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PISA in Focus

PISA in Focus is a series of monthly education policy-oriented notes designed to describe a PISA topic in a concise, user-friendly way.

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Do Immigrant Students' Reading Skills Depend on How Long they Have Been in their New Country?

  • In most OECD countries, newly arrived 15-year-old immigrant students show poorer reading performance than immigrant students who arrived in their new country when they were younger than five.
  • Students who emigrated from less-developed countries where the home language differs from their new language of instruction are particularly vulnerable to the “late-arrival” penalty in reading performance.
  • Immigrant students from countries with similar levels of development and the same language as the host country do not suffer any late-arrival penalty at all.

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