Sustained Silent Reading | Strategies | Advantages and Disadvantages

kids reading silently

Ever remember when you were in school and the teacher used to tell you to read silently? I used to think that that was for keeping us from making noise while the teacher did their work, but that’s not it! It is actually a technique for making young students/kids grab a habit of reading and make them better readers. Here we are going to learn about Sustained Silent Reading, It strategies, advantages and disadvantages.

I used to tutor young kids a couple of months ago. Besides trying to polish their academic capabilities, I also incorporated this reading technique into my tutoring methodology, which did wonders. It worked so well for the kids that even the ones who loathed the sight of books and studying also seemed to enjoy this part of the day!

A sustained silent reading (SSR) involves allocating a calm, uninterrupted period, daily or monthly, during which pupils select a book that piques their interest. Increased reading comprehension and critical thinking abilities, improved vocabulary and spelling skills, and the development of a lifelong love of reading are just a few of the many well-documented benefits of SSR.

This information is enlightening to many, but there’s more. Keep on reading to learn all that you need to know about this reading technique.

What is Sustained Silent Reading?

What is it sustained silent reading | Sustained Silent Reading

With the underlying premise that students learn to read by reading consistently, sustained silent reading (SSR) is a type of school-based recreational reading, or free voluntary reading, where students read silently for a certain amount of time each day.

Although SSR is frequently used in classrooms, several critics point out that the evidence supporting its efficacy is, at best, tenuous and that more than SSR is needed to develop proficient readers.

Despite this, many contend that effective SSR models often permit students to choose their reading material and do not call for comprehension assessments or book reports. Drop Everything and Read (DEAR), Free Uninterrupted Reading (FUR), and Uninterrupted Sustained Silent Reading (USSR) are some of the titles used in schools to describe SSR.

Most middle school children may read approximately 1 million words and pick up roughly 1,000 new words each year in a typical sustained silent reading programme without receiving any explicit vocabulary teaching. Whether they are English language learners or English speakers learning a second language, sustained silent reading aids language learners in developing language abilities in the new language they are studying.

A person who can read in a first or second language can also write and spell that language more effectively.


As a teacher, you can use the strategies and objectives listed below to undertake silent reading teaching in your classroom.

1. Begin Small

begin with small text | Sustained Silent Reading

Start with little bits of text and gradually progress to lengthier ones. Take a moment to gauge understanding after the students silently read each text section. After a brief discussion, you’ll find out whether you need to read it again. By segmenting the material this way, pupils can practise silent reading techniques without getting intimidated.

2. Utilize Elaborate Texts

elaborative texts | Sustained Silent Reading

Complex texts present pupils with a level of difficulty that is suitable. By using complicated texts, teachers will have more chances to show pupils how to go back and reread passages when understanding or meaning are unclear.

The goal of instruction will be defeated if the text is too simple and students breeze through the silent reading. To find out how complex your reading passages are, utilize one of these five free text readability analyzers: click here.

3. Accept Multiple Answers at Once

multiple kids answering at once | Sustained Silent Reading

Ask students to reply synchronously to questions or prompts concerning the passage(s) during the discussion phase of the lesson. You can tell who is having difficulty reading and who might benefit from being directed back through the text to locate the solution.

Having pupils write their answers is the simplest method to accomplish this. If children are unable to compose a written response, they may have trouble understanding.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Sustained Silent Reading

Sr.noAdvantages of Sustained Silent ReadingDisadvantages of Sustained Silent Reading
1.Sustained Silent Reading increases vocabularySustained Silent Reading restricts expression
2.It helps in enhancing writing abilityIt leads to insufficient social interaction
3.It provides a comprehensive understandingIt decreases ability to remember
4.It eliminates distractionIt doesn’t helps you in improving Pronunciation
5.It makes reading more enjoyableIt cannot verify attentiveness
Table of Advantages and Disadvantages of Sustained Silent reading(SSR)


1. Increases Vocabulary
vocabulary | Sustained Silent Reading

Quiet reading offers the chance to discover the definitions of numerous new terms in context. Without any direct instruction, kids can learn word definitions in an engaging way.

