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This 2013 National Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) was conducted in grade 3 and in English and Filipino. The Philippines Department of Education implemented the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education Program (MTB-MLE) in the 2012–2013 school year. Mother tongue is the native language or first language a child learns to speak.

This National EGRA 2013 data collection serves as a baseline for reading performance in English and Filipino in third grade. A National EGRA was conducted again in 2019 to compare reading performance in English and Filipino in grade 3 against this baseline in order to measure the impact of the national MTB-MLE program.

EGRA Subtasks

An EGRA is a test students take that can measure their skill at both pre-reading and reading subtasks. 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).

Initial Sound

The initial sound subtask is a measure of a student’s ability to identify the first sound in a word. It also measures a student’s ability to separate words into sounds and to manipulate those sounds.

Students were told a word verbally and asked to isolate and pronounce the first sound of the word (the initial sound). The EGRA administrator recorded the number of correct letter sounds identified.

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 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 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).

Familiar Words

The familiar word reading subtask is similar in format to the nonword reading subtask except that it presents the student with a grid containing words they are expected to be able to read at their grade level and have likely encountered before.

The students were instructed to read aloud as many words as they could in 1 minute. 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).

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 X.

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 up to five questions about the story. The EGRA administrator recorded the number of questions answered correctly.

Dictation

Dictation is used to assess both oral language and writing skills. Students’ ability to hear sounds and then correctly write the corresponding letters and words demonstrates their growing skill in understanding the alphabet.

The child was asked to write, spell, and use grammar properly through a dictation exercise.

Year 2013
Grade(s) 3
Language English, Filipino
Assessment EGRA
Assessment Type National Assessment
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Districts Included in the Study

Not included in the study
Governorates included in the study
Map of Philippines

Key Findings

  • 1/2

    Grade 3 students had similar average oral reading fluency (ORF) scores when assessed in English or in Filipino.

  • 2/2

    Only 1% of grade 3 students were unable to read a single word in either English or Filipino.

Evaluation Design

EGR Barometer data for the Philippines National 2013 EGRA are a snapshot of nationally representative grade 3 performance in reading English and Filipino. A follow-up EGRA was conducted in 2019 which serves as a comparison to the National EGRA 2013 to measure the impact of the national MTB-MLE program. More detailed information about the 2013 implementation of EGRA may be found in PhilEd Data: Strengthening Information for Education, Policy, Planning and Management in the Philippines report.