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Reading Outside of School

Reading Outside of School for Enjoyment

To investigate the reading habits of fourth-graders outside of school, PIRLS asked students a series of questions about whether they read for fun outside of school and how often they did so. Students could indicate that they read for fun "every day or almost every day," "once or twice a week," "once or twice a month," or "never or almost never."

  • Thirty-five percent of U.S. fourth-graders report reading for fun every day or almost every day. This percentage is smaller than the international average of 40 percent.
  • Thirty-two percent of U.S. fourth-graders report that they never or almost never read for fun outside of school, a significantly higher percentage than the international average of 18 percent (figure 12).
  • In the United States, fourth-graders who read for fun every day or almost every day have higher average scores on the combined reading literacy scale compared to those who never or almost never read for fun, or do so once or twice a month. This pattern holds at the international level as well, based on the international averages.


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