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Effective Intervention for Children with Literacy Difficulties Findings from 4 years of action research in Waterford Dr Mary Nugent, NEPS, Waterford.

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Presentation on theme: "Effective Intervention for Children with Literacy Difficulties Findings from 4 years of action research in Waterford Dr Mary Nugent, NEPS, Waterford."— Presentation transcript:

1 Effective Intervention for Children with Literacy Difficulties Findings from 4 years of action research in Waterford Dr Mary Nugent, NEPS, Waterford

2 An Overview What do we know about teaching literacy to struggling readers? Evidence from the Waterford Projects Teaching Traveller children to read

3 Which children are we talking about? School-going children (6-19 years) With literacy difficulties Includes children with specific learning difficulties / dyslexia Includes children with generally poor progress in reading (who may or may not have additional general learning difficulties) Includes children from disadvantaged communities

4 Literature review Swanson and Hoskyn (1998) Vaughan, Gersten & Chard (2000) National Reading Panel (2000) Solity (2002) MacKay (2006) Scammaca, Vaughn, Roberts (2007) Slavin, Cheung, Groff, Lake (2008) Singleton (2009) The Rose Report (2009) Kennedy (2010)

5 Key Text 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 BKT-EN

6 Key findings Ordinary teaching is not enough Not all interventions are equal Need for evidence-based interventions The best interventions can make a significant difference

7 How? Individualised or small group teaching (Swanson and Hoskyn, Vaughn et al, Scammaca et al Structured, specialist tuition (Swanson and Hoskyn, Singleton, Rose) Frequency of teaching with daily or near daily tuition (Solity 2002, Scammaca et al ) A declaration of the intention to achieve (McKay 2007) Intensive interventions of relatively short duration can be highly effective (Brooks 2007) The significance of the first 12 hours of tuition (Singleton 2009) Early intervention and on-going assessment and (Solity, Scammaca, Singleton, Rose)

8 What? Systematic, structured teaching of phonics (National Reading Panel) Systematic, cumulative, sequenced (Rose) Multi-sensory approaches (Singelton) Synthetic (or small unit) approaches to phonics are preferable to analytic (or large unit) approaches (Macmillan 1997, McGuinness 1997, NRP) Large scale schemes, which are expensive and require teacher training, can give good value for money (Phono- Graphix, Reading Recovery) (Brooks) Both direct instruction and strategy instruction are valuable- use of mixed methods (Swanson and Hoskyn, Slavin et al)

9 What? Phonemic awareness Phonological skills Comprehension strategies Guided and independent reading Writing activities integrated Teaching to the point of fluency ICT, only if precisely targeted

10 Who? Teachers (and non teachers) who are well trained and have on-going support (McKay, NRP, Slavin et al, Kennedy) Efficacy of ‘low-cost implementers’ (Scammacca et al, Singleton) Cooperative learning (particularly with older students), including peer tuition (Swanson and Hoskyn, Slavin et al, Brooks)

11 What’s happening here? Primary, sample 54 children

12 3 components of Evidence Based Practice ‘The aim of evidence based practice is to help professionals to base their practice on best current evidence’ Fox 2003 Research should provide the evidence on which professional practice is based Professionals will change and adapt their practice on best available research evidence By keeping accurate outcome measures, services can monitor the effects of their interventions

13 How much progress should we expect? Good Impact- sufficient to at least double the standard rate of progress- can be achieved and it is reasonable to expect it Brooks (2007)

14 Ratio Gains The gain in reading during a chronological time span, expressed as a ratio of that time span A ratio gain of 1.0 is exactly standard progress Brooks (2002) set a ratio gain of 1.4 as ‘educationally significant’ By 2007, Brooks stated that a ratio gain of 2.0 should be expected as ‘many schemes now produce impacts of this order or more’ (p30) Note, it is easier to achieve high ratio gains over a short period of intervention, than over a longer period

15 Waterford Reading Projects Phase I, Primary Phase II, Secondary Phase III, Primary & Secondary Traveller Project 1, Traveller Project 2,

16 West Dunbartonshire Literacy Initiative McKay (2007) A 10 year project In the second most disadvantaged local authority in Scotland Something that has never been done before: ‘the eradication of illiteracy from an entire education authority’

