Literacy Acquisition in Indian Students: A Descriptive Study of Reading Achievement in One English Medium School

David D. Paige, Victoria Spagnoli, Holly Wood


This study investigates the literacy skills of 193 students across grades three, five, seven, and nine in one private English medium school in Kerala, India. Students were assessed on their ability to read phonologically regular and irregular words, fluency with grade-level text, vocabulary knowledge, and comprehension skill. Results showed that students across all grade levels possessed the ability to apply phonological decoding skills that were equivalent to the 80th percentile for native English speakers while sightword recognition skills were commensurate with the 58th percentile. Oral reading fluency skills were assessed using grade-level narrative passages and average attainment ranged between the 50th and 70th percentiles. Vocabulary knowledge was found to decline consistently from 3rd through 9th grade, with percentiles dropping from the 25th to 8th percentile respectively. Text comprehension was similarly low with attainment averaging at the 16th percentile for all four grades. Implications for instruction are discussed.

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World Journal of Education
ISSN 1925-0746(Print)  ISSN 1925-0754(Online)

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