PIRLS 2011 offered a state-of-the-art assessment of reading comprehension that allowed the countries that participated in the earlier PIRLS cycles to measure changes in achievement since 2001. The study also examined countries’ national policies and practices related to literacy. A set of questionnaires for students, parents/caregivers, teachers, and school principals collected data on the experiences that young children have at home and school when learning to read. PIRLS 2011 was the third assessment after PIRLS 2001 and PIRLS 2006.
In 2011, countries had the option of participating in the first offering of prePIRLS, a less difficult version of PIRLS. This study assessed basic reading skills as a bridge to PIRLS, in order to meet the needs of countries in which most children in the fourth grade are still developing fundamental reading skills. In countries where students were more likely to have developed the reading comprehension competencies necessary for success on PIRLS by the fifth or sixth grade, the IEA encouraged participation in PIRLS at those grades.
The TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center, Lynch School of Education, Boston College, United States, served as the international study center for both PIRLS 2011 and prePIRLS, working in close cooperation with the IEA, and the national centers of participating countries.
For more information, including in-depth reports and analyses, please visit the PIRLS 2011 website.
TIMSS was also conducted during 2011. To learn more about this study, please visit the TIMSS 2011 page.
The target population for PIRLS 2011 consisted of students in the grade that represents four years of schooling.
Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium (French), Botswana (prePIRLS), Bulgaria, Canada (with Alberta, Ontario and Quebec as benchmarking systems), Chinese Taipei, Colombia (prePIRLS), Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Honduras, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kuwait, Lithuania, Malta, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa (prePIRLS) Spain (with Andalusia as benchmarking system), Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates (with Abu Dhabi and Dubai as benchmarking systems), and United States (with Florida as benchmarking system).