Does your kiddo need to dig deep into the heavy lit to build their language skills? As it turns out, what may seem like fun fiction may help readers to develop their verbal abilities.

According to a new study from Concordia University, people who read fiction may have better language skills than those who don’t choose this genre. More specifically, people who read any type of fiction may have better language skills—and this even includes sappy sagas and epic tween/teen supernatural romances.

photo: Daria Shevtsova via Pexels

The study, which was published in the journal Reading and Writing, found that people who enjoyed reading fiction for leisure scored higher on language tests than those who only read to access specific types of information. Researcher Sandra Martin-Chang, professor of education in the Faculty of Arts and Science, said, “It’s always very positive and heartening to give people permission to delve into the series that they like.”

The study used a scale called the Predictors of Leisure Reading to better understand how reading behaviors predicted language skills in 200 undergrad students. After gathering data using the scale and via SAT-like language tests, the researchers found positive attitudes (about reading), enjoyment and deeply established interests were more often associated with exposure to fiction and were more likely to predict better verbal abilities.

—Erica Loop



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