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EGR Barometer data are from the VanEGRA, which was conducted by the Government of Vanuatu in 2010. The nationally representative sample of 40 schools included 1,282 students in grades 1, 2, and 3 assessed in English, and 1,293 students assessed in French.

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).

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). A set of 10 English/French familiar words was selected from a list of words commonly used in children books available in Vanuatu. The EGRA administrator recorded the number of correct letter sounds identified (max of 10).

Letter Names

The letter names subtask tests students’ ability to recognize letters and accurately speak their corresponding name.

The students were presented with a grid listing 100 letters in a random order. Students were 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, making note of any mistakes the child made while calling out the letter names. The score is reported as correct letters per minute (clpm).

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 provide the sounds (not the names) of as many as they could, as quickly and carefully as they could, in 1 minute. For the French assessment, a full set of graphemes in the French language were listed in random order, 10 letter sounds to a row, for a total of 100 letter sounds. 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).

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 50 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.

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 dictation sentence in English was 10 words long (“Sit on the mat and have some food and water”). The dictation sentence in French was 11 words long (“Je vais au jardin pour planter un taro et un bananier”). Students received a weighted score capturing the accuracy for vowel and consonant sounds, spelling, spacing, and direction of text, capitalization, and punctuation. In addition, the scores include the number of letters and full words written, the percentage of those that were correctly written, and the number of pictograms used by children to represent the sentence given. Scores could range from 0 to 8.

Year 2010
Grade(s) 1, 2, 3
Language English, French
Assessment EGRA
Assessment Type National Assessment
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Study Map

Map of Vanuatu

Key Findings

  • 1/3

    Boys and girls performed about the same in grade 1. Girls had higher rates than boys in grades 2 and 3.

    Bar chart showing average oral reading fluency for grades 1-3. Numerical values presented in bar chart: Grade 1 3, Grade 2 13, Grade 3 33.
  • 2/3

    Grade 2 boys were more likely than grade 2 girls to be unable to read a single word.

    Bar chart showing percent of students who could not read a single word of connected text for boys and girls in grades 2 and 3. Numerical values presented in bar chart: Grade 2 girls 42%, Grade 2 boys 32%, Grade 3 girls 13%, Grade 3 boys 7%.
  • 3/3

    Almost all grade 1 student were unable to answer a single reading comprehension question.

    Bar chart showing percent of student who received a zero score on reading comprehension for grades 1-3. Numerical values presented in bar chart: Grade 1 92%, Grade 2 42%, Grade 3 13%.

Evaluation Design

VanEGRA data were provided by the World Bank. A sample of 40 schools using English as the language of instruction and 33 schools using French for instruction was selected using a stratified random design with proportional allocation based on school type (government or government-assisted), region, and school size to ensure all school types and regions would have a probability of selection equal to their actual distribution in the country. The final sample of consisted of 1,282 students, 645 girls and 637 boys assessed in English, and 1,293 students, 646 girls and 647 boys assessed in French. Estimates provided in the Barometer for Vanuatu are calculated as if they came from a simple random sample.

More detailed information can be found in Vanuatu Early Grade Reading Assessment (VanEGRA) Baseline Survey: Anglophone Stream | Results Report.