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The Reading and Access Research Activity (RARA) was a 1-year USAID program led by RTI and implemented in the Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, and Katsina regions of Nigeria from 2014 to 2015.

The goal of RARA was to evaluate the effectiveness of an approach to improve the teaching and learning of Hausa reading in the early grades.

EGRA Subtasks

An EGRA measures children’s pre-reading and reading skills. The subtasks used in this assessment are described below.

Oral Reading Fluency (ORF)

The oral reading fluency (ORF) subtask measures how quickly and accurately a student can read. It is a core component of EGRA because it brings together lower-level reading skills (such as decoding and familiar word recognition) with how quickly and easily the student can read a given word (called automaticity).

Students were given a short, written passage on a topic that was familiar to them. They were asked to read it out loud “quickly but carefully” and were given 60 seconds from when they begin to read. The EGRA administrator timed the student, making note of any mistakes the student made while reading the words aloud. The score is reported as correct words per minute (cwpm).

Letter Sounds

The letter sounds subtask tests students’ ability to recognize letters and speak their corresponding sounds.

Students were presented with a sheet listing 100 upper- and lowercase letters and asked to read out loud as many as they could, as quickly and carefully as they could, in 1 minute. The EGRA administrator timed the child and recorded the number of correct letter sounds per minute (clspm).

Nonwords

The nonword subtask tests students’ skill in using letter-sound connections to figure out (“decode”) words. While many students learn to memorize a broad range of "sight" words, they need skills to decode less-familiar words.

In this subtask, students were given a list of 50 made-up words that do not exist in the language tested but follow a typical spelling/sound combination of the language. This ensures that the student is not recognizing the whole word and must “sound-out” the non-word in order to correctly read it. The student was asked to read out loud as many words as they could, as quickly and carefully as they could. The EGRA administrator timed the student and recorded the number of correct words per minute (cnwpm).

Listening Comprehension

Listening comprehension is a measure of students’ oral language skills, which also contributes to reading.

In this subtask, the EGRA administrator read a passage to the student, who did not see it. The student then responded to questions or statements read by the EGRA administrator. The listening comprehension score is the total correct answers, with a maximum possible score of five.

Reading Comprehension

Comprehension is the main goal of reading—understanding what is read. Comprehension is a complex task that requires some ability in all other reading skills.

This subtask is paired with the ORF subtask. Depending on how much of the ORF passage the student was able to read, the EGRA administrator asked the student questions about the story. The EGRA administrator recorded the number of questions answered correctly.

Year 2014
Grade(s) 2, 3, Stage1 IQTE
Language English, Hausa
Assessment EGRA
Assessment Type Regional Assessment
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Regions Included in the Study

States included in the study
Map of Nigeria

Key Findings

  • 1/4

    In Jigawa, overall levels of reading were low for students in government schools. The average oral reading fluency rates (ORF) in Hausa was about 3 correct word per minute (cwpm) for both grades, far below what is needed to become a fluent reader.

  • 2/4

    In Kaduna, overall levels of reading were low for students in government schools, grades P2 and P3. The average oral reading fluency rates (ORF) in Hausa were 0 correct word per minute (cwpm) and 2 cwpm, respectively, far below what is needed to become a fluent reader.

  • 3/4

    In Kano, overall levels of reading were low for students in government schools, grades P2 and P3. The average oral reading fluency rates (ORF) in Hausa were 3 correct word per minute (cwpm) and 6 cwpm, respectively, far below what is needed to become a fluent reader.

  • 4/4

    In Katsina, overall levels of reading were low for students in government schools, grades P2 and P3. The average oral reading fluency rates (ORF) in Hausa were 3 correct word per minute (cwpm) and 5 cwpm, respectively, far below what is needed to become a fluent reader.

Program Design

RARA worked closely with partners to develop Hausa reading materials for teachers and students, as well as to provide professional development opportunities for school supervisors, head teachers, and classroom teachers.

Evaluation Design

EGR Barometer data for RARA were collected prior to implementation (baseline) at the start of the school year, and again at the end of the school year (endline). The full evaluation focused not only on changes in learning outcomes, but also on the identification of effective strategies to scale-up the program in the regions. More information about this program may be found in the Nigeria Reading and Access Research Activity, Results of the 2014 Hausa and English Early Grade Reading Assessments (EGRAs) in Government Primary Schools and IQTE Centers of Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, and Katsina States report.