Reading Motivation and Achievement Among Chilean Boys and Girls in Grades 3, 4, and 5: An Exploration of Results and Pedagogical Implications

  • Pelusa Orellana GarcíaEmail author
  • Paula Baldwin Lind
Part of the Literacy Studies book series (LITS, volume 15)


Although Chilean adolescent students have significantly improved the quality of reading ability in the last decade, reading scores at the elementary levels seem to stagnate, and gender and socioeconomic gaps in reading achievement have not been narrowed despite the efforts to provide students with book access and research-based reading instruction. Similarly, studies have shown that Chileans, across age, gender, and socioeconomic groups, are not inclined to choose reading as a leisure activity (Fundación La Fuente/Adimark GFK. Chile y los libros. Santiago: Fundación La Fuente (2010)). The current chapter analyzes motivation and reading achievement performance of 1290 Chilean students in grades 3, 4, and 5. We explore their reading ability using a silent reading comprehension assessment tool that takes into consideration reading ability to provide Lexile measures for individual students. We used (Gambrell LB, Palmer B M, Codling RM, & Mazzoni SA. The Read Teach, 49(7), 518–533 (1996)) Motivation to Read profile to assess reading motivation and determine group differences in readers’ self-concept and value of reading across gender, socioeconomic status, and grade levels. We assessed students at two time periods, e.g., beginning and end of the school year. Results show that across the school year all students, regardless of grade level, socioeconomic status, and gender, improve in reading achievement, and that there is a conservative positive correlation between motivation and achievement. Reading motivation, however, decreases in the case of boys (both for the construct of self-concept as well as for value of reading), whereas for girls it only decreases for value of reading, and slightly increases for self-concept, particularly in fifth grade. Results also show that readers’ self-concept at the beginning of the school year accounts for 26% of the variance in reading achievement in third grade, 35% of the variance in fourth grade, and nearly 39% of the variance in fifth grade. The pedagogical implications of these differences in the trajectories of reading growth and reading motivation are discussed.


Reading Motivation Reading achievement Self-concept Value of reading 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversidad de los AndesLas CondesChile
  2. 2.Institute of Literature, Universidad de los AndesLas CondesChile

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