17 Overview of Action Research Lasted 3-4 months Explored the effectiveness of reading interventions Implementation of named programmes Pre and post intervention reading data Logs and review data from teachers 249 students (131 boys, 103 girls, 15 no data) 50 teachers, 36 schools Valid data collected for 230 students

18 Intervention Programmes The Big Five Acceleread/ Accelewrite Paired Reading SNIP/ Precision Teaching (sight vocabulary) Toe by Toe ARROW Other interventions tried Barton-Gillingham Sound Linkage Lexia Mixed methods Newell literacy

19 Toe by Toe, suitable for… An individualised approach Suitable for children from the age of 6, but more appealing to older primary/ secondary students Has been used effectively in the prison service Use of one workbook, provides both teacher direction and student programme Each book costs approx. €40

20 Toe by Toe Highly structured phonics programme Involves teaching skills to a level of fluency Use on non-words puts focus on underlying skills of decoding Considerable emphasis on recording progress

21 Toe by Toe- Research Evidence Pre- and post data over one year 24 secondary aged pupils Matched pairs Experimental group- Toe by Toe Control Group- ‘normal learning support’ Toe by Toe group were taught individually for 20 minutes per day, five days per week, for average of 3 months

22 Toe by Toe –research findings cont. ‘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)

23 Toe by Toe-research evidence Brooks (2007) reports on work with 21 primary schools, where after 18 months of intervention, student made ratio gains of 2.7 Mackay (2006) used in 32 primary schools, with 91 students in 6 th class. After 6 months of intervention, ratio gains were of 2.3

24 Paired Reading Largely based on the work of Keith Topping, Centre for Paired Learning, University of Dundee PAL-Peer Assisted Learning ‘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)

25 Paired Reading A range of formalised approaches Considered cost-effective Needs on-going organisation including: Training of tutors Monitoring of progress Maintenance (some form of reward system?)

26 Paired reading-research findings Brooks (2007) reports studies involving 2,372 children in 155 projects in 71 schools 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

27 Paired reading/ Duolog Reading ‘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.’ Topping 2004

28 Peer Reading in Ireland 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)

29 Acceleread/ Accelewrite An individual approach Requires 1:1 teaching, 20 minutes per day for 4 weeks (some teachers find they can manage 2-3 in a group) Uses computer and voice feedback Suitable for ages 7-18 (but best progress is made with those of 10 years plus)

30 Acc/Acc Research In the age group 10-14, average gains of 37 months reading progress have been reported after 6 months of intervention (see dyslexic.com) In a study of 30 children, using the programme for 4 weeks, the average gains were of 16 standard score points in reading and 10 in spelling, representing ratio gains of 16.0 in reading and 9.8 in spelling (Martin Miles/ Devon Study)

31 Acc/ Acc research cont Brooks (2007) reported on the Jersey Project, involving 61 students in 15 primary schools and 4 secondary schools After 4 week intervention students made ratio gains of 8.3 in reading and 4.0 in spelling with further increases reported over time. The Bristol Study (Sue Derrington) involved 60 children in 13 primary schools. After 8 weeks of intervention students made ratio gains of 2.3 in reading accuracy, 2.9 in comprehension and 2.0 in spelling.

32 Acc/ Acc research cont. Research by Theresa Tierney of NEPS (2004) found that, after an average of just 14 sessions, students made an average of 10 months progress with reading Research by Pat Devanney (2007) showed that class teachers could deliver the programme and after 4 weeks, the 7 participants had made 5 standard score points progress (about 9 months progress) while the control group (who received learning support) made no progress

33 Precision Teaching Precision teaching is based on rigorous research in the area of instructional psychology Precision teaching emphasises the importance of fluency Precision teaching techniques can be used to teach sight words, phonics (or other skills) Puts the focus of learning failure on instructional methods and not on students Outcomes suggest at least twice the ‘normal’ rate of progress

34 SNIP This is a precision teaching package It can be downloaded free! It is suited to upper primary/ secondary students This approach is best suited to students whose literacy difficulties are more mild (learning support rather than resource) Ref:

35 SNIP Contains lists of word to be learnt as sight vocabulary Includes essential curriculum words Plus irregular words that often confuse students Emphasises fluency Daily practice of 5 minutes The reading aloud of word lists is timed

36 SNIP cont. ‘Using this pack we have achieved measurable gains of three years in an academic year with some of our pupils’ Carol and Phil Smart What do you do when data is inadequate?

