SPANISH PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPIL'S LITERACY ATTITUDES: ARE THEY RELATED TO THEIR READING COMPREHENSION AND THEIR FEELING OF COMPETENCE?
Literacy is crucial both at school and in everyday context. Although much research has been done on this subject, fewer studies have addressed the relationship of the reading competence to the students literacy perceptions and attitudes in the first stage of schooling and, even less, in Spanish-speaking countries. The research presented is part of a larger study which aims to analyze different variables related to literacy (reading comprehension, literacy attitudes, perceived ability to read and write, parent involvement in the literacy acquisition, etc.) just at the time when pupils are learning to read and write. Furthermore, since a gender effect has been found in previous studies, we wanted to ascertain whether Spanish girls and boys differ on these variables too.
Participants were 320 children (137 girls and 183 boys), 161 in 1st grade and 159 in 2nd Grade (6-8 years-old), belonging to several urban schools in northern Spain. The instrument used was an adapted version of the Finnish Reading Attitude Questionnaire (Merisuo-Storm and Soininen, 2012). For the data analysis we conducted mean contrast analysis for reading comprehension, attitudes and feelings of competence by sex and school grade, as well as correlations between reading comprehension, feeling of competence in reading and writing and attitudes towards literacy.
Results indicate that, in general terms, Spanish students really like reading and writing and feel very competent in learning to read and write, although some differences by gender and grade can be found. In particular, girls seem to hold more positive attitudes to literacy than boys and first grade pupils feel more confidence for reading and writing than their older peers. Also, results suggest that these positive attitudes are not necessarily related to children reading comprehension skills. The educational implications of these results both for teaching practices and for teacher training are discussed.