PIRLS 2021 International Results in Reading
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Parents Like Reading
Young students who see adults and older children reading or using texts in a variety of different ways can learn to model these behaviors. In PIRLS 2021, students whose parents reported liking to read had higher average reading achievement than students whose parents were more ambivalent about reading.
The Parents Like Reading scale is based on parents’ degree of agreement with a series of eight statements about reading enjoyment (such as “I like to spend my spare time reading.” and “I would like to have more time for reading.”), as well as their reports of how often they read for enjoyment (for further information see “About the Scale”). Based on their parents’ responses, students were placed in three regions of the scale: “very much like,” “somewhat like,” or “do not like.”
Exhibit 5.3 presents the percentages and average reading achievement of students whose parents reported that they “very much like,” “somewhat like,” or “do not like” reading. Countries are ordered according to the percentage of students whose parents “very much like” reading, from highest to lowest.
The results indicate a positive association between parents’ liking to read and their children having higher reading achievement at the fourth grade. Across the PIRLS 2021 countries, on average, 31 percent of students whose parents “very much like” reading had higher average achievement than the 52 percent of the students whose parents only “somewhat like” reading (526 vs. 498, respectively). In turn, 17 percent of students whose parents “do not like” reading had the lowest average reading achievement (479).