Involvement of Social and Cognitive Factors in Reading Skills of Boys and Girls: A Comparative Study
Keywords:Gender Differences, Literacy Skills, L1 Reading, L2 Reading, Word Reading
It has been a controversial issue to ascertain whether girls have an advantage in literacy skills over boys or not. There are studies showing a minor or no lead of girls in literacy skills (White, 2007). On the other hand, several studies described better literacy skills in girls than boys (Ready, LoGerfo, Burkam& Lee, 2005; Coley, 2001). Reasons like differences in biology,cognitive and physical maturation (Leinhardt, Seewald & Engel, 1979) are given to explain these differences. In this study, 8-9 years 66 grade 3 children were tested on loud reading tasks in both Urdu and English.The children were extracted from a bigger sample which participated in a previous study. In the present study, we used 3-word lists (words of mixed difficulty, pseudo-words, and easy frequent words) in both Urdu and English (3+3). A t-test was run to see the difference of performance on all word reading tasks by girls, and boys. The girls scored higher than boys on all Urdu and English tasks, except pseudo-words in Urdu where the difference was not significant whereas a tendency towards significance could be seen. The results presented evidence in favour of the advantage (cognitive or social) of girls over boys of the same age and grade.
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