South African Children s Reading Literacy Achievement

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2 South African Children s Reading Literacy Achievement PIRLS and prepirls 2011 Summary of the key results Prof. Sarah Howie and Dr Surette van Staden National Research Coordinators Centre for Evaluation and Assessment, University of Pretoria Joint Media Briefing 11 December 2012

3 Overview Background to PIRLS 2011 Achievement results Benchmark results Some significant factors Conclusions

4 BACKGROUND TO PIRLS 2011

5 What is PIRLS? An international comparative study in reading literacy Measures trends across years Monitors policy implementation over time Provides a global context for achievement

6 What is PIRLS? Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (2001 to 2011) Assess reading literacy at Grade 4 level at three points in time: 2001, 2006 and 2011 Move from learning to read to reading to learn

7 Why the introduction of prepirls in 2011? PIRLS 2006 revealed that children at Grade 4 level, in many countries, are still developing fundamental reading skills.

8 Why the introduction of prepirls in 2011? PIRLS 2006 Grade 5 Results by Test Language

9 The IEA has: Why the introduction of prepirls in 2011? introduced prepirls to bridge PIRLS at Grade 4: A less difficult assessment, intended to measure the reading comprehension skills of students who are still in the process of learning how to read extended PIRLS at Grades 5 & 6: Participation is encouraged as it could provide valuable information about learners strengths and weaknesses in reading

10 A comparison of the PIRLS and prepirls tests AIM use of a wide range of text types within each purpose for reading, with an equal proportion of material assessing each reading purpose GOAL to create an authentic reading experience PIRLS prepirls 800 words per text 400 words per text shorter, easier vocabulary and simpler syntax

11 Afrikaans English isindebele isixhosa prepirls 2011 Grade 4 isizulu Sepedi Sesotho PIRLS 2011 Grade 5 Afrikaans English Setswana siswati Tshivenda Xitsonga

12 PIRLS 2011 Participating Countries Main study participants PIRLS benchmarking participants Australia Italy Alberta, Canada Austria Kuwait Ontario, Canada Azerbaijan Lithuania Quebec, Canada Belgium (French) Malta Maltese-Malta Botswana Morocco English/Afrikaans South Africa Bulgaria Netherlands Andalusia, Spain Canada New Zealand Abu Dhabi, UAE Chinese Taipei Northern Ireland Dubai, UAE Colombia Norway Florida, USA Croatia Oman Czech Republic Poland prepirls participants Denmark Portugal Botswana England Qatar Colombia Finland Romania South Africa France Russian Federation Georgia Saudi Arabia Note: Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Libya and Qatar were countries that withdrew from prepirls 2011 Germany Singapore Honduras Slovak Republic Grade 6 participants Hong Kong SAR Slovenia Hungary Indonesia Iran, Islamic Rep of Ireland Israel Spain Sweden Trinidad and Tobago United Arab Emirates United States

13 PIRLS South Africa 2006 PIRLS South Africa 2011 prepirls PIRLS Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 4 Grade 5 11 Languages 11 Languages 11 Languages Afrikaans English

14 PIRLS and prepirls 2011 Samples Implementation in 2011 Reading Literacy Assessment Background Questionnaires Study Grade Attained sample No of learners prepirls PIRLS Total

15 ACHIEVEMENT RESULTS

16 GRADE 4 PREPIRLS 2011 RESULTS

17 Average scale score prepirls 2011 Overall Results Colombia International Centre point Botswana South Africa

18 Average scale score prepirls 2011 Performance by Gender Intenational Centre point South Africa Gr 4 Boys Gr 4 Girls

19 International Centre point prepirls 2011 Performance by Test Language International Centre point

20 prepirls 2011: % of Learners Writing Test in their Home Language by Test Language Percentage of Grade 4 Learners Afrikaans English isindebele isixhosa isizulu Sepedi Sesotho Setswana siswati Tshivenda Xitsonga Gr 4 Same Gr 4 Different

21 prepirls 2011: Performance for Learners Writing in the Same or Different Language to their Home Language Same Different

22 GRADE 5 PIRLS 2011 RESULTS

23 PIRLS 2011 Overall Results

24 PIRLS 2011 Performance compared to Reference Countries

25 Percentage of learners PIRLS 2011 Performance by Test Language Test Language and Home Language Performance by Test Language 70% 60% 58% % 43% % % % % 0 0% Same as Language of the Test Different from Language of the Test

26 PIRLS 2011 Performance compared to PIRLS South Africa Afrikaans English

27 BENCHMARK RESULTS

28 GRADE 4 PREPIRLS 2011 OVERALL BENCHMARK PERFORMANCE

29 Percentage of learners prepirls 2011 Overall Benchmark Performance % Achieving Benchmarks 6 Of 71% Not Attained Low Low High Intermediate Advanced

30 prepirls 2011 Benchmark Performance by Gender Boy Girl Not reached Intermediate International Benchmark Advanced International Benchmark Low International Benchmark High International Benchmark

