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Erzsébet Cs. Czachesz and Tibor Vidákovich: Efects of Family and Cultural Factors On Reading Acquisition

The development of reading skills is very important in terms of students' school progress, since a relatively high level of reading skills is generally a precondition for effective learning. Empirical results published in the educational sociology literature indicate that the education of the parents and several features of the family background significantly influence both students' school achievements and their progress in reading acquisition. The investigation reported in this paper was part of a larger empirical study conducted in 53 Hungarian primary schools with the participation of 2,467 second-grade pupils and 116 teachers. The survey included achievement tests in reading skills and reading comprehension, as well as questionnaires for parents, teachers and school principals. Based on the results of this survey, this paper analyses correspondences between the reading development and the family background of second graders. Our results show a relatively high performance in reading, especially in the basic skills of reading. The results of the comprehension tasks were also fairly good. The parents' perception of reading problems and reading acquisition proved to be accurate, as they gave good estimations of their children's progress and abilities. In terms of parents' perception of factors influencing children's school performance, family background was selected as most important, followed by good teachers. Concerning the correlations between the parents' education and the development of the child's reading achievements, our results are similar to those of educational sociology researchers. The best readers are the children of university or college graduate parents and the weakest are the children of skilled and unskilled workers. Other factors, such as the cultural practices of the family, the number of books at home, etc., as well as the parents' educational values also influence the effectiveness of reading acquisition. In spite of the correlations, however, the regression analysis showed relatively low determination coefficients, and thus we found that the socio-cultural (family) background variables included in our study have only a weak influence on determining students' reading performance.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 96. Number 1. 35-57. (1996)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Erzsébet Cs. Czachesz and Ti¬bor Vidákovich, Department of Education, Attila József University, Petőfi S. sgt. 30–34., H–6722 Szeged.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia