Relooking at the ESL Reading Comprehension Assessment for Malaysian Primary Schools

  •  Chang Lim    
  •  Lin Eng    
  •  Abdul Mohamed    
  •  Shaik Abdul Malik Mohamed Ismail    


The purpose of the study is to have a relook at the ESL reading comprehension assessment system for Malaysian Year Five students. Traditionally, the ESL teachers have been assessing and reporting on their primary year’s students by merely giving a composite grade with some vague remarks. This process has been used and is still being employed in spite of the numerous advances and progress that have been made in the realm of education. To gauge the students’ reading ability there is a need to take a serious look into the way teachers assess the students. In this ESL reading comprehension assessment system, a set of standardised generic reading comprehension test, a reading matrix and reading performance descriptors were developed. The findings revealed that Year Five respondents at reading performance Band 1, Band 2, Band 3, Band 4 and Band 5 have acquired the literal, reorganization and inferential reading sub-skills to a certain extent. The results obtained were found to be consistent indicating that the ESL reading assessment is reliable and valid to a large extent as revealed by a second administration of the test conducted in a few other selected primary schools. This ESL reading comprehension system can provide information on students’ reading ability at both the micro and macro levels. At the micro level, ESL teachers can plan their teaching instructions that tailor to the needs of the students. At the macro level, it can assist the district as well as the state education departments in Malaysia to plan reading programmes for primary school students.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.