Sociocultural Variation in Literacy Achievement

British Journal of Educational Studies 54 (2):189 - 211 (2006)
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to describe the variations in literacy achievement among native and non-native upper primary school children (grades three to six) in the Netherlands. Various measures of word decoding, reading literacy and writing skill were collected from 1091 native Dutch children, 753 children with a former Dutch colonial background and 580 children with a Mediterranean background. The results showed the non-native children to lag behind their native peers on all of the tasks, although the differences on the decoding and writing tasks were fairly small. The Mediterranean children scored significantly lower than the ex-colonial children on all of the reading literacy tasks but equally high on the decoding and writing tasks. For both the native and non-native children, the same underlying factor structure was found to characterise their literacy achievement. Grade and ethnic status consistently predicted the factor scores for Word Decoding, Reading Literacy and Text Writing. In addition, socio-economic status (SES) predicted Reading Literacy and the variable sex predicted Writing Skills.
Keywords the Netherlands  writing skills  sociocultural variation  literacy  decoding  psycholinguistics
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