What we have achieved

Confident and effective teachers

Growing community support for local language instruction

Quality instructional materials in the local language

Significant improvement in pupil performance

Early Grade Reading Assessment

Recent evidence shows that learning to read both early (in Primary 1 and 2) and at a sufficient rate (about 60 words per minute by the end of P2) with comprehension is critical for academic success. Children who do not learn to read in the first few grades fall further and further behind academically; many eventually drop out of school. In 2006, Research Triangle Institute (RTI) developed the internationally accepted Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) model with funding from USAID. EGRA was created by literacy experts as a simple and low-cost way of measuring the development of children’s basic reading skills in early primary grades. The test, administered by trained assessors in one-on-one sessions with individual children, takes about fifteen minutes for each child. In November 2010 Mango Tree used the EGRA model to acquire baseline data on P1 pupils in the pilot and control schools participating in the project. In November 2011 we tested P1 pupils in our project pilot schools to see if their reading skills had improved following a year of instruction using our model and materials. Below is a summary of pupil scores in the 2010 baseline and 2011 assessment.

EGRA Test P1 Project Benchmark* 2010 Baseline Assessment Average Scores 2011 Pilot School Average Scores 2011 Control School Average Scores
Letter Name Knowledge 50 Letters Read Correctly per Minute 8.7 Letters Read Correctly per Minute 19.6 Letters Read Correctly per Minute 6 Letters Read Correctly per Minute
Initial Sound Identification 8 Sounds Identified Correctly 1.72 Sounds Identified Correctly 2.2 Sounds Identified Correctly 0.19 Sounds Identified Correctly
Familiar Word Reading 20 Words Read Correctly per Minute 0.60 Words Read Correctly per Minute 3.63 Words Read Correctly per Minute 0.61 Words Read Correctly per Minute
Invented Word Reading 10 Words Read Correctly per Minute 0.57 Words Read Correctly per Minute 2.99 Words Read Correctly per Minute 0.69 Words Read Correctly per Minute
Oral Reading Fluency 30 Words Read Correctly per Minute 0.77 Words Read Correctly per Minute 7 Words Read Correctly per Minute 1 Word Read Correctly per Minute
Reading Comprehension 3 Questions Answered Correctly 0.16 Comprehension Questions Answered Correctly 1.19 Comprehension Questions Answered Correctly 0.72 Comprehension Questions Answered Correctly

Test results showed that:

  • There was significant improvement from the 2010 baseline assessment in the letter name knowledge, familiar word reading, invented word reading and oral reading fluency tests.
  • There was moderate improvement from the 2010 baseline assessment in the initial sound identification and reading comprehension tests.
  • Pupils demonstrated the greatest improvement in the letter name knowledge test – a testament to the focus on letter name knowledge in our instructional model.
  • Pupils in the pilot schools outperformed their peers in the control schools in every test. It is accurate to say that our model has contributed to improved reading performance in Lëblaŋo among our pilot school pupils.
  • Substantially more pilot school pupils met benchmark targets than their peers in control schools, indicating that our targeted literacy instruction in Lëblaŋo is producing results.
  • Further analysis of benchmark targets must be done throughout the 2012 school year to determine if identified figures are reflective of true pupil ability, or if they are set too high.
  • To access the complete assessment reports on our literacy project go to About us and click on Reports, Links and Downloads.

* Project Benchmarks indicate minimum attainment targets Mango Tree has identified for pupils in our pilot schools. These benchmarks are subject to change as our pilot project continues and we learn more about P1 pupil performance. They do not represent national or international standards of performance, although we do hope that one day national benchmarks will be established for all these tests in each language community in Uganda.

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