Institute of Education


"No-one would sleep if we didn't have books": understanding shared reading practices in homes

16 January 2020, 12:30 pm–1:30 pm

Read Aloud 2019: schoolchildren reading at the IOE

Shared reading activities at the home support young children’s language development, however not all families read together and interventions are often unsuccessful. What can we do to remedy this?

Event Information

Open to





Bernardita Munoz Chereau


Committee Room 2
UCL Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way
United Kingdom

Many reading interventions miss out on having an understanding of what families already do and how shared reading activity fits within the construct of everyday family life. Therefore in order to be 'successful', interventions should stem from an exploration of what currently happens in homes, including gaining an understanding of why parents do and do not read with their children.

Drawing on her recent ESRC-funded study into shared reading practices with 29 families in two English cities, Dr Rachel Levy demonstrates how for many families, shared reading is already a part of ‘doing family’.

However for some families, and perhaps particularly those from low socio-economic groups, there is a need for certain conditions to be met if shared reading practices are to be maintained or, in some cases, occur at all. In order to support more families in reading regularly with their children, there is a need to firstly understand how different families use shared reading activity within their own individual and everyday family lives.


About the Speaker

Dr Rachael Levy

Associate Professor in Education at Department of Learning and Leadership, UCL Institute of Education

More about Dr Rachael Levy