MAKING AN IMPACT ON LITERACYDIFFICULTIES IN SECONDARYSCHOOLSTara Midgen and Katie Alvey(Educational Psychologists)
AIMS To understand the skills required for reading and spelling To be able to recognise when these skills do not develop fluently To understand what is meant by the term ‘dyslexia’ To reflect on personal teaching experiences To consider approaches that can be helpful in supporting students with literacy difficulties
LEARNING TO READ AND SPELLWhat are the skills required for reading and spelling? Phonological awareness: Sentence level Word level Syllable level Phoneme level: Synthesis – the ability to put sounds together to make words e.g. c-a-t ... cat Segmentation – the ability to identify individual sounds within whole words e.g. hot ... h-o-t Orthographic knowledge Morphological awareness Working memory and long-term memory Reading comprehension
WHAT DOES POOR READING LOOK LIKE? Hesitant, laboured reading Omitting, adding or confusing words/sounds Failure to recognise familiar words/sounds Missing a line or reading the same line twice Losing one’s place Difficulties using dictionaries etc Comprehension difficulties
WHAT DOES POOR SPELLING/WRITING LOOKLIKE? Omitting, adding, confusing words/letters Incorrect spelling of familiar words Poor standard compared to oral ability Poor handwriting, badly formed letters Good handwriting but production slow Badly set out work, spellings crossed out Words spelled differently in the same piece or across texts Difficulty with punctuation and grammar Confusion with upper/lower case letters Difficulty in copying and/or taking notes Volume of writing
THE MATTHEW EFFECT“While good readers gain new skills very rapidly,and quickly move from learning to read toreading to learn , poor readers becomeincreasingly frustrated with the act of reading,and try to avoid reading where possible” The Matthew Effect Daniel Rigney
DEFINITION OF ‘DYSLEXIA’ “Dyslexia is evident when accurate and fluent word reading and/or spelling develops very incompletely or with great difficulty. This focuses on literacy learning at the ‘word level’ and implies that the problem is severe and persistent despite appropriate learning opportunities. It provides the basis for a staged process of assessment through teaching.”(British Psychological Society, 1999)
SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF DYSLEXIA Difficulties with: short- and long-term memory processing information at speed organisation phonological awareness and skill vision in relation to reading words co-ordination meta-cognitive strategies automatic reading of words Source: Reid and Fawcett (2005) And often poor self-perception and self-esteem
ACTIVITY Identify a student that you teach with literacy difficulties and consider: What do you know about this student’s difficulties? What are you already doing to address these difficulties? What else would you need to find out in order to be able to address his/her difficulties more effectively?
GENERAL TEACHING STRATEGIES Provide an outline of what is going to be taught in the lesson, ending the lesson with a resume of what has been taught. Check that the child correctly writes down exactly what is required for homework. Break tasks down into small easily remembered pieces of information. Keep copying to a minimum Consider whether child is being asked to read texts beyond their level of skill BEWARE reading aloud! Encourage proof-reading for initial correction of spellings A cursive handwriting style can be most helpful for dyslexic students Homework: consider fatigue, self-esteem and time limits
FEEDBACKResearch suggests that feedback should: Be specific, accurate and clear (e.g. “It was good because you…” rather than just “correct”). Compare what a learner is doing right now with what they have done wrong before (e.g. “I can see you were focused on improving X as it is much better than last time’s Y…”). Encourage and suppor t fur ther ef for t (getting a balance between support and challenge). Be given sparingly so that it is meaningful as too much feedback can stop learners working out what they need to do for themselves. Provide specific guidance on how to improve and not just tell students when they are wrong.Source: The Sutton Trust (2012)
IMPROVING SPELLING Research suggests the following can impact positively on spelling outcomes: Providing students with spelling strategies or systematic study and word practice methods Spelling intervention that includes explicit instruction with multiple practice opportunities Immediate corrective feedback on spelling accuracy either teacher-provided or through a student self-monitoring procedure The use of morphographic rules and phonics instruction Short focused interventions Source: Wanzek, J. Vaughn, S., Wexler, J., Swanson, M.E. and Ae-Hwa, K. (2006)
ADDITIONAL ADULT SUPPORT Identify activities where TAs can suppor t learning, rather than simply manage tasks. Provide support and training for TAs so that they understand how to be effective in your lessons, spend time with them before or after lessons Do not reduce your support or input to the pupils supported by TAs Evaluate the impact of different aspects of TAs’ work. Ensure that TAs are focused on learning as opposed to ensuring that pupils finish their work.
SELF-ESTEEM Provide activities that are challenging but incur low stress levels Immediate use of feedback to acknowledge learner’ success or progress in doing classroom tasks Provide a combination of activities and learning strategies Support dyslexic learners as they work within their comfort zones, especially during the initial stages of the task.
HOMEWORK!Returning to the first activity,spend a few momentsconsidering what strategies youmight try with this student havingparticipated in today’s session
REFERENCES AND HELPFUL INFORMATION http://www.addressingdyslexia.org/ http://dyslexiahelp.umich.edu/ http://www.tes.co.uk/MyPublicProfile.aspx?uc=493117&event=24 http://www.dyslexia.com/library/classroom.htm Elliot, D.L., Davidson, J.K. and Lewin, J. (2007). Literature review of current approaches to the provision of education for children with dyslexia. Glasgow: SCRE. [online]. Higgins, S., Kokotsaki, D., and Coe, R. (2012). The Teaching and Learning Toolkit. The Sutton Trust. Reid, G. and Fawcett, A. J. (2005). ‘An Overview of Developments in Dyslexia’, in Reid, G. and Fawcett A. (Eds), Dyslexia in Context: Research Policy and Practice. London: Whurr Publishers. pp 3–20. Wanzek, J. Vaughn, S., Wexler, J., Swanson, M.E. and Ae-Hwa, K. (2006). A synthesis of spelling and reading interventions and their effects on the spelling outcomes of students with LD. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 39, 6, 528-543.