PIRLS 2016 is the fourth cycle of the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) developed by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA)
PIRLS is a worldwide research project that takes place every five years and looks at trends in children's reading literacy achievement over time. It assesses the knowledge and skills of pupils aged 9 to 10 around the world and it enables researchers to collect extensive background information about pupils’ home and learning environments and the quantity, quality and content of their teaching.
As it provides comparisons with many other countries, it is an important indication of the success of the Department of Education’s progress in raising standards of reading. The information gathered can be used to provide educational policymakers, school leaders, teachers and researchers with powerful insights into how educational systems are functioning. It also gives us information about the strategies used to teach reading and possible ways to improve teaching and learning of reading literacy for pupils around the world. (See Stages of PIRLS 2016.)
The PIRLS assessments are designed to reflect the skills children need when reading for different purposes and to explore the different processes they use as they try to understand what they read.
PIRLS focuses on two main purposes for reading:
It also examines four main comprehension processes of reading. These are the abilities to:
The national report for Northern Ireland provides the findings from the PIRLS 2016 survey, including:
More information is available in the PIRLS Assessment framework.
NFER Quality Assurance
For the assessments to be comparable across different countries, it is really important that strict international standards are met. These relate to how participating schools are selected, how the tests and questionnaires are translated and how they are administered in schools. All modern international surveys are conducted to high standards of quality control and quality assurance and procedures are closely scrutinised by international referees.