PISA 2006: Reading Literacy - How ready are our 15-year-olds for tomorrow’s world? Publications
This report describes New Zealand's results for reading literacy in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2006, which covers 57 countries. It expands on information already released in international and national reports in December 2007. In 2006, reading literacy was a minor focus in PISA. This report also includes information on New Zealand results from 2000 and 2003.
Author(s): Nicola Marshall, Robyn Caygill & Steve May
Date Published: September 2008
- The mean reading literacy score of New Zealand’s 15-year-old students in PISA 2006 was above the OECD mean.
- Only 3 of the other participating countries had a mean reading literacy score that was significantly higher1 than New Zealand’s. Two countries were similar, and the other 50 countries were significantly lower.
- Compared to other OECD countries, a relatively large proportion of New Zealand students were highly proficient in reading literacy and a relatively small proportion had low proficiency in reading literacy.
- The two top-performing countries had larger proportions of students achieving at the highest levels of reading literacy proficiency and smaller proportions of students with low proficiency compared with New Zealand.
- There was no significant change in the mean reading literacy performance of New Zealand’s 15-year-old students in 2006 compared with 2003 or 2000.
- New Zealand girls had a higher mean reading literacy score than New Zealand boys; this difference was particularly pronounced at low proficiency levels, where twice as many boys as girls were proficient only at Level 1 or below.
- Pākehā/European and Asian students had higher mean reading literacy scores than their Pasifika and Māori counterparts.
- Both high and low performers were found in all ethnic groupings. A larger proportion of Asian and Pākehā/European students achieved at the highest proficiency levels in reading literacy, while a larger proportion of Pasifika and Māori students performed at a low level of proficiency in reading literacy.
- Girls within each ethnic grouping performed better than boys; Māori girls recorded the highest average difference over their male counterparts, and Pasifika girls the lowest.
Home language and immigrant status
- Nearly 10 percent of 15-year-old students mostly speak a language other than English at home; these students had a significantly lower average reading literacy performance than those who mostly speak English at home.
- A larger proportion of first-generation immigrant students demonstrated a low level of proficiency in reading literacy compared with those students who were born in New Zealand or who had at least one parent born in this country.
- Reading literacy performance of New Zealand 15-year-old students increased with increasing socio-economic status. A larger proportion of Māori and Pasifika students were in the lowest socio-economic status grouping compared to their proportions in the population.
- Throughout this report, the term ‘significantly’ refers to statistical significance at the 0.05 level. See the ‘Definitions and technical notes’ section at the back of this report for further details.
Where to find out more
If you have any questions about PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) please email: PISA Mailbox