Progress in International Reading Literacy Study

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PIRLS 2016

The IEA's Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS)[1] is an international study of reading (comprehension) achievement in fourth graders. It has been conducted every five years since 2001 by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). It is designed to measure children's reading literacy achievement, to provide a baseline for future studies of trends in achievement, and to gather information about children's home and school experiences in learning to read.[2]

Over 60 countries and sub-national, benchmarking entities participated in PIRLS 2016.[3]

History[edit]

PIRLS[1] provides internationally comparative data on how well children read by assessing students' reading achievement. PIRLS collects considerable background information on how education systems provide educational opportunities to their students as well as the factors that influence how students use these opportunities. These background data include information about the following: national curriculum policies in reading; how the education system is organized to facilitate learning; students' home environment for learning; school climate and resources; and how instruction actually occurs in classrooms. Studies of reading literacy had been conducted prior to the PIRLS study of 2001, and PIRLS is the successor to IEA studies, such as the Reading Literacy Study, that started in 1970 and continued until 1991.[4] The PIRLS study of 2001 started the trend for cyclical testing; PIRLS has a frequency of five years. By administering the test every five years, education systems are able to monitor their children's literacy achievement over time. The current cycle, PIRLS 2016, is the fourth cycle of the IEA PIRLS. Like the previous PIRLS cycles (conducted in 2001, 2006, and 2011), the study will also collect extensive information about home supports for literacy, curriculum and curriculum implementation, instructional practices, and school resources in each participating country.[1]

Cycles[edit]

PIRLS 2021[edit]

PIRLS 2021 will be the fifth cycle in the PIRLS framework. IEA's PIRLS will continue to collect considerable background information from the assessed students, their parents, teachers and school principals on how education systems provide educational opportunities to their students, as well as the factors that influence how students use these opportunities. Trend results across assessments permit countries to monitor the effectiveness of their educational systems in a global context, and PIRLS 2021 marks 20 years of trends.

PIRLS 2021 evolves further from PIRLS 2016 in allowing countries to administer the full PIRLS reading assessment, including both PIRLS Informational and Literary (the previous standard PIRLS assessment), and the ePIRLS Online Informational (the previous ePIRLS), as one seamless digitally based endeavour. Countries may also select from two levels of the PIRLS assessment; providing students with an assessment experience better suited to their reading abilities increases student motivation and provides more accurate assessment data. All results will be reported on the same PIRLS achievement scale.

PIRLS 2021 thus offers three flexible options, enabling participants to select the administration path best suited to assessing their education system:(1) A new fully digital ePIRLS assessment, which integrates all aspects of PIRLS Informational, PIRLS Literary, and the ePIRLS Online Informational assessments; 2) The paper-only version of the PIRLS assessment, which is equivalent to the original pen-and-paper PIRLS standard assessment; and (3) The paper-only version of the PIRLS assessment, taken together with the ePIRLS Online Informational assessment.[5]

PIRLS 2016[edit]

PIRLS 2016 was released on December 5, 2017.[6] It also collects extensive information about home supports for literacy, curriculum and curriculum implementation, instructional practices, and school resources in each participating country. In this cycle there were two additional initiatives: (1) the PIRLS Literacy assessment (earlier known as prePIRLS) is equivalent to PIRLS in scope and reflects the same conception of reading as PIRLS. Its purpose is to extend the effective measurement of reading literacy at the lower end of the achievement scale. Countries whose fourth-grade students are still developing fundamental reading skills can participate in the PIRLS Literacy assessment and still have their results reported on the PIRLS achievement scale. The reading passages and questions in common between the PIRLS Literacy and the PIRLS assessments will enable the two assessments to be linked, and their results to be compared. (2) Initiated in 2016, ePIRLS is a computer-based reading assessment of students' ability to acquire and use information when reading online. The assessment encompasses an engaging, simulated internet environment with authentic school-like assignments about science and social studies topics. The ePIRLS online reading achievement scale enables countries to examine their fourth-graders' online reading performance relative to their performance on the PIRLS reading achievement scales.

