Literacy Base-line data The Literacy Unit is finalising the analysis of the large Literacy Base-line data-set following the national diagnostic survey of literacy attainment of all Maltese seven year olds, that is pupils in Year Two. The Literacy Diagnostic data-set, which involved over 5000 pupils from a hundred state, church and private schools in Malta and Gozo, was compiled for both Maltese and English.

Dr Charles Mifsud, the Director of the Literacy Programme, claimed that this is the largest literacy base-line data-set in Europe and possibly in the world.  "In fact, this will require sophisticated statistical data analyses which employ multi-level scaling," he said. Ms Josephine Milton, Research Officer with the Programme, is currently conducting data analysis in conjuction with the University of London Multilevel Modelling Statistic Team.

According to Ms Mary Vella, Director for Curriculum Management at the Education Division, "The Literacy Base-line Assessment for both Maltese and English provides our school with an invaluable diagnostic tool which helps them to monitor literacy standards in the early years and to plan appropriate intervention and remedial programmes". The results of the performance levels of pupils in individual schools were made availabe to school authorities in March permitting them to drtaw up well-informed strategies and programmes for remediation.

The Literacy Programme is a project of the Ministry of Education and is jointly run by the University of Malta's Literacy Unit and the Curriculum Department of the Division of Education. The assessement is particularly relevant as proficiency in both Maltese and English is essential to the communication process since they are the two offiicial languages of the Maltese islands with English being the lkanguage of Wider Communication. Last year, a pilot project was conducted to identify a suitable English Literacy Base-line test from which a Maltese equivalent was developed.

Communications Office
25 June 1999