Methodology of Study
Using a stratified random sampling system, 139 primary schools in Hong Kong were selected to participate in the research. At least one fourth-grade class in each school was then selected at random to take part. Two separate comprehension passages in the Chinese Language were then chosen as test material: one an information-giving passage (descriptions, instructions, data and tables), and the other a literary, narrative passage (stories, poems and fables).
The Hong Kong element of the PIRLS 2016 attainment survey was conducted from March to June 2016. Students, their parents or guardians, Chinese Language teachers and school principals of the participating schools completed questionnaires that supplied information about the school the child attended, the reading syllabus and school curriculum, students and staff. The study sought to examine how students’ attitudes towards reading, their home environment, school environment and pedagogy encountered in the classroom had influenced students’ reading proficiency.
Some 139 primary schools took part in the research. The sample of Hong Kong personnel participating in the study comprised 3 533 students, 3 499 parents, 159 Chinese Language teachers and 138 school principals. Some 52% of the students were boys and 48% were girls.
The data from the tests and questionnaires in the 2016 research were compared against information gathered for the PIRLS rounds of testing for Hong Kong in 2001, 2006 and 2011.