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Tse S.K., Lam J.W.I., Loh E.K.Y., HUI S.Y. and NG H.W.(2013). A Comparison of Hong Kong Primary 4 Students Relative Progress in Chinese and English Reading Attainment, Quarterly Journal of Chinese Studies, 1(4), 1-16.

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A Comparison of Hong Kong Primary 4 Students Relative Progress in Chinese and English Reading Attainment


Quarterly Journal of Chinese Studies




Vol. 1
No. 4


Shek Kam TSE, Joseph Wai Ip LAM, Elizabeth.Ka Yee LOH, Sau Yan HUI, Hung Wai NG

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The research reported is the third in a series of studies of Hong Kong Primary 4 students' progress in Chinese and English reading capability. The first study took place in 2004, the second in 2007, and the present study in 2010. The central purpose of the studies has been to track the Chinese and English bilingual reading competence of Primary 4 students in Hong Kong, the theoretical framework and research instruments being based on those operating in the 'Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS)', a global comparative international survey of primary school students organized by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). A total of 1,410 Primary 4 students (mostly 9-year-olds) from 24 primary schools in Hong Kong were randomly selected to participate in the study. Each student completed comprehension tests that had been based upon two broad types of text: one featuring a literary type of passage and the other a transactional, information-giving passage. To cast light on performance and the way they had been taught to comprehend text, questionnaires were completed by the students, their parents, teachers and school principals. It was found that the students' average mother tongue Chinese literacy scores were well above the average international level of mother tongue reading literacy established by the IEA; 26% of the students had English reading attainment levels comparable to those achieved by native speakers of English globally; and the Hong Kong students' English reading literacy average score was on a level equivalent to 76% of the average Chinese reading literacy score reached by this sample of students.


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