactions, per student 2.5 times more books were read and the number of reviews added more than doubled from first to the second half of use of Browzly.
Reading Engagement is defined as students doing any of the following activities on Browzly to demonstrate their involvement with reading- adding a book they read, reviewing a book, adding a book or requesting a book to swap, liking a friends reading activity or talking about it, adding a book they wish to read or requesting a book from their school library.
“We are thrilled with the results from DBS use of Browzly. It’s great that the students love it. We are also very proud of the Browzly annual reading challenge, running since 2017, it has been a popular event with parents and children. At DBS we have seen participation numbers rise every year with more students reading more books with more engagement. In the 2019 challenge, the number of participating students from DBS doubled, number of reviews added grew by 55% and we saw a 35% increase in number of books marked read. The challenge has also been found to be very successful in discovering & rewarding gifted and talented children like Isha R Nair, Yr. 1 student of Kings School Nada Al Sheba and winner of two titles- The reader of the highest number of books and Creator of the best video review in 6-8 age category”.– Bhavna Mishra, Founder of Browzly- A reading for pleasure program for classrooms and families
Isha read 67 books and added 13 video reviews this summer. While all the reviews by Isha were of high quality, the jury adjudged the content, presentation style as well as creativity the best of her review of Matilda by Roald Dahl.
“What began as curiosity at home developed into a passion under the wonderful guidance of her school librarian, Mrs. Khan, who motivated her to read voraciously. Isha also developed the habit of enacting monologues from some of her favorite books, thereby improving her vocabulary and presentation skills. Browzly was an icing on the cake since she was excited more by the idea of being able to record book reviews which would motivate other children to read. Browzly has helped her challenge herself to raise the bar by reading more and more” Abi also feels that reading has broadened Isha’s horizons, her general knowledge and awareness levels are ahead of her peer group, “we always felt she could join in a discussion on any topic because reading has given her the knowledge and the vocabulary”.– Abi mother of Isha R Nair wrote
“I love reading… Every time I start reading a book, the characters come alive and it feels as if I am part of the story.. I just cannot take a break from the book till I have read it end to end and sometimes I even read the book over and over again. Reading non – fiction is also something that I love, I get to learn so many facts related to things around me.– Isha R Nair, student of Kings School Nad El Sheba
I am lucky that my teachers at school allow me to read all kinds of book – even though sometimes they are meant for older children. I love introducing the characters and explaining about the book that I am reading to my friends and I was excited when my mother told me that we could record my reviews for Browzly. I now record the review of almost every book I read. Books are so important to me, its like having a best friend with you all the time”
“The study at DBS, as well as conversations with parents, reinforce to us the importance of reading for enjoyment and the role of parents and teachers in developing student attitudes towards reading. Lack of enjoyment is the biggest hurdle in children reading, that’s why reading for pleasure is important at home and in school” said Bhavna Mishra
Why reading engagement matters?
An analysis of more than 174,000 students’ Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) scores revealed that the connection between reading engagement and reading performance was “moderately strong and meaningful” in all 32 countries examined, including the United States*. On average, students who spent more time reading, read more diverse texts and saw reading as a valuable activity scored higher on the PISA’s combined reading literacy scale. Overall, students with high reading engagement scored significantly above the international average on the combined reading literacy scale, regardless of their family background. The opposite was also true, with students with low reading engagement scoring significantly below the international average, no matter their socioeconomic status.
Looking at only American students’ PISA scores, we see that reading engagement had a higher correlation with reading literacy achievement than time spent on homework, relationships with teachers, a sense of belonging, classroom environment, or even pressure to achieve (which had a negative correlation). In addition, a regression analysis showed achievement went up across all measures of reading literacy performance when reading engagement increased. Although the PISA only assesses 15-year-olds, similar patterns can be seen in both younger and older American students. In 2013, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) compared students’ National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading scores with their reading habits.4 For all age groups, they found a clear correlation between the frequency with which students read for fun and their average NAEP scores: The more frequently students read, the higher their scores were.
Browzly is a reading for pleasure online school program offering innovative and affordable reading engagement and reading for pleasure strategies for classrooms and families for their students to read more. Reviews posted by students in the 2019 Browzly reading challenge can be viewed on the Browzly blog
* Kirsch, I., de Jong, J., Lafontaine, D., McQueen, J., Mendelovits, J., & Monseur, C. (2002). Reading for change: Performance and engagement across countries: Results from PISA 2000. Paris, France: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).