Reading subskill differences between students in Shanghai-China and the US: Evidence from PISA 2009

Hongli Li, Pui Wa Lei, Christi Leigh Pace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Based on different language systems and educational practices of their respective countries, hypotheses were made regarding how 15-year-old students from Shanghai-China and the US might differ in the 5 reading subskills designated in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) when they have the same overall reading ability (i.e., when their overall reading ability is controlled for). A multilevel analysis was conducted to test the hypotheses using the PISA 2009 reading dataset. When we controlled for students' overall reading ability, individual socioeconomic status (SES), and school mean SES, Shanghai-Chinese students performed significantly better in integrating and interpreting than US students. Further, when we controlled for students' overall reading ability and school mean SES, US students showed significantly higher performance in reading non-continuous texts than Shanghai-Chinese students, whereas US students showed significantly lower performance in reading continuous texts. The results of this study can inform reading instruction and learning in the 2 countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)490-509
Number of pages20
JournalEducational Research and Evaluation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2013
Externally publishedYes



  • PISA
  • Shanghai-China
  • US
  • reading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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