Abstract : The starting point of this research is the question, may reading acquisition be more or less effective depending on the language in which it is perform? Two categories for classifying the languages have been developed. First the notion of linguistic family is employed to describe the languages from a cultural and historical perspective. Secondly, the notion of orthographic depth is used for differentiating the languages according to the correspondence between orthography and phonetic. These categories have been related to the databases PIRLS 2001 and 2006 (international assessments about reading developed by the IEA), the aim being to connect reading achievement to the language in which students answered the test. However, it is clear that the language is not an isolated factor, but part of a complex structure of determinants of reading. Therefore, factors related to students and schools have also been incorporated to this research. Moreover, the multidimensionality of the reading process has been taken into account by distinguishing in the analysis the different aspects that made the process according to PIRLS: informative reading, literary reading, process comprehension of high and low order. To answer to the questions proposed by this research a hierarchical statistical model (multilevel) was developed, it was able to account for the connection between reading achievement, language and other associated factors. As a result, contextual factors (home and school) were more significant than language. Moreover, determinacy may vary if taking into account educational systems.