April 04, 2006 21:09
The sentence comprehension of middle school students in Korea is the best in the world, according to a Hong Kong academic. The territory’s press cited a study by Prof. Catherine McBride-Chang at Chinese University of Hong Kong that surveyed 190,000 15-year-old students from 43 different countries, which found that the number of students who failed to understand the meaning of a sentence they read was the lowest in Korea with 1.2 percent -- 1.5 percent among boys and 0.8 percent among girls. Finland was next with 1.5 percent, followed by the Netherlands and Canada with 1.9 percent and Hong Kong with 2.7 percent.
In overall reading comprehension, Korean students came eight with 525 out of a possible 1,000 points. Finland topped the list with 547 points, followed by Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and Hong Kong. The U.K. and Japan trailed Korea in ninth and 10th place. On average, girls were 9 percent better at reading than boys, possibly because girls are more likely to obey the instructions of teachers and parents, while boys tend to spend more time on non-literary pursuits like computer games and sports.
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