Home literacy environment and reading comprehension in Spanish primary education

Journal of Research in Reading
Issue number
Relates to study/studies
PIRLS 2016

Home literacy environment and reading comprehension in Spanish primary education



Research has suggested that one of the most important variables for the development of reading comprehension is the home literacy environment, composed of the literacy interface and what is known as the limiting environment. The current study investigated Spanish children's reading comprehension in relation to these two dimensions.


Data have been drawn from measures of reading competence and the Learning to Read Survey undertaken for the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2016 assessment in Spain. Our secondary analysis of the PIRLS 2016 data has enabled the production of two multiple regression models from a sample of 14,595 Spanish pupils aged 9–10 years old.


The analyses performed have allowed us to determine the limiting environment elements that relate to the reading comprehension results. Moreover, they have highlighted the importance of the literacy interface prior to schooling. Both variables of the home literacy environment appear to be linked with the reading comprehension results taken from the PIRLS 2016 and may orientate the improvement of reading skills at home.


Our research supports the implementation of family literacy programmes in Spain, especially for low‐income families, which might enhance their literacy interaction with their children in the early stages. The promotion of family literacy programmes oriented to preschool children could improve not only emergent literacy skills but also the social value of literacy from a sociocultural perspective.