Silent Sustained Reading

How does SSR affect student motivation to read?


There has been much debate around the effectiveness of SSR in research and among teachers. This proposal focuses on motivation to read and the tendency to become life-long readers from incorporating SSR. SSR has the potential to create life-long readers more than any other intervention for struggling readers.

What does the literature say?

Increased motivation: (Burden, 1994; Dickerson 2015; Holt and O'Tuel, 1988) Studies show that when implementing Silent Sustained Reading into a secondary English class there is increased voluntary reading, increased enjoyment of reading, and more unexplored genre use. In addition, students' attitude towards reading increases according to Estes Attitude Scale, and when done correctly the majority of students want SSR every day. In addition, there is a correlation with low performing students having the most increased motivation when SSR is implemented.

Misconceptions: (Krashen, 2011; Meyers, 1998; Nagy 2000) Many studies have researched why SSR has not worked and what needs to be done in order to ensure SSR is effective for student motivation. For instance, SSR needs to have few restrictions and low accountability. SSR should only be done a little bit each day, not a lot all at once. Also teachers should have a classroom library and make sure students can choose whatever they would enjoy. Teachers thinks they need to restrict SSR and hold students accountable; however with little accountability comes higher motivation


To understand and analyze the effectiveness of SSR on student motivation to read, in particular for struggling readers.


Descriptive Case Study of 5 sophomore English classes with 30 students in each class. Each class will implement 10 minutes of SSR at the beginning of class with low accountability (teacher variance).

Outcome Measure:

  • An attitude/interest survey such as Adolescents Motivation to Read Profile (AMRP) given before and after intervention of SSR
  • Interview teachers about students using AMRP

Data will be descriptively analyzed using means of the Likert scale and by a qualitative coding of open ended questions.

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Implications for Teaching

With the results from the research, I hope that teachers and students alike will see the importance of Silent Sustained Reading in the classroom. I hope that teachers will see how to use SSR effectively to promote life-long readers.


Silent Sustained Reading Research Proposal by Sbader11