PIRLS 2001: Reading Literacy in New Zealand

Final Results from PIRLS and the Repeat of the 1990-1991 Reading Literacy Study (10-Year Trends Study) for Year 5 Students

Publication Details

This document is a summary of the final results from New Zealand's participation in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study and the partial replication of the 1990-1991 IEA Reading Literacy Study (10-Year Trends Study). These studies involved Year 5 students and were administered in New Zealand in November 2001.

Author(s): Comparative Education Research Unit, Ministry of Education

Date Published: April 2003

Please consider the environment before printing the contents of this report.

This report is available as a download (please refer to the 'Downloads' inset box).  For links to related publications/ information that may be of interest please refer to the 'Where to Find Out More' inset box.

Summary

In 2001, New Zealand and 34 other countries took part in the first Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS-01). New Zealand and eight of the other participating countries also took part in the 10-Year Trends Study, which partially replicated the 1990-1991 IEA1 Reading Literacy Study.

In New Zealand, these two studies assessed the reading literacy of two different groups of Year 5 students. This report presents, in an international context, an overview of findings from these two studies for New Zealand students.

Key Findings from PIRLS-01

  • The mean score for New Zealand students (529) was higher than the international mean (500). This difference was statistically significant.
  • The difference between the mean scores for girls and for boys in New Zealand was one of the largest to be observed internationally.
  • The spread of scores for New Zealand students was wider than the spread for students in most other countries.

Key Findings from 10-Year Trends Study

  • As measured by this study, students' overall performance in reading literacy was virtually the same in 2001 (502) as it was in 1990 (498).
  • The difference between girls and boys mean scores was of the same order in 2001 as it was in 1990.
  • A higher proportion of New Zealand students reported speaking a language other than English in the home in 2001 than in 1990, with this increase statistically significant.

Footnote

  1. The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement.

Contact Us

For more publication-related information, please email the: Information Officer Mailbox