The Pearson Social Reading Project for English Language Teaching


Reading, for many students can be a solitary experience requiring concentration as well as quiet space. The Social Reading Experience allows teachers to share reading engagement strategies that build a life-long love of reading for all students.

Donatella Fitzgerald

«The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.»

Dr. Seuss, I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!

What is the Pearson Social Reading Project?

The Pearson Social Reading project has evolved from a partnership between Pearson and Betwyll and it is an innovative teaching method consisting of a new generation digital tool: the social reading App and combining with methodologies which reflect changes in teaching practice.
It is an educational project which aims to address the fundamental goal of Reading Literacy using a cross-curricula approach that can motivate students and create a new teaching experience for teachers that makes students on the project say «I read because I like it!» Maria Vittoria Alfieri.

Social Reading is a shared reading practice through which students with their teachers, in a dedicated digital environment, can read a text together, comment on it and discuss it according to the rules and dynamics typical of social networks: a familiar environment that students engage with every day and indeed around which a substantial part of their life revolves and it is a place where they feel at ease, and experience shows it leads to a very positive learning environment.
All of this while using the student’s favourite device, the smartphone which as a result becomes a learning tool instead of a frequent source of distraction.
When we have finished reading a book we tend to share what we have learned or share our opinions with other people. Often we can have long conversations with someone who has also read the book. We might even pick our favourite quotes and post them on social media.
This concept, and its associated behaviour, is called Social Reading. There are several benefits to being more social about what you read.
Social reading enables a community to be created where you can connect with fellow readers, engage in profound discussions. Students can share reading a text together, discover excerpts they like, and gather insights on sections they may get stuck on.
You can find out more about what Social Reading is in an educational context by watching this introductory video by Maria Vittoria Alfieri who is Innovation & Digital Education Consultant - Pearson Italia.

Why involve your students in the Pearson Social Reading Program?

«The digital age is effectively reshaping the reading circuits in our brains… but there is hope: sustained, close reading is vital to redeveloping attention and maintaining critical thinking, empathy and myriad other skills in danger of extinction.»

Marianne Wolf, Reader Come Home. The Reading Brain in a Digital World
Harper Collins Publishers, 2018

Reading, for many students can be a solitary experience requiring concentration as well as quiet space. The Social Reading Experience allows teachers to share reading engagement strategies that build a life-long love of reading for all students.

How does the Pearson Social Reading project Work?

Students download the Pearson Social Reading App. Pearson publishes a shared text in a digital "reading room". Teachers invite their students to the reading room. The class interacts with an online text during a specific time frame and instantly the social augmented reading experience unfolds and begins to engage the students.
The students interact as they read, stimulated by the comments or twylls that appear at the side of the text: the comments increase the interactions between people and stimulate the sharing and exchange of suggestions, impressions, ideas pertinent to the subject of the activity or task.
Students begin reading and communicating in a very familiar environment about a set text or theme.
Listen to Maria Vittoria Alfieri presenting the latest Social Reading project by Pearson.

Where can students take part in social reading?

Social reading can be a great remote and digital-only learning experience, embracing Flipped Classroom practices, or it can also be carried out with a blended approach that includes face-to face moments of work and assessment inside the classroom (both formal and informal). Students can twyll in the classroom, at home, anytime and anywhere.

Benefits of social reading in the English Language Classroom

Social Reading creates a spontaneous interest in reading. It can enhance both reading and digital literacy whilst at the same time fostering reading and comprehension skills as well as soft skills such as critical thinking and decision making.
Students are required to read a text carefully and therefore engage in deep and personal reading compared to traditional "digital reading" that can be distractive. The students also not only become better readers but also attention is paid to writing and how they respond so writing skills are improved too.
The Pearson Social Reading Project creates an augmented extensive reading experience where students write and post comments in real time, which can include links to music, videos, images for example. Social reading can also be a fun learning experience where students are able to express themselves in a safe digital environment and by default it makes topics contemporary. The Pearson Social Reading Project involves a cross curricula approach embracing all school subjects as the key is reading and communication. It is a collaborative project and fosters inclusion as there are special reading tools for students with Special Educational Needs embedded in the App. Social Reading can also help students to concentrate and pay attention to responses and engage more mindfully with the text and the theme.

Didattica a Distanza Integrata and Digital Citizenship

The Pearson Social Reading Project helps students enhance their digital competencies and fluency and improve their digital literacy by learning how to use devices in an educational context, transacting, communicating and being responsible on line. By reading and responding to the twylls they learn to interpret information on line and communicate ideas contributing as an active participant in an online community where they can showcase their learning. If students are studying for a part of their course remotely they can easily take part in the project as the only tool required is a smart phone. This is a way of keeping the class community together and involving students in a project that can take place both face to face and remotely.

What do the students say? Reading the students interviews taking part in the Pearson Social Reading Orizzonti Sostenibili Project.

Coming soon! The Pearson Social Reading Project for English Language Teaching

Coming soon for 2021! A new innovative project for Scuola secondaria di secondo grado students in English. The project will allow students to develop their English Language competence, their reading and writing skills and their digital literacy at the same time. The Project builds into a national reading community, drawing students in to discover with the peers what pleasure there is to be gained from reading
and take part in a national reading community and discover with other students the joy of reading.
If you would like to take part with your class follow the Pearson Social Reading Facebook page or contact your local Pearson Agent or Pearson Educational Consultant.

More information about the English Language Teaching Project for Pearson Social Reading will be available shortly.


«Books were my pass to personal freedom. I learned to read at age three, and there discovered was a whole world to conquer that went beyond our farm in Mississippi.»

Oprah Winfrey

Percorso di letture Will&You(th)

Il percorso di letture proposto con il progetto Will&You(th) ha lo scopo di mettere a confronto quattro noti “giovani adulti” di Shakespeare con i numerosi “giovani adulti” di oggi, innescando un dialogo tra epoche fatto di visioni comuni, sogni, passioni, dubbi, ideali e forte desiderio di cambiamento.

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Donatella Fitzgerald. ELT Sales Manager Pearson is a teacher, teacher trainer and trained to teach paws b, .breathe and .b Mindfulness in Schools project. Her specialist interest areas are Extensive Reading, CLIL, Young Learners, Mindfulness, Debate, Assessment, SEN.