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Engagement in Reading and Access to Print: The Relationship of Home and School to Overall Reading Achievement Among Fourth Grade English Speakers
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The present study puts forward two models which examine the relationship between at home at school variables of (1) engagement in shared and independent reading and (2) access to print with reading achievement. Participants were fourth grade English speakers from Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia), New Zealand, England, and USA. Data from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) questionnaires and reading achievement test were used to design the two models, and Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was used to analyze the data where students (Level-1) were nested within classrooms (Level-2). The results of the Engagement in Reading Model demonstrate that activities of shared reading at home and at school did not statistically significantly relate or related negatively with reading achievement. Parents helping their children with school readings emerged as the strongest negative predictor of reading achievement in the entire model. However, the relationship between how often participants talked with their families about what they read on their own and reading achievement was positive. Additionally, independent reading at school, reading for fun at home, and reading printed material (books and magazines) at home predicated reading achievement positively; reading for homework did not predict reading achievement; and reading for information and reading on the internet at home predicted reading achievement negatively. The results of the Access to Print Model demonstrate that while access to books and other reading material at home related positively with reading achievement, access to books and other reading material at school did not overall relate to students’ reading achievement. Additionally, access to the library, generally, did not relate to reading achievement; and when statistical significance was found it was not replicated in all or even most of the countries. Based on the results of the present study, it is recommended that fourth graders be given ample opportunities to read books of their own choosing independently at school, and to develop students’ habits and motivation to read for leisure during their free after school time. Additionally, children should be provided with ample access to reading material at home which is geared towards their interests.
engagement in reading
shared book reading
access to print
number of books
International Reading Literacy Study
hierarchical linear modeling
Allaith, Zainab A. (2013). Engagement in Reading and Access to Print: The Relationship of Home and School to Overall Reading Achievement Among Fourth Grade English Speakers. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from