How Well Can You Read?

Girl reaching for a book
Girl reaching for a book

How Well Can You Read?

Many of us, at one time or another, have vowed to read more. Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution or the first step on a personal journey to being well-read, reading is often our first port of call when it comes to bettering ourselves. Why? Because words have the power to summon the opening of a passageway, a passageway to knowledge.

However, what’s often overlooked is not what you read, but how you read it. Forget the term ‘well read’ for a moment and ask yourself how well can you read? Do you have the skills required to not only decode words on a page, but comprehend them in their totality? And if you work within education, are you confident that you are teaching the next generation every aspect of this invaluable core skill?

Today, 775 million people worldwide are illiterate[1]. In our modern world when everything from food labels and job applications, to tenancy agreements and road signs require you to be able to read, basic day-to-day living for some can be a constant challenge. In the UK, research carried out in 2014 showed one in five children in England cannot read well by the age of 11[2]. If we look beyond the day-to-day, at how this impacts career prospects later in life, the evidence is pretty clear. In England and Northern Ireland, the average wage of workers with the highest levels of literacy is 94% higher than for workers with the lowest levels of literacy[3]. So, if reading is the gateway to success, how can we harness its power to effect change?

Continuing your formal education in language and literacy can open a world of opportunities. Beyond this, it can help to push the boundaries of your current professional context allowing you to shape policy and inform future practices in education. The MA Education online programme at the University of Exeter is open to students from a diverse range of subject, professional and career backgrounds including: teachers; educators; lecturers; administrators; education advisors; education officers; education specialists working in NGOs; trainers; youth workers; mentors and those involved or interested in leadership and management in education. Whether you are in another country, fitting study around work, have a family or are physically unable to study on campus, this flexible online course offers a rich learning experience than could help you reach new heights professionally. As part of this expertly crafted programme, you have the opportunity to choose elected modules to reflect your own interests. One pathway you can choose is ‘Reading Rights’, which specifically focuses on how we learn to read, the process of comprehension and the strategies in place to make us effective readers.

Debra Myhill, Professor of Education at Exeter University is committed to bringing together teaching, teacher education and research so that children and young people’s experience of learning to be literate enables them to be confident, articulate citizens of the future, able to use language and literature for personal fulfilment and economic well-being.[KW1] 

Debra says, “We should never stop learning! I can’t imagine a time when I cease to be interested in learning something new or having a new experience. And as a teacher, teacher educator and researcher, what I love about my job is that I am continuously learning about what it means to be a better teacher or learner. The MA Education online programme is a strong impetus for this kind of critical and reflective learning, linking your own professional experience with international research in the field. It will make you think differently about teaching and learning, and if you are an educational professional, it has the potential to change your practice.”


If you want to find out what you could achieve with a Masters in Education, or would like to know more about the language and literacy pathways, contact one of our Admissions Advisors today. Call +44 808 164 4020.


[1] 775 million people in the world are illiterate:

[2] One in five children in England cannot read well by the age of 11

[3] Workers with the highest levels of literacy is 94% higher than for workers with the lowest levels of literacy


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