In terms of trends, the PIRLS results for student achievement by country states that 18 countries had higher average achievement, 13 countries had the same average achievement, and 10 countries had lower average achievement; and girls had higher reading achievement than boys in 48 of the 50 countries.[7][8]

The 2016 PIRLS Encyclopedia has the Education Policy and Curriculum in Reading by country. It describes the structure of each education system, the reading curricula in the primary grades, and overall policies related to reading instruction.[9]

The ten countries with the highest average reading achievement were: Russian Federation, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, Ireland, Finland, Poland, Northern Ireland, Norway, Taiwan, and England.[10]

Rank Country Average
scale score
Change
over 5 years
1  Russia 581 Increase 13 points
2  Singapore 576 Increase 9 points
3  Hong Kong 569 Decrease 2 points
4  Ireland 567 Increase 15 points
5  Finland 566 Decrease 2 points
6  Poland 565 Increase 39 points
6 Northern Ireland 565 Increase 7 points
8  Norway[a] 559 Increase 52 points
8  Chinese Taipei 559 Increase 6 points
8  England 559 Increase 7 points
11  Latvia 558 N/A
12  Sweden 555 Increase 13 points
13  Hungary 554 Increase 15 points
14  Bulgaria 552 Increase 20 points
15  United States 549 Decrease 7 points
16  Lithuania 548 Increase 20 points
16  Italy 548 Increase 7 points
18  Denmark 547 Decrease 7 points
19  Macau 546 N/A
20  Netherlands 545 Decrease 1 point
21  Australia 544 Increase 17 points
22  Czech Republic 543 Decrease 2 points
22  Canada 543 Decrease 5 points
24  Slovenia 542 Increase 12 points
25  Austria 541 Increase 12 points
26  Germany 537 Decrease 4 points
27  Kazakhstan 536 N/A
28  Slovakia 535 Steady
29  Israel 530 Decrease 11 points
30  Portugal 528 Decrease 13 points
30  Spain 528 Increase 15 points
32  Belgium (Flemish) 525 N/A
33  New Zealand 523 Decrease 8 points
34  France 511 Decrease 9 points
International average 500 Steady
35  Belgium (French) 497 Decrease 9 points
36  Chile 494 N/A
37  Georgia 488 Steady
38  Trinidad and Tobago 479 Increase 8 points
39  Azerbaijan 472 Increase 10 points
40  Malta 452 Decrease 25 points
41  United Arab Emirates 450 Increase 11 points
42  Bahrain 446 N/A
43  Qatar 442 Increase 17 points
44  Saudi Arabia 430 Steady
45  Iran 428 Decrease 29 points
46  Oman 418 Increase 27 points
47  Kuwait 393 N/A
48  Morocco 358 Increase 48 points
49  Egypt 330 N/A
50  South Africa 320 N/A
Benchmarking participants
Moscow Moscow (Russia) 612 N/A
Community of Madrid Madrid (Spain) 549 N/A
Quebec Quebec (Canada) 547 Increase 9 points
Ontario Ontario (Canada) 544 Decrease 8 points
Andalusia Andalusia (Spain) 525 Increase 10 points
 Norway[b] 517 N/A
Emirate of Dubai Dubai (United Arab Emirates) 515 Increase 39 points
 Denmark[c] 501 N/A
Buenos Aires Buenos Aires (Argentina) 480 N/A
Emirate of Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) 414 Decrease 10 points
 South Africa (English/Afrikaans/Zulu)[a] 406 N/A
  1. ^ a b 5th grade students
  2. ^ 4th grade students
  3. ^ 3rd grade students

Helpful pages[edit]

  • "Listing of reading achievement scores by country - PIRLS 2016".
  • "Trends in reading scores by country - PIRLS 2016".
  • "Links to each country for their education system, 4th grade curriculum, etc. - PIRLS 2016".

PIRLS 2011[edit]

Combining newly developed reading assessment passages and questions for 2011 with a selection of secure assessment passages and questions from 2001 and 2006, the study offered a state-of-the-art assessment of reading comprehension that allowed for measurement of changes since 2001. The international population for PIRLS 2011 consisted of students in the grade that represents four years of schooling, provided that the mean age at the time of testing was at least 9.5 years. In the 2011 cycle, prePIRLS (now known as PIRLS Literacy) was offered to assess basic reading skills as a bridge to PIRLS, for countries where most children are still developing fundamental reading skills at the end of the primary school cycle.[11]

