Measuring L2 English reading skills using multi-level modeling for students in Grades 3 and 5 in Bangalore, India

Measuring L2 English reading skills using multi-level modeling for students in Grades 3 and 5 in Bangalore, India

First Author: Sunaina Shenoy -- University of New Mexico
Additional authors/chairs: 
Richard Wagner; Nisha Menzies Rao
Keywords: Reading acquisition, Progress Monitoring, Early Literacy, second language learning, Reading Assessment
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose: We report on a longitudinal study that was targeted at measuring reading development across the school year by using progress-monitoring tools. The primary aim was to describe the means and changes over time in reading subtests for individual students across Grades 3 and 5 in Bangalore, India.

Method: Participants included 328 students from Grade 3 and 329 students from Grade 5, representing low-cost, middle-cost and high-cost private schools. The students' reading skills in the areas of fluency and comprehension were measured using the DIBELS, easyCBM and TOSREC. A three-level growth curve model was utilized to describe the means and changes in reading subtests across Grades 3 and 5.

Results: Preliminary results suggest that on average there was a 33% growth in reading acquisition from the beginning to the end of the school year in Grade 3, and a 14% growth in reading acquisition in Grade 5. Significant changes were noted in subtests of oral reading fluency (ORF), DAZE comprehension and multiple choice reading comprehension (MCRC) for students in both grade levels. Significant differences were also noted when predictor variables such as SES, type of school and curriculum were introduced to the model. Students from low SES, low-cost schools, that followed an alphabet-spelling reading instruction program, performed significantly lower on all reading subtests compared to their peers from high SES, high-cost schools that followed a phonics-based reading instruction program.

Conclusions: Implications of these results for reading assessment and intervention in the Indian context will be discussed.