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Digital text comprehension challenges Austrian teens

Austrian students found to have poor reading skills were told they did even worse when it came to comprehending texts online.

The Austrian government coalition of Social Democrats (SPÖ) and the People’s Party (ÖVP) have been urged by the opposition and education experts to take action when the country came 31st among 34 participating countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) most recent global evaluation of 15-year-olds' reading skills.

Now the OECD announced that more detailed investigations of the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) have shown that Austria came 15th among 16 nations considering whether students were capable of understanding the meaning and context of articles on the internet.

The OECD said today (Weds) South Korean teenagers did best, while Chilean pupils were ranked last. The organisation explained examinations had shown that girls had generally fewer problems comprehending articles in magazines, books and on the World Wide Web (WWW) than their male counterparts.

The most recent investigation of the PISA 2009 checks also disclose that youngsters who "moderately" use computers, laptops and similar gadgets at home do best at school when being asked to work based on information garnered from digital texts. The survey found that both students who hardly ever used computers in their free time and those who spent many hours a day in front of monitors struggled with comprehending the context of articles presented in a digital format at school.

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