seeking info re: SP with illiterate teenage students

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cartwheel
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seeking info re: SP with illiterate teenage students

Post by cartwheel » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:34 am

Can anyone point me in the direction of any studies or informative reports regarding synthetic phonics reading interventions for teenage students who are non-readers or very poor readers?
Much of the research I am finding here in the U.S. involves the Direct Instruction Corrective Reading program, which I know is excellent. I am looking for info regarding using UK-Style synthetic phonics.

Also, if there is anyone on this forum who has experience teaching students to read in a juvenile detention center, I would love to get in contact with you. (And if anyone has actually run a program to train tutors who work with the students, that would be excellent.)

Thank you.

Jennie (USA)

Tricia
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Re: seeking info re: SP with illiterate teenage students

Post by Tricia » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:01 pm

Hi Jennie,

I've been doing just that for many years now. If you pm me your email address, I'd love to help any way I can.

Meanwhile, here's a link to an external assessment of That Reading Thing by Professor Greg Brooks. http://thatreadingthing.com/about-trt/g ... on-of-trt/

Look forward to chatting.
Tricia Millar
http://www.thatreadingthing.com
http://trt-for-teachers.com/
@TRT_Tricia

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palisadesk
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Re: seeking info re: SP with illiterate teenage students

Post by palisadesk » Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:18 pm

Tricia can doubtless contribute far more on the topic than I can, but I did work with juvenile offenders in an alternative-to-incarceration setting. Violent and dangerous offenders aged 12-16 are placed in secure custody (where no volunteers are welcome and security is extremely tight), but young people convicted of lesser offences – burglary, vandalism, car theft, etc. are placed on a strict probation order and required to participate in designated programs at a community agency as alternatives to incarceration. I volunteered with our local community agency that monitors these young people and assisted with the literacy program.

One thing that came as a surprise to me then, but not since, is that a number of these students with poor reading skills actually *had* adequate phonic skills. This was not what I had previously found in the school where I worked, so it surprised me at the time. We found it necessary to do an intake assessment to make sure we focused on the skills the young people actually needed to learn. If they were proficient at decoding words (including multi-syllable words), we checked vocabulary knowledge and sentence comprehension, then paragraph reading of various types of text. We also did an interest inventory to help match the student to materials that would interest them, so far as possible. Another important factor was involving the student in setting very specific, short-term goals. Extrinsic motivators were also important for some. We matched volunteers with students on a one-to-one basis (group teaching sessions were not feasible for a number of reasons), and did provide training for them, which I assisted with. If you have a small budget for consumables that will help enormously.

One factor that seems to apply more with the young teens is that their stay in these situations is usually quite short, and those who are incarcerated (primarily in group homes) tend to be moved around a lot. So plans and goals need to be short-term and revised frequently. The long-term probationers (who might be assigned to a specific counselor and program of intervention for 3-6 months at a time) offered more chance of making a significant difference. Of course your youth detention procedures might be very different so what applied in our case might not be relevant in yours.

Susan S.

chew8
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Re: seeking info re: SP with illiterate teenage students

Post by chew8 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:10 pm

That's a really good report from Greg Brooks, Tricia. The detailed accounts of lessons are very interesting.

Jenny C.

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Re: seeking info re: SP with illiterate teenage students

Post by Tricia » Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:10 pm

Thanks, Jenny.

Greg came on the full two day training which I thought was going to be stressful, but he was great. It gave him real insight into the programme, the people who deliver it and our young people.
Tricia Millar
http://www.thatreadingthing.com
http://trt-for-teachers.com/
@TRT_Tricia

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Re: seeking info re: SP with illiterate teenage students

Post by yvonne meyer » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:25 pm

Jennie,

If you are looking for the research literature, the Australian MULTILIT programme was developed for struggling readers aged Grade 4 and older. While I'm not aware of specific use in jails or detention centres, there is a lot of research and information on using this programme with disadvantaged children and teenagers, see Schoolwise and the work done in Far North Queensland. The MULTILIT Reading Tutor programme has been used extensively and successfully with teenagers and adults. It was developed by the team at Macquarie University's Special Ed unit, MUSEC, and has a very strong research base. Search the MULTILIT site and you will find links to many research papers and to the MUSEC site.

www.multilit.com

cartwheel
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Re: seeking info re: SP with illiterate teenage students

Post by cartwheel » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:54 am

Thank you, Yvonne. I will certainly look at MULTILIT.
I also want to thank Tricia Millar for her quick response to my query, and her lengthy replies to my questions via email.
Palisadesk, your insight into possible variables at work is much appreciated, as always.

This forum has been an incredible resource to me over the past 5 years.

Jennie (U.S.A.)

JIM CURRAN
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Re: seeking info re: SP with illiterate teenage students

Post by JIM CURRAN » Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:30 am

“This forum has been an incredible resource to me over the past 5 years.”

What a lovely endorsement. Thank you Jennie.

volunteer
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Re: seeking info re: SP with illiterate teenage students

Post by volunteer » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:56 am

I feel the same about this forum. It really is a Virtual Learning Experience. The Virtual Learning Environment that I have paid the OU for last year and this year has provided me with nothing like this. It's all the very helpful, knowledgeable and enthusiastic members that make this forum what it is, of course.

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Re: seeking info re: SP with illiterate teenage students

Post by Elizabeth » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:15 pm

Hi Jennie!

I would like to mention the Sound Reading System, which has been used extensively with young offenders. I used it with a twelve/thirteen year old at a Pupil Referral Unit (for pupils excluded from school, usually because of their behaviour) and found it very successful. It is probably not practical to invest in it in North America, because the resources come only with at least three days of training. However, readers in the UK or visiting the UK might be interested.

