Early Literacy Activities – Home Environment Support – PIRLS 2021

PIRLS 2021 International Results in Reading

Home Environment Support

Home Early Literacy Activities Before Primary School

The Home Early Literacy Activities Before Primary School scale is based on parents’ reports of how often they engaged their child in nine early literacy activities before primary school (see “About the Scale”). Based on the scale response categories and IRT scores, students in the “often” category had parents that frequently engaged them in such activities as reading books, telling stories, talking with them, playing word games, or writing. In comparison, students whose parents reported doing these activities never or only sometimes were placed in the “never or almost never” category. All of the other students “sometimes” were engaged in early literacy activities.

Exhibit 5.2 presents the percentages of students in each participating country whose parents reported they engaged their children in these activities “often,” “sometimes,” or “never or almost never” together with the students’ average reading achievement for each of the three categories. Countries are ordered by the percentage of students whose parents engaged them in these activities “often.”

Internationally on average, 42 percent of students had parents that engaged them in these early literacy activities “often” and another 55 percent were engaged in the activities “sometimes.” Only a very small percentage of students (3% on average) were “never or almost never” engaged in these activities. Engaging more frequently in literacy activities with young children appears to have a considerable impact on their reading achievement at the fourth grade. Average reading achievement was highest (518) for students whose parents “often” engaged them in these activities and noticeably lower (495) for students whose parents only “sometimes” engaged them in these activities. The average achievement was much lower (418) for the small percentage of students whose parents “never or almost never” engaged them in early literacy activities.