The reading skill level of young Canadians was measured as part of the International Research Program in School Reading (PILS). We learn, for example, that young people who spend less time on homework perform better in reading… and that Quebecers have some catching up to do.
For their reading performance, 4th grade Quebecers are ranked 6th among the 7 Canadian provinces that participated in the 2011 International Research Program in School Reading.
In addition, across the country, we see that the average scores are higher in the English-speaking than in the French-speaking education system. This difference is however less marked in Quebec. That said, young Canadians generally perform well in reading when compared to the other countries studied, concludes the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada in his report. Unsurprisingly, better-off girls and students perform better.
Reading, at home first
As other studies have shown, children who read with their parents before school are better readers. “The program confirms the indisputable role of parents as the main role model of reading behavior. Internationally, as in Canada, students whose parents say they enjoy reading perform significantly better than others, ”explains one.
Interestingly, Grade 4 Canadian youth spend an average of 16 to 30 minutes doing their homework daily. Surprisingly, those who spend less time, if any, have better reading performance than those who spend more time reading. This trend is confirmed both at home and elsewhere in the world!
Computers in the classroom
In addition, the study also looked at the presence of computers in classrooms. We learn that less than half of Canadian grade 4 students have access to it for their reading lessons.
In the opinion of school principals interviewed, children have more access to computers and the Internet for educational purposes in Canada than elsewhere in the world. However, the devices are not always available for reading lessons, qualify the teachers.