Learning to read in a local language in Uganda: creating learner profiles to track progress and guide instruction using Early Grade Reading Assessment results

Author(s): Dubeck, Margaret M.; Stern, Jonathan M.B.; Nabacwa, Rehemah

Organisation(s): RTI International

Publisher(s): RTI Press

Date: 2021

Pages: 11 p.

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The Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) is used to evaluate studies and monitor projects that address reading skills in low- and middle-income countries. Results are often described solely in terms of a passage-reading subtask, thereby overlooking progress in related skills. Using archival data of cohort samples from Uganda at two time points in three languages (Ganda, Lango, and Runyankore-Rukiga), we explored a methodology that uses passage-reading results to create five learner profiles: Nonreader, Beginner, Instructional, Fluent, and Next-Level Ready. We compared learner profiles with results on other subtasks to identify the skills students would need to develop to progress from one profile to another. We then used regression models to determine whether students’ learner profiles were related to their results on the various subtasks. We found membership in four categories. We also found a shift in the distribution of learner profiles from Grade 1 to Grade 4, which is useful for establishing program effectiveness. The distribution of profiles within grades expanded as students progressed through the early elementary grades. We recommend that those who are discussing EGRA results describe students by profiles and by the numbers that shift from one profile to another over time. Doing so would help describe abilities and instructional needs and would show changes in a meaningful way.

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