The Early Grade Reading Barometer offers researchers and policy makers data on the early grade reading skills of students in Asia and around the world. Success in early reading is a key to future learning, and the most commonly used assessment of reading skill success is the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA). Here you will find resources to help you make sense of EGRA and other literacy data on the Barometer.
An Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) measures children’s pre-reading and reading skills. It is typically used with children in Kindergarten through Grade 8. EGRAs test children’s skill at different subtasks they need to learn, such as letter names and letter sounds, to be able to read fluently.
What Are EGRA Subtasks?
EGRA subtasks measure a child’s progress through the stages of reading skill development. There are three key data elements to understand when looking at EGRA data: average scores, score distribution, and zero scores, which is when a child cannot answer a single question correctly.
Learning to read is a process of learning certain separate, basic, skills first, and then combining those skills for faster, smoother reading and understanding, or what we typically call “fluency and comprehension.” The first skills children need for reading are to understand the connection of individual sounds and letters to complete words. From there, children can build up to recognizing words and learning their meaning—the vocabulary skills that can make them fluent readers.
Basic reading skills fall into groups or categories. These categories of skills, the components of reading, build on one another. The main components are Recognizing Words and Understanding Language. Recognizing Words includes all the skills related to word-level reading, like learning letter names and sounding out letters and words, or what we call phonological awareness, phonics, and decoding, and learning certain familiar words on sight. The Understanding Language component of reading skills includes concepts of writing or print, including an orientation to printed material, vocabulary, and listening comprehension.
The main goal of learning to read is comprehension, or the ability to understand a written language. For fluent readers, reading may seem effortless, but reading comprehension is a complex skill that is based on a foundation of different skill sets. For example, higher-order skills like fluency and comprehension are built on lower-order skills like sounding out words and vocabulary. Select a resource article above to learn more about how these skills are tested and measured.