Reading Difficulties in Primary Schools

Topics: Reading, Educational psychology, Regression analysis Pages: 16 (4055 words) Published: March 19, 2013
Volume 6, 2008


andrejs Geske, antra ozola
University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia
The objective of this paper is to find out the reasons behind the low level of reading literacy among primary school students. The data from IEA (International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement) Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2001 are analyzed. And the main conclusions are drawn that the socioeconomic situation of the family has a great impact on students reading literacy as well as parents’ education and reading aloud to a child at the preschool age. Students high achieving in reading literacy usually like reading for their own enjoyment and come from families where parents spend a lot of time on reading.

Keywords: reading literacy, factors, PIRLS, achievement level, primary school.

As reading literacy is a skill, which is the ground of almost all processes of learning and is necessary for students not only to acquire languages and study literature, but also to learn other subjects, the authors of the paper focused on the problem related to low achievements of students’ reading literacy. If student’s reading literacy level is low, in most cases it automatically implies difficulties in the acquisition of several other subjects, consequently obtaining education in general. Since the 4th grade is approximately the time when a student turns from learning to read to reading to learn, the authors of the paper set the aim to ascertain the reasons for low reading literacy among primary school students in Latvia. The purpose of this study is to find out the reasons behind the low level of reading literacy among primary school students. The research object is reading at primary school. The data of Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PILRS) of International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) about the 4th grade students are analyzed in this paper. Other researches in the world dealing with low reading issues in various countries are considered too. Problems of the research

Researches have shown that there are many different and usually very complex causes for the difference in the achievement level. For example, often those are factors beyond school influence, such as the income level and education, which correlates with the academic achievements of students, but there are quite many factors that influence students’ learning achievements at school (Goodwin, 2000). The results of the research have also proved that there is a close coherence between the meaning of education to parents and students’ learning achievements, i.e., if education is regarded as a value in the family, there is a big possibility that children will have high learning achievements (Balster-Liontos, 1992).

Volume 6, 2008


Socio-economical conditions are significant for early achievements in reading; it is important whether parents read aloud for their children at home (more frequently than 3 times a week), are salubrious and have a positive approach (attitude) to learning. At early school age reading comes easier for girls (Denton, 2002). The more knowledgeable child starts schooling, the better learning achievements are anticipated during the primary school years.

Methodology of Research
The data base of Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PILRS) from 2001 available on PIRLS homepage is analyzed in the paper. The main results of this international reading literacy research in the world and Latvia are described in the first publications of TIMSS & PIRLS International Studies Centre and Education Research Institute of the University of Latvia (Mullis at al, 2003; Johansone, 2003). The process of obtaining...
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