Want your kids to read more books? Reading aloud to dogs may encourage your child to read more books and develop a positive attitude towards academics, according to scientists.
"Our results suggest that reading to dogs in an academic setting has the potential to provide motivation, which will help inform future research into this animal-assisted intervention," said Deborah Linder, research assistant professor at Tufts University in the US.
In children, reading skills are often related to improved academic performance and positive view about school.
For this, second-grade students were divided into two groups by the researchers.
For six weeks, one group read to a therapy dog for about 30 minutes once a week, while the control group followed a standard classroom curriculum.
Reading skills of children assesses twice a week and attitudes about reading were assessed before and after the intervening.
Passages were read by the participants aloud for one minute while teachers tested their ability to read and understand the passage.
Reading attitudes were assessed by asking 10 questions about attitudes to recreational reading and 10 about academic reading. Children selected pictorial responses that offer expressions ranging from "very upset" to "very happy."
Researchers found that scores assessing academic reading attitudes increased significantly among the children who read aloud to dogs.
They noted that reading skill scores did not change significantly in either group, nor did attitudes about recreational reading outside of school.
"One of the most important aspects of facilitating reading skill development is motivating a child to engage in reading," said Lisa Freeman, professor at Tufts University.
(With PTI inputs)