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Tse, S.K., Xiao, X., Ko, H.W., Chan, Y.L. (2013). Do reading practices make a difference? The analysis of PIRLS data for Hong Kong and Taiwan Fourth-grade students [Abstract]. In the 20th Annual Meeting of Society for the Scientific Study of Reading (SSSR 2013). Hong Kong.
Purpose. The study set out to examine the difference in reading attainment levels between Hong Kong and Taiwan fourth-grade students in the PIRLS 2006 assessment and to examine the reason that caused the difference by evaluating the relative contribution of various factors (i.e., reading attitudes, home educational resources and reading practices) to reading achievement among Hong Kong and Taiwan students. Specifically, we asked two research questions, i.e., whether students' and parents' reading attitudes, home educational resources and students' reading practices were significantly related to Hong Kong and Taiwan fourth-grade students' reading attainment and if yes, whether the relationship of the variables to reading performance differed across the two groups of students. Methods. The Hong Kong and Taiwan portions of data from the PIRLS 2006, a large-scale international assessment, which was designed to measure fourth-grade students' reading literacy and its home, school and national contexts, were used for secondary analysis in this study. Reading scores from 4712 students from Hong Kong and 4589 from Taiwan together with indexes and variables derived from the student, home and teacher questionnaires were used for multilevel analysis. Results. The results show that independent reading in school made a unique contribution to the reading performance of Hong Kong and Taiwan students after controlling for the effect of students' and parents' reading attitudes, home educational resources and other types of reading practices (i.e., outside-school informational reading and in-class reading aloud). Outside-school informational reading was found to be negatively associated with reading attainment of Hong Kong and Taiwan students and this association was moderated by homework reading, while a negative association between in-class reading aloud and reading attainment was found in Taiwan students. Conclusions. It was concluded that independent reading was responsible for Hong Kong students' better reading attainment and reading aloud responsible for Taiwan students' poorer reading attainment.
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