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Effective Intervention for Children with Literacy Difficulties Dr Mary Nugent NEPS An Overview What do we know about teaching literacy? Components of Good Practice What’s out there that works? What do I need to do? West Dunbartonshire Literacy Initiative McKay (2007)
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Dr Mary Nugent
Something that has never been done before:
‘the eradication of illiteracy from an entire education authority’
‘It can be argued that teaching anything in a systematic way will be more successful than much existing practice, particularly when the intervention targets reception chidlren, where teaching approaches are less formal than with other children’
Solity et al (2000)
‘We are only at the beginning point in systematic, controlled research on intervention methods for children with severe reading disabilities’. Torgesen et al 1997
An initiative of the federal government of the USA
‘A national panel to assess the status of research-based knowledge, including the effectiveness of various approaches to teaching children to read’.
Reported in 2000
Guided Reading Aloud
Independent Silent Reading
Teaching Comprehension Strategies
(Summarising, generating/ answering questions/ mind maps)
In-service professional development produced significantly higher student achievement
‘The aim of evidence based practice is to help professionals to base their practice on best current evidence’ Fox 2003
What Works for Children with Literacy Difficulties-
The Effectiveness of Intervention Schemes
By Greg Brooks & National Foundation for Educational Research (Nfer) (2007)
Published by the Department for Children, Schools and Families. Ref 00688-2007 BKT-EN
The gain in reading during a chronological time span, expressed as a ratio of that time span
The average gain of the experimental group, minus the average gain of the control group, expressed as standard deviation.
All standardised tests have an implied control group, so the effect size is the gains of the group, divided by 15
After 16 week programme children were:
After a year of Jolly Phonics:
(Johnston and Watson 1999)
‘Any student who successfully completes the Toe by Toe scheme will have dramatically improved reading age. Their spelling will also have improved and – most importantly- their self-esteem will have been transformed…It is not an exaggeration to say that this book changes lives..’
‘The results were definitive. The experimental group made average gains of three and a half years. The control group made average gains of five months’
MacKay & Cowling
Literacy Today, March (2004)
‘It is clear that PAL is not a diluted and inferior substitute for direct professional teaching- it has quite different strengths and weaknesses and to deploy it to maximum effect teachers need to be aware of these’. Topping (2001)
Training of tutors
Monitoring of progress
(some form of reward system?)
Ratio Gains of 3.3 in reading and
4.3 in comprehension
(effect sizes of .87 for reading and .77 for comprehension)
Social gains also widely reported
‘The general picture in published studies is that Paired readers progress at about 4.2 times ‘normal’ rates in reading accuracy during the initial period of commitment. Follow-up studies indicate that gains are sustained and do not ‘wash out’ over time.’
The Reading Partners Programme in a special school (See Nugent 2001, British Journal of Special Education)
‘Helpers’ made 17.4 months progress (control group made 7.16 months progress)
Learners made 6.55 months progress
(compared to typical gains of 3 months progress)
‘These gains were phenomenal, representing gains that equalled and surpassed other methods that took seven to fourteen times longer to achieve.’
‘The impact measures were substantial, including the largest ratio gain for reading of all the studies reviewed in this report’ (Brooks 2002)
‘Using this pack we have achieved measurable gains of three years in an academic year with some of our pupils’
Carol and Phil Smart
Highly structured sessions:
Blending phonemes together
Segmenting or isolating sounds in words
‘The results were not clear cut. The children in the experimental group did make significantly more progress than those in the control group: but the children in the experimental group made scarcely any more progress than would have been expected from ordinary classroom teaching and development’ Brooks 2002
Teachers felt that the children had made progress which the tests given did not readily capture.
‘Confidence greatly improved. LS teacher for maths reports Child A is able to read more problems’
‘Her mother said that she felt the AA programme had improved her reading as well as her confidence’
‘Significant difference made in Child B’s automatic sight vocabulary’ (from 40% known to 93%)
‘Although there are no short-cuts to accelerating the literacy of older struggling readers, it is possible to close the literacy gap by providing a coherent and co-ordinated school-wide literacy acceleration programme that systematically increases the amount of time, teaching and practice available to all struggling readers…’
Come back and tell us all about it…..
With thanks to children, parents, teachers and psychology colleagues who have informed this presentation in so many ways.