Don’t read too much into the Pirls literacy test results

02 Jan 2018

Posted By: SG   |   Source: The Guardian   |   URL:


According to Pirls (progress in international reading literacy study), England’s 9-10 year-olds have made a modest improvement in their scores compared to 2011. However, while schools standards minister, Nick Gibb, claims that this is due to an increased emphasis on teaching phonics in schools, this assertion is challenged by two professors.

“The Pirls test is a test of reading comprehension: students have to understand what they read. Research consistently shows that phonics ability does not influence scores on tests of comprehension.”

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