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EGR Barometer data are from the USAID-funded Yemen 2011 EdData II Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA). The study was conducted in the three governorates of Amran, Lahj, and Sana’a. Forty schools were randomly selected, and the EGRA was administered to a total of 735 students in grades 2 and 3.

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). 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 Arabic 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 random 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 Arabic 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, with a maximum possible score of six.

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 six 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 examiner read three words to the children, and children attempted to write the words’ spelling. The score is the number of words spelled correctly.

Year 2011
Grade(s) 2, 3
Language Arabic
Assessment EGRA
Assessment Type Regional Assessment
View Country Page

Districts Included in the Study

Not part of the study
Part of the study
Map of Yemen

Key Findings

  • 1/3

    Reading fluency rates were low for all students.

    Grade 2 students had an average oral reading fluency (ORF) rate of 6 correct words per minute (cwpm), while grade 3 students read an average of 12 words per minute.
  • 2/3

    Forty-two percent of grade 2 and 27% of grade 3 students were unable to read a single word.

  • 3/3

    Reading comprehension was low in both grades.

    More than 80% of grade 2 students and 65% of grade 3 students were unable to answer a single reading comprehension question.

Program Details

More detailed information can be found in Student Performance on the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) in Yemen report.