In 2011, Jessica Horst and students from the WORD Lab at the University of Sussex published a paper in which we demonstrated that preschool children learn 150% more words from hearing the same stories again and again than from hearing different stories.
This research has inspired two intervention programs at the local community level: Again! (Durham Local Authority and Durham Children’s Centres) and Over and Over (Hampshire County Council and Haven Children’s Centre). Both projects encourage parents and nursery staff to repeatedly read the same books to children. Both projects have reported improved concentration among children and increased interest in reading stories (e.g., Haven Ofsted Inspection Report, 2013).
The original finding has also been replicated in another study and a similar finding has been found by other researchers using a slightly different experimental design and also with an older age group. Some earlier studies also found similar effects of repeated readings (see this review).
This site is dedicated to raising awareness of the benefits of reading the same stories again and again. Read. And Repeat.
Read our policy brief!