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PIRLS 2016 Reading Literacy, Australia

PIRLS 2016 Reading Literacy – Australia

PIRLS 2016 Reading Literacy results has some telling results. This table lists the percentage of Grade 4 students reaching the Advanced Benchmark at the top end and those NOT reaching even the Low Benchmark at the bottom end.

Singapore                                          25%        Advanced Benchmark                    3%    not reaching Low Benchmark

the Russian Federation                  25%                       “                                            1%          “

Northern Ireland                             20%                        “                                           2%          “

England                                              20%                        “                                          2%          “

Republic of Ireland                          20%                        “                                          2%          “

Poland                                                 20%                       “                                          2%          “

Netherlands                                       11%                        “                                           8%          “

Australia                                        16%                      “                                        6%          “

Low Benchmark A further 13% of 4th graders in Australia scored at the Low Benchmark. So 20% of Australian 4th grade children are reading at or below the Low Benchmark.

Other Factors In PIRLS 2016 Results:  Influencing these results is the rate of tiredness and hunger on arrival at school. 31% of these children reported being tired every day. And 27% reported being hungry on arrival every day. Children who came to school tired or hungry “every day” had significantly poorer results on the test.

Opinion On PIRLS 2016 For Australia:  School breakfast programmes play an important role in addressing this issue. However, feeding kids before school won’t address the problem of late nights. There is probably an overlap in the figures between hungry and tired children. Hunger leads to tiredness.

An interesting point made by ACER in its analyses is that children who experienced hunger or tiredness “sometimes” performed better than students who “never” came to school either hungry or tired.

Where To From Here? 2011 was the first year that Australia participated in the PIRLS evaluations. Professor Geoff Masters from the Australian Council for Educational Research said in 2012 that the 2011 PIRLS tests were disappointing.  In an interview on AM (ABC Radio) Prof. Masters said “The fact that we are ranked 27th in reading at year four, with 21 countries significantly outperforming us is a cause for concern.” Here is the link:  http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2012/s3652021.htm

Now, we have the 2016 results and extensive analysis to accompany them. As Prof.  Masters says, we need to examine what successful countries are doing. But we also need to examine what is going on in classrooms between Prep and Grade 4 that is failing to give us the reading skills we need and want for our children. A number of posts on this site are directed to improving practice and use of time in classrooms as well as give parents a helping hand to play their part.

Related Items: Close Reading and Other Purposes.
Link: https://www.tutoringprimary.com/close-reading-purposes-literacy/

Link to Phonics Defeats Whole Language Theory: https://www.tutoringprimary.com/phonics-defeats-whole-language-theory/


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