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1 What works for pupils with literacy difficulties? Presentation to Reading Association of Ireland St Patricks College Drumcondra 9 February 2009 Greg.

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Presentation on theme: "1 What works for pupils with literacy difficulties? Presentation to Reading Association of Ireland St Patricks College Drumcondra 9 February 2009 Greg."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 What works for pupils with literacy difficulties? Presentation to Reading Association of Ireland St Patricks College Drumcondra 9 February 2009 Greg Brooks University of Sheffield, UK

2 2 Presentation based on: Brooks, G. (2007). What Works for Pupils with Literacy Difficulties? The Effectiveness of Intervention Schemes. 3rd edition. London: DCSF. No ISBN. Ref: BKT-EN. alogue/Product.aspx?id=d814e242- d371-dd11-a f20f6550e

3 3 What works? Ordinary classroom provision DOESNT -At secondary level: Almost nothing for ages schemes for reading, mostly effective 4 schemes for spelling, 2 effective None for writing

4 4 What works for writing? -Only 5 studies -2 on Paired Writing, both very small -Further Literacy Support (not effective) -Every Child a Reader in London -Reading Recovery across Britain and Ireland

5 5 What works for spelling - 23 schemes, almost all effective to some extent -One recent scheme solely on spelling: Improving Spelling through Teaching Morphemes -Mostly phonics-based - Embed in broad framework? Not necessarily

6 6 Phonologically based schemes for reading: - Now at least 14 (2002 edition: 4) -Mostly effective -Do need to be embedded in broad approach -Consistent with Torgerson et al. (2006) finding that systematic phonics teaching with a broad language & literacy curriculum enables children to make better progress than unsystematic or no phonics

7 7 Comprehension: -Still very few schemes focusing directly on this -Inference Training, Reciprocal Teaching -But many schemes have evidence of effect on comprehension

8 8 -Working on reading and self-esteem in parallel has definite potential -ICT-based schemes: only effective if very precisely targeted -Large-scale schemes, though expensive, can give good value for money

9 9 Partnership schemes mostly work well for reading; many now delivered by trained classroom assistants Search still on for what works well for children with worst difficulties Some longer schemes have diminishing returns, but others continue to deliver gains

10 10 Good schemes can deliver at least twice the normal rate of progress, and it is reasonable to expect this Most follow-up studies (17 out of 21) show gains are sustained

11 11 How robust is the evidence base? N randomised controlled trials (RCTs) 9 matched groups quasi-experiments21 unmatched groups pre-test/post-test studies 18 one-group pre-test/post-test studies73

12 12 Impact measures: -ratio gain -effect size -statistical significance ?

13 13 Ratio gain (average monthly progress): gain in months of reading/spelling age months between pre- & post-tests Con: reading & spelling ages are elastic dispersal of scores ignored Pro: takes account of time elapsed can be used for one-group studies

14 14 Effect size: (programme groups gain) minus (control groups gain) post-test standard deviation of control group Pro: much more statistical dispersal of scores crucial Con: does not take account of time elapsed must have control/comparison group

15 15 Reporting of impact measures: -ratio gainc.50% -effect sizec.25% -bothc.25% -statistical significance ?very few

16 16 Statistical significances: -would be useful for each groups gain, & for differences between gains -very rarely stated, & not often possible to calculate

17 17 So finally: Always evaluate! Push for more robust designs & measures & full reporting (e.g. standard deviations & statistical significances) Keep looking for what will work for the children with the most severe difficulties


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