Main Article Content
The acquisition of reading skills is a basic human right and a fundamental aspect of individual and national development. Yet for many Hungarians, the printed word has little to say. Research has provided us with ample knowledge about why students encounter difficulties in reading. The importance of cognitive and affective factors and student background is clear. International surveys have shown that school-level factors also play significant roles in reading outcomes. However, a comprehensive examination of the personal, methodological and classroom aspects of reading instruction in second grade has not yet been carried out in a Hungarian context. This study aims to fill this gap by reporting on the results of a large-scale national study aiming to identify current trends in instructional practices in reading and to study the ways in which they relate to students’ achievement. For these purposes, data from a questionnaire administered to 189 classroom teachers and a reading comprehension test completed by 3,213 second graders were linked. Findings suggest that teachers’ age, qualification, and satisfaction with their work in the classroom, the instructional and evaluation methods employed, the textbooks used for instruction, the frequency of using continuous texts and ICT for teaching reading, the number of Hungarian writing and composition lessons, and opinions about the developmental level of students’ decoding and reading comprehension may be key contributors to students’ success in reading.