Rank Country Average
scale score
Change
over 5 years
1  Hong Kong 571 Increase 7 points
2  Russia 568 Increase 3 points
2  Finland 568 N/A
4  Singapore 567 Increase 9 points
5 Northern Ireland 558 N/A
6  United States 556 Increase 16 points
7  Denmark 554 Increase 8 points
8  Croatia 553 N/A
8  Chinese Taipei 553 Increase 18 points
10  Ireland 552 N/A
10  England 552 Increase 13 points
12  Canada 548 N/A
13  Netherlands 546 Decrease 1 point
14  Czech Republic 545 N/A
15  Sweden 542 Decrease 7 points
16  Italy 541 Decrease 10 points
16  Germany 541 Decrease 7 points
16  Israel 541 Increase 29 points
16  Portugal 541 N/A
20  Hungary 539 Decrease 12 points
21  Slovakia 535 Increase 3 points
22  Bulgaria 532 Decrease 15 points
23  New Zealand 531 Decrease 1 point
24  Slovenia 530 Increase 8 points
25  Austria 529 Decrease 9 points
26  Lithuania 528 Decrease 9 points
27  Australia 527 N/A
28  Poland 526 Increase 7 points
29  France 520 Decrease 2 points
30  Spain 513 Steady
31  Norway 507 Increase 9 points
32  Belgium (French) 506 Increase 6 points
33  Romania 502 Increase 13 points
International average 500 Steady
34  Georgia 488 Increase 17 points
35  Malta 477 N/A
36  Trinidad and Tobago 471 Increase 35 points
37  Azerbaijan 462 N/A
38  Iran 457 Increase 36 points
39  Colombia 448 N/A
40  United Arab Emirates 439 N/A
41  Saudi Arabia 430 N/A
42  Indonesia 428 Increase 23 points
43  Qatar 425 Increase 72 points
44  Oman 391 N/A
45  Morocco 310 Decrease 13 points
6th grade participants
 Honduras[a] 450 N/A
 Morocco[a] 424 N/A
 Kuwait[a] 419 N/A
 Botswana[a] 419 N/A
Benchmarking participants
Florida Florida (United States) 569 N/A
Ontario Ontario (Canada) 552 Decrease 3 points
Alberta Alberta (Canada) 548 Decrease 12 points
Quebec Quebec (Canada) 538 Increase 5 points
Andalusia Andalusia (Spain) 515 N/A
Emirate of Dubai Dubai (United Arab Emirates) 476 N/A
 Malta (Maltese) 457 N/A
Emirate of Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) 424 N/A
 South Africa (English/Afrikaans)[b] 421 N/A
  1. ^ a b c d 6th grade students
  2. ^ 5th grade students

PIRLS 2006[edit]

PIRLS 2006 assessed a range of reading comprehension strategies for two major reading purposes: literary and informational. The student test of reading comprehension addressed four processes:

  • retrieval of explicitly stated information
  • making straightforward inferences
  • interpreting and integrating ideas and information
  • examination and evaluation of content, language, and textual elements.

PIRLS 2006 assessed students enrolled in the fourth grade.[12]

Rank Country Average
scale score
Change
over 5 years
1  Russia 565 Increase 37 points
2  Hong Kong 564 Increase 36 points
3 Alberta Alberta (Canada) 560 N/A
4  Singapore 558 Increase 30 points
4 British Columbia British Columbia (Canada) 558 N/A
6  Luxembourg 557 N/A
7 Ontario Ontario (Canada) 555 N/A
8  Italy 551 Increase 10 points
8  Hungary 551 N/A
10  Sweden 549 Decrease 12 points
11  Germany 548 Increase 9 points
12  Netherlands 547 Decrease 7 points
12  Belgium (Flemish) 547 N/A
12  Bulgaria 547 Decrease 3 points
15  Denmark 546 N/A
16 Nova Scotia Nova Scotia (Canada) 542 N/A
17  Latvia 541 Decrease 4 points
18  United States 540 Decrease 2 points
19  England 539 Decrease 14 points
20  Austria 538 N/A
21  Lithuania 537 Decrease 6 points
22  Chinese Taipei 535 N/A
23 Quebec Quebec (Canada) 533 N/A
24  New Zealand 532 Increase 3 points
24  Slovakia 532 Increase 15 points
26  Scotland 527 Decrease 1 point
27  France 522 Decrease 3 points
27  Slovenia 522 Increase 20 points
29  Poland 519 N/A
30  Spain 513 N/A
31  Israel 512 Increase 3 points
32  Iceland 511 Decrease 1 point
International average 500 Steady
33  Moldova 500 Increase 8 points
33  Belgium (French) 500 N/A
35  Norway 498 Decrease 1 point
36  Romania 489 Decrease 23 points
37  Georgia 471 N/A
38  Macedonia 442 Steady
39  Trinidad and Tobago 436 N/A
40  Iran 421 N/A
41  Indonesia 405 N/A
42  Qatar 353 N/A
43  Kuwait 330 Decrease 66 points
44  Morocco 323 Decrease 27 points
45  South Africa 302 N/A

