PIRLS 2021 International Results in Reading
Relative Achievement in Reading Purposes and Comprehension Processes
Relative Achievement in Comprehension Processes
Exhibits 3.3 and 3.4 present relative achievement for two reading comprehension processes: 1) retrieving and straightforward inferencing and 2) interpreting, integrating, and evaluating. More specifically:
- Retrieving and Straightforward Inferencing (often related to a small portion of the text) is based on combining the items categorized as “focus on and retrieve explicitly stated information” and “make straightforward inferences” (50% of the items)
- Interpreting, Integrating, and Evaluating (often related to larger portions or the entire text) is based on combining the items categorized as “interpret and integrate ideas and information” and “evaluate and critique content and textual elements” (50% of the items)
Exhibits 3.3 and 3.4 show relative average achievement in the more straightforward processes and in the more integrative comprehension processes compared to average reading achievement overall. The results are organized according to the extent that countries had relatively higher achievement in the interpreting/integrating/evaluating comprehension processes than their average achievement overall (top of the exhibit) and to the extent that countries had relatively higher achievement in the retrieving/inferencing processes than in their overall achievement (bottom of the exhibit). Countries in the middle of the exhibit had little difference in average achievement between the more integrative and the more straightforward comprehension processes, with average achievement in both subdomains being very similar to average reading achievement overall.
Exhibit 3.3 presents the results for the 43 countries and 5 benchmarking entities that assessed their students at the end of the fourth grade school year…
Exhibit 3.3 presents the results for the 43 countries and 5 benchmarking entities that assessed their students at the end of the fourth grade school year. However, this discussion will be based on Exhibit 3.4 with the results for all 57 countries and 8 benchmarking entities that participated in PIRLS 2021, including the 14 countries and 3 benchmarking entities that delayed assessment until the fall of the fifth grade (shown in pink).
Looking at the top of the graph in Exhibit 3.4, the data show 15 countries with a relative strength in the interpreting/integrating/evaluating comprehension processes (3 to 8 scale score points) compared to their reading achievement overall. A few more countries (18) had a relative weakness in the retrieving/inferencing comprehension processes. These relative differences provide an interesting source for country-level analyses conducted by experts of their respective education systems. Such analyses could focus on curricular differences that may provide information about how these strengths and weaknesses can be explained.
The lower portion of the exhibit shows that 10 countries had a relative strength in the retrieving/straightforward inferencing processes compared to their overall achievement, with 16 having a relative weakness (at least 2 scale score points) in the interpreting/integrating/evaluating comprehension processes.