Do reading practices make a difference? Evidence from PIRLS data for Hong Kong and Taiwan primary school Grade 4 students

Author(s): Xiao, Xiao-Yun; Hui, Sau-Yan; Lam, Joseph Wai-Ip; Ng, Hung-Wai; Ko, Hwa-Wei; Tse, Shek-Kam

Date: 2016

Pages: p. 369-393

This study examined the influence of classroom pedagogic reading practices and out-of-school practices in explaining why the reading attainment of Hong Kong Grade 4 students was superior to that of their counterparts in Taiwan in the 2006 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study. Analyses of scores from 9301 students (4712 from Hong Kong and 4589 from Taiwan) revealed that independent reading in school made a distinctive contribution to the reading performance of Hong Kong and Taiwan students after controlling for the effects of students’ and parents’ reading attitudes, the availability of supportive home educational resources and student engagement in a range of reading practices. Out-of-school informational reading was found to be negatively associated with students’ reading attainment for both Hong Kong and Taiwan students. There was evidence that reading aloud in class in Taiwan classrooms significantly contributed to the Taiwan students’ poor reading performance.

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