PIRLS 2001[edit]

The IEA Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2001 was the first cycle of assessments to measure trends in children's reading literacy achievement, and policy and practices related to literacy. The study examined three aspects of reading literacy: processes of comprehension, purposes for reading, and reading literacy behavior and attitudes. 35 countries took part in the first cycle where students enrolled in the fourth grade were assessed.[13]

Rank Country Average
scale score
1  Sweden 561
2  Netherlands 554
3  England 553
4  Bulgaria 550
5  Latvia 545
6  Canada[a] 544
7  Lithuania 543
7  Hungary 543
9  United States 542
10  Italy 541
11  Germany 539
12  Czech Republic 537
13  New Zealand 529
14  Scotland 528
14  Singapore 528
14  Russia 528
14  Hong Kong 528
18  France 525
19  Greece 524
20  Slovakia 518
21  Iceland 512
21  Romania 512
23  Israel 509
24  Slovenia 502
International average 500
25  Norway 499
26  Cyprus 494
27  Moldova 492
28  Turkey 449
29  Macedonia 442
30  Colombia 422
31  Argentina 420
32  Iran 414
33  Kuwait 396
34  Morocco 350
35  Belize 327
  1. ^ Represented by Ontario (548) and Quebec (487)

United States results by race and ethnicity[edit]

Race 2016[14] 2011[15] 2006[16] 2001[17]
Score Score Score Score
Asian 591 588 567 551
Multiracial 578
White 571 575 560 565
US Average 549 556 540 542
Other 545 573
Hispanic 525 532 518 517
Black 518 522 503 502
American Indian/Alaska Native 468

PIRLS assessment[edit]

The PIRLS study consists of a main survey that consists of a written reading comprehension test and a background questionnaire. The PIRLS Reading Development Group (RDG) and National Research Coordinators (NRCs) from the participating countries collaborate to develop the reading assessments. The assessment focuses on three main areas of literacy: process of comprehension, purposes for reading, and reading behaviors and attitudes. The background questionnaire is used to determine the reading behaviors and attitudes. The written test is designed to address the process of comprehension and the purposes for reading. There are two purposes for reading that are examined in this study: reading for literary experience and reading to acquire and use information. Each student receives 80 minutes to complete two passages and then time to complete the survey. There are a total of 8 passage. Four passages are for each purpose of reading. "With eight reading passages in total, but just two to be given to any one student, passages and their accompanying items were assigned to student test booklets according to a matrix sampling plan. The eight passages were distributed across 10 booklets, two per booklet, so that passages were paired together in a booklet in as many different ways as possible."[2] The PIRLS target population is the grade that represents four years of schooling, counting from the first year of ISCED Level 1, which corresponds to the fourth grade in most countries. To better match the assessment to the achievement level of students, countries have the option of administering PIRLS or PIRLS Literacy at the fifth or sixth grade.

Background questionnaire[edit]

Given to:

  • Home/parents—This questionnaire includes questions about "students' early reading experiences, child-parent literacy interactions, parents' reading habits and attitudes, home-school connections, and demographic and socioeconomic indicators."
  • Students—This questionnaire includes questions about "instructional experiences, self-perception and attitudes towards reading, out-of-school reading habits, computer use, home literacy resources, and basic demographic information."
  • Teachers—This questionnaire includes questions about "characteristics of the class tested, instructional activities for teaching reading, classroom resources, assessment practices, and about their education, training, and opportunities for professional development."
  • Schools—This questionnaire includes questions about "enrollment and school characteristics, school organization for reading instruction, school staffing and resources, home-school connections, and the school environment."[2]

Participating organizations[edit]

Participating countries[edit]

