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The impact of Home Language and Home Resources on Reading Achievement in ten-year-olds in Norway, PIRLS 2016

Av Olaug Strand og Knut Schwippert: The aim of the current study was to examine the associations between a child’s home language, home resources for learning to read and reading achievement. Whereas the role of a child’s first language in second language learning and literacy skills has shown contradictory results, there is an established body of empirical evidence documenting the relationship between home resources and academic achievement.

The study was conducted to extend existing knowledge on the relative contribution of home language and home resources on reading achievement. Using data from the Norwegian participation in Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2016, fifth grade, mean age 10.8 years (n = 4232), regression analysis reveals, overall, that home resources is more strongly related to reading achievement than a child’s home language. In the search for extended knowledge about the complex mechanisms behind achievement differences, we argue that several factors in addition to home language need to be considered, so that any initiative that is identified as effective to compensate for diversity will be beneficial for all students who need additional support in their reading development.