The average level of Year 4 students’ literacy achievement has increased since it was first measured in 2011, according to the latest Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS). While the result from PIRLS released last night is good news, the new PIRLS report shows mixed results for Australia, with improvement occurring largely at the higher end of student achievement and a long tail of underperformance persisting at the lower end.
PIRLS has measured trends in Year 4 students’ reading literacy achievement every five years since 2001. Australia has participated in 2011 and 2016. Alongside the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), PIRLS enables Australian governments and education systems to monitor the progress of Australian students by assessing the types of skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life. They also allow students’ performances to be compared across countries and over time.
The new PIRLS report shows substantial improvement in Year 4 average literacy achievement in comparison to other countries since 2011. Australia’s average score of 544 points was lower than the average scores for 13 other countries, including Singapore, Hong Kong, Ireland, Northern Ireland and England (which all tested in English), as well as other top-performing countries the Russian Federation, Finland and Poland. Australia’s average score was significantly higher than the scores of 24 other countries, including France and French-speaking Belgium, as well as New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago, and Malta, which tested in English.
SOURCE: Australian Council for Education Research (2017) Reading literacy results good news for Australia, but not all Australians, 5 December 2017.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia