The Influence of Instructional Practices on Reading Motivation in Finland

  • Marja-Kristiina LerkkanenEmail author
Part of the Literacy Studies book series (LITS, volume 15)


Although the differences between individuals in language and literacy skills and motivation to read start before entering school, teachers and their instructional practices play an important role in the development of reading skills and the various aspects of motivation, especially children’s interest in reading. Interest in reading has been reported to contribute to the reading activity and to the amount of reading which, in turn, promote students’ reading performance. It has been assumed that children’s previous success with learning the basics of reading has provided them with positive feedback about the learning situation, thereby strengthening their interest in reading. Teachers and their instruction provide an important environment for children’s learning and motivation. Child-centered teaching practices that are sensitive to the development of children’s autonomy, competence beliefs, and social interactions with peers support interest in reading. The high-quality classroom interactions described by emotionally supportive relationships in a well-organized classroom have been shown to be of particular importance in the development of children’s reading skills and motivation, especially among children at risk of having reading difficulties. The present chapter attempts to describe the development of interest in reading and how teaching practices and the quality of teacher-child interactions observed in classrooms influence children’s reading interest, particularly among boys and at-risk children in the Finnish language context. According to international comparative education studies of achievement, Finland has a high-quality educational system and high performance outcomes across the school years. The results reported here are based on a longitudinal First Steps study among 2000 children and their teachers from kindergarten to grade 4. Reading instruction is based on phonics, and a highly transparent Finnish orthography makes decoding relatively quick and easy for children to learn.


Motivation Interest Reading development Instruction 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Teacher EducationUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

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