37 Precision teaching cont. The same precision teaching techniques can be used to teach sight words Free prompt sheets can be made up using the website johnandgwyn.co.uk Probe sheets can have anything from 4 to 24 words on them

38 ARROW Aural-Read-Respond-Oral-Write, by Dr Colin Lane Works on the principle that hearing one’s own voice may be the key to much language comprehension Involves individual computer based work One teacher can supervise 5+ students at a time Suitable right across the age range

39 ARROW-procedures Children listen to text (through headphones) They record themselves reading the text They listen to their own recording They write out what they have read

40 ARROW Research Brooks (2007) evaluated ARROW and noted; ‘the ratio gains show that this amount of progress…was remarkable, if not spectacular’ (p133). 91 children made average gains of 7 months in reading and 6 months in spelling after just 1.5 week’s of intervention Further data provided by Dr Lane involved 445 children in 20 schools. Typically after 2-3 hours of ARROW, children made average gains of 9.5 months in reading. (Those doing 8 to 10 hours made average gains of 14 months)

41 What about PAT? Daily 10 minute intensive phonics work Identifying sounds Blending phonemes together Segmenting or isolating sounds in words Worksheet based, with specific rimes, reading lists and sentences for dictation

42 PAT, research findings ‘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

43 PAT 24 children in 3 schools 20 week intervention Ratio Gains of 0.16 for experimental group

44 A word of caution… Research cited here indicates that some interventions work for some children in some settings and we need to be cautious about interpreting findings. Some interventions were not shown to be highly effective, but may need further analysis.

45 West Dunbartonshire In 2007 only 3 children left secondary school who were not functionally literate

46 Pre-intervention The average word reading standard score was 81 (range ) The average comprehension standard score was 83 (range ) Mean age of participants was 11 years, 6 months (range 5 years, 9 months- 17 years, 1 month)

47 Waterford Projects- Progress in 3 months Average word reading age at pre-intervention Average word reading age at the end of the project. 8 years, 3 months 9 years, 3 months (12 months) Average sentence reading age at pre-intervention Average sentence reading age at the end of the project 8 years, 9 months 9 years, 9 months (12 months)

48 Reading Gains in Waterford In Waterford, the average gains for participants after 3 months using an evidence-based intervention was 1 year, representing ratio gains of 4.0 (standard score gains of 4.5 in word reading and 4 in reading comprehension) Post-intervention standard scores in word reading were 85 and in comprehension were 86 (16 th - 18 th percentile)

49 Comparing interventions (N=200)

50 Learning time

51 Teaching time

52 Traveller Literacy 369 primary aged children, standardised test results More than two thirds of pupils scored at or below the 20 th percentile, with 47.5 per cent scoring below the 10 th percentile But; no data available for almost 25% of the Traveller children (due to absences, inability to complete the test) Survey of Traveller Education Provision, DES 2005

53 Results for Traveller Projects N=52 Standard score gains Ratio gains (1.4+) Reading age gains Word reading year Comprehen sion months Spelling months

54 Exceptional gains Participant 14- Age 10, Shared reading Basic reading 6 Years, 8 months 8 years, 9 months Comprehension 9 years, 7 months 11 years 4 months Spelling 8 years 8 years, 7 months Participant 26- Age 12, ARROW Basic reading 11 Years, 2 months 16 years Comprehension 12 years, 6 months 14 years, 1 months

55 Figure 1. Comparing Traveller progress with typical progress (Travellers and all children)

56 Support Pack for Schools List of resources for assessing literacy List of evidence based interventions, with contact details and costs, including information on free downloads Rough Guide to Precision Teaching, with SNIP references and supporting checklists Rough Guide to Reading Partners, with supporting templates 3 progress review cards Declarations guidance All are available on ILSA website

57 …we already know enough to take action, to use what we know now to improve reading outcomes for students with reading difficulties…’ Slavin et al (2008)

58 Thanks… With thanks to my colleagues, Dr Feargal O’Neill, Shirley Murphy, Aurelia Bridges and Niamh Walsh. Also, sincere thanks to the children, parents and teachers who have informed this presentation in so many ways.


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