31 prepirls 2011 Benchmark Performance by Test Language Xitsonga Tshivenda siswati Setswana Sesotho Sepedi isizulu isixhosa isindebele English Afrikaans South Africa Did not reach Low International benchmark Intemediate International Benchmark High International Benchmark Advanced International benchmark

32 GRADE 5 PIRLS 2011 OVERALL BENCHMARK PERFORMANCE

33 PIRLS 2011 Benchmark Performance English Afrikaans South Africa International median Did not reach Low International Benchmark Intemediate International Benchmark High International Benchmark Advanced International Benchmark

34 PIRLS 2011 Benchmark comparisons with Selected International Participants Northern Ireland 97% 87% 58% 19% Russian Federation 99% 92% 63% 19% Singapore 97% 87% 62% 24% Finland 99% 92% 63% 18% International Median 95% 80% 44% 8% Netherlands 100% 90% 48% 7% Colombia 72% 38% 10% 1% Indonesia 66% 28% 4% SA Gr 5 Afr and Eng 57% 34% 14% 4% Low International Benchmark High International Benchmark Intermediate International Benchmark Advanced International Benchmark

35 PIRLS 2011 Performance by Gender Boys 48% 52% 31% 13% 3% Girls 38% 62% 38% 14% 5% Not attained Low International Benchmark Intermediate International Benchmark High International Benchmark Advanced International Benchmark

36 Urban Suburban Township Medium city or town small town or village Remote rural PIRLS Grade 5 Benchmarks by Location Low 26 Not reached 74 Low 55 Not reached 45 Low 64 Not reached 36 Low 28 Not reached 72 Low 84 Not reached 16 Low 81 Not reached

37 Trends in Benchmarks reached: PIRLS 2006 to PIRLS Did not reach Low International benchmark Intemediate International Benchmark High International Benchmark Advanced International benchmark

38 SOME SIGNIFICANT FACTORS

39 Location of the School and Grade 4 Achievement Grade 4 Score pts Urban Suburban Township Medium size city Small town Remote rural

40 Teacher Qualifications and Grade 4 Achievement 600 prepirls 2011 Teacher Qualifications No Teacher Qualification Certificate in Education/Pre-Service Diploma 4-Year Diploma in Education Bachelors Degree Postgraduate Diploma Postgraduate In-Service Diploma or Certificate Series1

41 Grade 4 Class Size by Test Language Grade 4 Class Size by Test Language National Average 40 Afrikaans 34 English 36 isindebele 47 isixhosa 45 isizulu 41 Sepedi 43 Sesotho 45 Setswana 43 siswati 53 Tshivenda 44 Xitsonga Grade 5 Class Size PIRLS Class Sizes 35 South Africa Afrikaans English

42 School Libraries and Achievement Libraries at Schools Grade 4 Achievement pts School library with more than books School library with books School library with 500 books or less No school library 0 School Library School Library School Library 500 Books or less No school Library

43 Resources at Home and Achievement pts Afrikaans English isindebele siswati Tshivenda Xitsonga South Africa Many resources Some resources Few resources

44 School Safety and Achievement Safe and Orderly Schools Grade 4 Achievement International average South Africa Xitsonga Tshivenda siswati Setswana 12 Sesotho Sepedi 26 isizulu isixhosa 14 isindebele English Afrikaans South Africa International average Safe and orderly Somewhat safe and orderly Not safe and orderly Safe and orderly Somewhat safe and orderly Not safe and orderly

45 Bullying and Achievement Frequency of Bullying Grade 4 Achievement 600 International average South Africa Almost never Sometimes Often 0 Almost never Sometimes Often South Africa International average

46 CONCLUSIONS

47 Conclusions for Grade 4 Achievement Overall performance is low and comparable to Botswana 1/3 learners at risk educationally and cannot read at fundamental level needed, even in their home language Significant language differences (100 pts) Learners tested in English are the strongest readers Languages most at risk - Sepedi and Tshivenda African learners at English LOLT schools 50pts more Girls read significantly better than boys 1/3 of boys at risk

48 Conclusions for Grade 5 Achievement Overall Grade 5 performance in Afrikaans and English is still low internationally Performance is comparable to some emerging economies (e.g. Indonesia) Girls achieve higher scores than boys 50% of boys at risk educationally 74% of remote rural learners at risk No overall difference since 2006, however, more learners reaching international benchmarks Concern that top achievers have dropped Biggest improvement amongst Afrikaans group

49 Factors Making a Difference Top readers demonstrate ability to interpret, integrate and evaluate information not just retrieve Supportive home environment develops early literacy Successful schools are adequately to well resourced, emphasise academic success and are safe and orderly Well educated and satisfied teachers make a difference Learners who are positive towards reading do better in terms of motivation, self-concept and enjoyment of reading

50 Emerging Negative Factors Location of school LoLT vs Home Language Overcrowding and class size Dilapidated infrastructure and shortage of resources Age, experience and qualification of teachers Too much teaching time lost Bullying and school climate

51 Thank you for your attention.

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