Student readers who are intrinsically motivated find reading interesting and enjoyable for its own sake. Intrinsic motivation is the “energizer of behavior,”132 and research has shown that intrinsic motivation is more closely related to reading achievement than extrinsic motivations such as praise and money.133,134 PIRLS has recognized the importance of collecting data on students’ attitudes toward reading since its inception. In 2011, PIRLS developed the Students Like Reading scale to measure students’ intrinsic motivation to read. Students are asked how much they agree with statements about liking more time to read, reading for fun, and learning a lot from reading. The scale was revised in 2016 and additional items were included to better measure the construct.
Students tend to have distinct views of their own reading ability, and their self-appraisal is often based on their past experiences and how they see themselves compared with their peers.135 Students who are confident in their ability persevere in completing a school task because they believe they can be successful.136 PIRLS has asked about students’ self-concept as readers from the beginning. Since 2011, reading self-concept has been measured using the Students Confident in Reading scale. Students are asked to indicate the extent to which they agree with statements such as “reading is easy” and “I usually do well in reading.”
According to the PIRLS 2016 Encyclopedia, PIRLS countries are working toward integrating technology into instruction across the curriculum to help students develop Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and digital literacy skills. With the introduction of ePIRLS in 2016, PIRLS began asking students about using digital devices. Students were asked how well they could use the computer, type, and find information online. Results from 2016 showed a positive association between students’ computer use and their achievement in online informational reading, which aligned with other similar research.137,138 PIRLS 2021 includes a new scale measuring students’ familiarity with using computers or tablets as well as their confidence in finding information on the internet. 139
Students who enjoy the reading content are more interested and engaged with the text than students who do not enjoy the reading content. PIRLS aims to develop a variety of texts that are interesting to a wide range of students. In PIRLS 2016, most students (over 80%) participating in PIRLS liked the PIRLS passages and ePIRLS tasks.