Country Years
 Argentina 2001, 2016[a]
 Australia 2011, 2016
 Austria 2006, 2011, 2016
 Azerbaijan 2011, 2016
 Bahrain 2016
 Belize 2001
 Belgium 2006,[b] 2011,[c] 2016[b]
 Botswana 2011[d]
 Bulgaria 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016
 Canada 2001,[e] 2006,[f] 2011, 2016
 Chile 2016
 Chinese Taipei 2006, 2011, 2016
 Colombia 2001, 2011
 Croatia 2011
 Cyprus 2006
 Czech Republic 2001, 2011, 2016
 Denmark 2006, 2011, 2016
 Egypt 2016
 England 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016
 Finland 2011, 2016
 France 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016
 Georgia 2006, 2011, 2016
 Germany 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016
 Greece 2001
 Honduras 2011[d]
 Hong Kong 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016
 Hungary 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016
 Iceland 2001, 2006
 Indonesia 2006, 2011
 Iran 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016
 Ireland 2011, 2016
 Israel 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016
 Italy 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016
 Kazakhstan 2016
 Kuwait 2001, 2006, 2011,[d] 2016
 Latvia 2001, 2006, 2016
 Lithuania 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016
 Macau 2016
 Macedonia 2001, 2006
 Malta 2011, 2016
 Moldova 2001, 2006
 Morocco 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016
 Netherlands 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016
 New Zealand 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016
Northern Ireland 2011, 2016
 Norway 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016
 Oman 2011, 2016
 Portugal 2011, 2016
 Qatar 2006, 2011, 2016
 Romania 2001, 2006, 2011
 Russia 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016
 Saudi Arabia 2011, 2016
 Scotland 2001, 2006
 Singapore 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016
 Slovakia 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016
 Slovenia 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016
 South Africa 2006, 2011,[g] 2016
 Spain 2006, 2011, 2016
 Sweden 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016
 Trinidad and Tobago 2006, 2011, 2016
 Turkey 2001
 United Arab Emirates 2011, 2016
 United States 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016
  1. ^ as Buenos Aires (benchmarking only)
  2. ^ a b French and Flemish separated
  3. ^ French only
  4. ^ a b c 6th grade only
  5. ^ represented by Ontario and Quebec
  6. ^ as Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec
  7. ^ English/Afrikaans (benchmarking only)

See also[edit]

Future studies[edit]

PIRLS 2016[1] is the fourth assessment in the current trend series, following PIRLS 2001, 2006, and 2011. Participating countries include: Argentina (Buenos Aires), Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium (Flemish), Belgium (French), Botswana, Bulgaria, Canada (with Ontario and Quebec as benchmarking systems), Chile, Taiwan, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, England, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lithuania, Malta, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain (with Andalusia as a benchmarking system), Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates (with Abu Dhabi and Dubai as benchmarking systems), and United States. All of the countries, institutions, and agencies involved in successive PIRLS assessments have worked collaboratively in building the most comprehensive and innovative measure of reading comprehension possible, beginning in 2001 and improving with each cycle since then. PIRLS is directed by the TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center at Boston College.[18]

PIRLS 2021[19] will be the fifth assessment, marking 20 years of trends. Country enrollment opened in 2017.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "PIRLS. Progress in International Reading Literacy Study - IEA". www.iea.nl. Archived from the original on 2016-11-21. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  2. ^ a b c "PIRLS 2001 International Report, Appendix A" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  3. ^ "Monitoring Trends in Reading Literacy Achievement, 2016 PIRLS".
  4. ^ "Other IEA studies - IEA". www.iea.nl.
  5. ^ "Info" (PDF). www.iea.nl.
  6. ^ "PIRLS 2016".
  7. ^ "PIRLS 2016 International results in reading".
  8. ^ "Trends in reading results by country".
  9. ^ "2016 PIRLS Encyclopedia".
  10. ^ "PIRLS 2016 Student Achievement Overview".
  11. ^ "PIRLS 2011 International Report, Chapter 1" (PDF). timssandpirls.bc.edu. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 May 2021. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  12. ^ "PIRLS 2006 International Report, Chapter 1" (PDF). timssandpirls.bc.edu. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 March 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  13. ^ "PIRLS 2001 International Report, Chapter 1" (PDF). timssandpirls.bc.edu. Archived (PDF) from the original on 20 May 2019. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  14. ^ "Reading Achievement of U.S. Fourth-Grade Students in an International Context" (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ "PROGRESS IN INTERNATIONAL READING LITERACY STUDY (PIRLS)".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ "The Reading Literacy of U.S. Fourth-Grade Students in an International Context" (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ "International Comparisons in Fourth-Grade Reading Literacy" (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. ^ "Intro" (PDF). timssandpirls.bc.edu. 2016.
  19. ^ "PIRLS - Next Cycle - IEA". www.iea.nl.

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]