Berlin Longitudinal Reading Study (LESEN 3 – 6)

Individual and social impact factors on the development of reading literacy, reading motivation and reading behaviour in the period from third to sixth form are analysed within the framework of a longitudinal study.

Project Description

The skill of reading is relevant not only in school contexts, but it is a central condition to participation in social, political, cultural and economic life in modern society. Findings from international comparative assessments such as PISA are all the more dramatic as they demonstrate that parts of the student body in Germany show considerable deficiencies in their reading competence (see Baumert et al., 2001; Bos et al., 2003). The Berlin Longitudinal Reading Study (LESEN 3-6) investigated individual and social influence factors on the development of reading competence, reading motivation and reading behaviour, tracking students from grades 3 to 6.
33 primary school classes in Berlin participated in the study. The first assessment was at the end of the third year. At this stage, pupils have generally developed their basic reading skills and complex reading and comprehension processes gain in importance. Students were monitored until the end of the sixth year at three further measurement points, to monitor reading competences, reading attitudes and beliefs. Parents and teachers were also interviewed.
The study was conducted at the Max-Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin in the Center for Educational Research (Prof. Dr. J. Baumert). Further data analyses are presently being conducted, subject to a co-operation with the Institute for School Development Research (IFS) at the University of Dortmund, Prof. Dr. Nele McElvany.


The study is a co-operation project of DIPF (Prof. Kai Maaz, Dr. Michael Becker) and Prof. Dr. Nele McElvany (Institute for School Development Research, IFS, University of Dortmund).


Becker, M., McElvany, N., Lüdtke, O. & Trautwein, U. (2014). Lesekompetenzen und schulische Lernumwelten: Besondere Fördereffekte des Frühübergangs in Gymnasien? Zeitschrift für Entwicklungspsychologie und Pädagogische Psychologie, 46 (1), 35-50. Doi: 10.1026/0049-8637/a000104.
Becker, M., McElvany, N. & Kortenbruck, M. (2010). Intrinsic and extrinsic reading motivation as predictors of reading comprehension: A longitudinal study. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102, 773–785. Doi: 10.1037/a0020084.
Kigel, R., McElvany, N. & Becker, M. (2015). Effects of immigrant background on text comprehension, vocabulary, and reading motivation: A longitudinal study. Learning & Instruction, 35, 73-84. Doi: 10.1016/j.learninstruc.2014.10.001.

Project Management

Prof. Dr. Michael Becker

Project Details

Completed Projects
Department: Educational Governance
01/2014 – 12/2017
External funding
Contact: Prof. Dr. Michael Becker, Research Fellow