PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literature Study)

PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literature Study) is a monitoring study of the reading literacy of fourth grade students. It aims to measure trends in student achievement in reading and to identify differences in national education systems in order to improve the process of teaching and learning of reading. The study is conducted by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement ( https://www.iea.nl/) every five years since 2001.
PIRLS is focused on fourth grade students due to it is a crucial transition stage from learning to read to reading to learn. In other words, at this age, the child forms the foundation of critical thinking, the ability to process information necessary for the cognition process and learning throughout life.
PIRLS is presented in paper (paperPIRLS) and digital (digitalPIRLS) formats. DigitalPIRLS assessment includes a variety of reading texts presented in an engaging and visually attractive format, as well as the ePIRLS assessment that evaluates students’ ability to read, interpret and evaluate online information in the Internet.
PIRLS assesses the main purposes for reading: to acquire literary experience, to use information, and to obtain and use information on the Internet. Each of the developed tasks evaluates the formation of one of the four comprehension processes:
• retrieving explicitly stated information;
• making straightforward inferences;
• interpreting and integrating information;
• evaluating and critiquing content and textual elements.
In addition to reading assessment, the PIRLS school, teacher, student and home questionnaires gather extensive contextual information about the students’ reading experiences at home and school. These survey data provide rich information about the socio-economic status, emotional well-being of students, factors affecting the reading achievement and development of a student, as well as information on how the education system is organized to facilitate learning. The IEA also provides an encyclopedia that includes data about the best educational programs and experiences of counties for learning to read.

In Kazakhstan, the PIRLS study was conducted for the first time in 2016. The participants were 4 925 fourth grade students from 172 schools in 16 regions of the country, as well as 234 primary school teachers, 4 925 parents and 172 school principals. In total, 50 countries and 11 benchmarking regions participated in PIRLS-2016.
In 2021, Kazakhstan participates in the new cycle of PIRLS, during which the transition from the traditional paper-based assessment to the computer-based assessment took place. More than 10 000 students from 389 schools and their parents, 525 teachers and 389 principals represent our country. 122 schools administer the paper-based version of PIRLS to ensure comparability with the previous cycle (Bridge Booklets). The results of the PIRLS–2021 cycle will be presented in December 2022.
Year 2021 2022 2023
Events Main study International report National report

Participation in PIRLS will allow Kazakhstan to obtain an independent assessment data of the reading literacy level of fourth grade students in the in-country and international context and an extensive database for conducting research and developing strategies to improve the quality of education. This study will also ensure the principle of openness and integration of Kazakhstani education into the international community of leading educational systems.

PIRLS 2016 National Report

PIRLS 2016 National Report

Collection PIRLS 2017

Collection PIRLS 2017

Department of International Comparative Studies
Nazum  Smanova

Nazum Smanova