A PIRLS approach to literary understanding in secondary education
1 Tilburg University, Babylon and Department of Culture Studies, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands
2 Tilburg University, Department of Communication and Information Sciences, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands
This study explores the reading behaviour of secondary school students at about 16 years of age. Their actual performance was assessed with a specially compiled comprehension test covering four levels of text understanding. The test consisted of a set multiple choice items about a one-page passage from a literary novel. This procedure was derived from the PIRLS testing methodology for students of about 12 years old. We managed to successfully apply it to the older age group. The scores displayed the assumed decline in comprehension with increasing item difficulty. The performances showed diverging relations with personal characteristics. There were no differences in regard to ethnicity or gender. There were large differences in the scores between the educational levels investigated, students from vocational education showing considerably lower cores than grammar school students.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2015
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