Kids are typically more receptive to this approach to acquiring new terms than they would be to extensive, coerced vocabulary education. Youngsters will use their newly acquired word attack techniques to research new terms independently.

2. Enhances Writing Ability
a kid writing | Sustained Silent Reading

The relationship between reading and writing is well known. Children who are deeply engaged in silent reading are exposed to a range of writing and sentence patterns that impact their writing. Grammar and spelling usually get better since kids can focus on the words they’re reading. Regular, autonomous reading stimulates original ideas, which translates to written work.

Some instructors pair SSR with prolonged silent writing. After reading aloud, the students write dialogue notebooks to discuss what they read. The teacher merely responds, using spelt terms and grammar rules correctly. She needs to correct the writing.

3. Provides a Comprehensive Understanding
kid comprehending while reading | Sustained Silent Reading

By reading silently, readers can concentrate on reading for understanding because they don’t have to pay as much attention to how each word is pronounced. Comprehension improves when vocabulary, fluency, and motivation rise. Kids read books at their own rate and ability level. They can envision and comprehend the words in their ways.

After SSR, some teachers allow time for students to discuss the books they are reading with one another. This improves their memory and strengthens their understanding. Pupils must read silently for standardized assessments, and persistent silent reading gives effective practice.

4. Eliminates Distraction
kids reading without distraction | Sustained Silent Reading

The other students will be diverted from the real text as they listen to the new accent if a student with an accent is asked to read aloud to the class. Similarly, when a less proficient reader reads aloud in a school, it will slow down other, more proficient readers.

So, reading quietly is the best course of action in these circumstances because all pupils are urged to read at a natural pace. There are some limitations to silent reading, one of which is that a pupil may pretend to read even when not reading.

5. Makes Reading More Enjoyable
kids enjoying reading | Sustained Silent Reading

For extended silent reading, readers select their books, allowing kids to select works that interest them. Parents must make sure that kids have a lot of choices. Kids can choose books at the library using the five-finger test with the help of their parents or teachers.

The youngster reads a page from a book at random. For every phrase he does not know, he reaches out one finger. He may find the book too challenging if he extends four or five fingers.

Children who are given the freedom to choose to find stories that they enjoy and have a favourable reading attitude. The pressure is off because there are no tests or questions to answer. They are reading purely for enjoyment.


1. Restricts Expression
a kid reading without expression

There might be better pastimes than silent reading if you enjoy telling stories or simply hearing your voice. This allows you to experiment with your tone, inflexion, and text emphasis when reading aloud. Quiet reading needs to be improved in all these areas, which is one of its drawbacks.

2. Insufficient Social Interaction
kids reading without interaction

You enter another planet when you read quietly to yourself on your own. While concentrating only on the text may seem like a good idea, it can also be isolating. Hence, it’s ideal for balancing and taking breaks when you feel you haven’t connected with anyone in a while.

3. Decreases Ability to Remember
not remembering

Long-term silent reading leaves a lasting impression. However, there are more effective methods to use if you need to remember text or wish to store knowledge in your long-term memory. Reading aloud activates your senses, which improves information retention.

4. No Improvement in Pronunciation
improving vocabulary

The students need to be introduced to pronunciation. Although pupils mentally pronounce words, teachers cannot correct students’ errors.

5. Cannot Verify Attentiveness
unattentive kids

When children are asked to read silently, there isn’t any way you can tell if they are doing what is told. It can be challenging to tell if the children are reading or idly scanning the text.

Conclusion| Sustained Silent Reading

Many of us pick up hobbies that allow us to temporarily escape the outside world and let go of our tension. Silent reading over extended periods is a great approach to do this. It enables you to understand deeper, concentrate on the finer points, and let your creativity soar. Finding the ideal balance is crucial to preventing the drawbacks of silent reading from outweighing its advantages.

Also, do check out:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top