Go to http://www.soundreadingsystem.co.uk/.
Last edited by Elizabeth on Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Elizabeth

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Re: seeking info re: SP with illiterate teenage students

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:34 pm

Phonics International has also been used very successfully in pupil referral units and schools for pupils with behavioural difficulties.

Some of the feedback I received (and this will be no surprise to any of us) was that:

1) Teachers of older pupils can teach for GCSEs and higher order material - but may have no clue about teaching pupils who could barely read or write.

2) Once pupils with behavioural difficulties could see themselves learning through the phonics route, their behaviour and their subsequent engagement with the lessons and their learning changed dramatically.

3) Pupils that specialist teachers said would never learn to read and write quite readily learned to read and write. Here is a some feedback I received regarding this issue:
Just to let you know I have been using pure Phonics International for the last half term with a mixed group of years 7-9 secondary school and they are LOVING it! Progress is fabulous, and 3 students who my SENCO reliably informed me would never learn to read....................are reading, spelling and writing and coming to EVERY session!

This last point is particularly pertinent to me on a personal level.

Many years ago at the beginning of my teaching career, two children in my class (I taught 10 and 11 year olds), were not literate - they could not read or write.

I presumed that they were not literate because it was not possible for them to be literate. Why? Because I simply didn't know any different - my ignorance.

I had no training on teaching reading and writing, no training or experience of explicit phonics, no training on 'special needs' and, at that time, had no children of my own from which to draw experience.

I presumed that the children had many wonderful teachers before me (because they were lovely people who were hard-working teachers) - and therefore if those wonderful teachers had not managed to teach these children to read or write, then it didn't occur to me that I could.

Senior management did not concern themselves with children who could not read or write - it wasn't an issue - the children just 'couldn't'.

Those two children haunt my memories to this day. I know 100% that I could have taught them to read and write now I know what I know.

But how many other children and young people slip through the net to this day?

The other day I saw a programme about a dyslexic adult who visited a school department with older pupils who had basic literacy skills weaknesses.

These older children were writing letter shapes in sand as part of their diet. Dearie me.

I welled up with tears.

This is modern day Britain and this was the guidance of a 'specialist'. :cry:

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Re: seeking info re: SP with illiterate teenage students

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:37 pm

We really need to keep threads about basic teaching high-profile.

Everywhere I visit, I see a lot of the 'alphabet arc'.

Sometimes teachers tell me that this is for the 'dyslexic children'.

How do children need to see letter shapes - especially if they have tendencies for muddlement?

Do they need to see letters at slanty angles in all colours?

Do they need to see letter shapes with full correct orientation (perpendicular) on writing lines?

When it comes to young people who have gone off the rails for whatever reason, it may well be that this is nothing to do with their lack of literacy skills, but all too often this at least contributes to closing down opportunities for young people, to a lack of self-esteem - but it starts right at the beginning stages of attention to detail - or lack thereof.

For example, a visit to infant classrooms, to this day, might include the alphabet letters, or graphemes, dangling from the ceiling. No evidence of letter formation around the class.

Ad hoc visual display of elements of the alphabetic code or letter shapes.

No material belonging to each child or 'going home' to inform parents/guardians and to revisit at home.

Children being taught to write on mini whiteboards sitting, or lying, on the floor.

Desks in groups and not 'facing forwards' so children are visually and physically disorientated from the outset of their educational experience.

Adults writing in children's books with very poor, personal handwriting.

Lack of print shown on writing lines and little or no emphasis of the orientation of letter shapes on writing lines - until it is too late for many youngsters as bad habits are embedded.

On the recent thread relating to the Ofsted videos of supposed 'outstanding' practice, a teacher writes with very poor handwriting indeed. A child is seen writing from top to bottom of the mini whiteboard, not left to right.

Such details of poor practice and poor consequences seem not to be noticed.

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Re: seeking info re: SP with illiterate teenage students

Post by volunteer » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:41 pm

Yes Debbie I see all of those things at two schools I volunteer at.

Add these to the list:

- upper KS2 children being withdrawn for phonics lessons that don't connect in any way with what they need to learn e.g. a year 5 child sent to join the phonics group (learning ai, ay, a-e that week) because she sometimes puts an h after a w when it is not needed and sometimes doesn't put one when it is needed

- class study of a book in upper KS2 where no child has a copy of a book and it is not put on the whiteboard either. The teacher spends a long time reading out loud a chapter to the children, and the children have to remember what they heard to then answer the comprehension questions

- whole class spelling lessons in year 5 concentrating on a small number of suffixes but no explanation of consonant doubling

- consonants being referred to as constanants by the class teacher

- a governor helper telling a child she got something wrong when she didn't - she added the -ful suffix to care and wrote careful - he asked her "how do you spell full?"

- a year 5 phonics lesson on ay, a-e, ai where the children were supposed to be able to work out from listening to the word whether it would be ai or a-e

- a year 5 teacher who thought the past tense of shake was shaked and a pupil had to point out that the IWB laptop had put a wiggly line under it so it must be wrong

- a classroom with the word "spikey" written in large letters on the board

- children in KS2 having 3 dictionaries in the class up on a bookshelf, and this is the sole way of helping them spell correctly while they write

- year 2 children (this week) not being able to read the word "bigger" in their simple ORT stage 4 whole word reading book because they haven't done er yet in phonics (and this a supposedly RWI school)

- loads of children right up and down both schools holding their pencils like toddlers or pre-schoolers

- very little written material which needs to be read any day of the week - a very small number of words per week read by any child at school in either KS1 or KS2, and really dire books sent home and sometimes enforced when the children hate them

- and a personal one - I have paid a private Occupational Therapist to help my own child with what she needs to assist her to be able ultimately to hold a pencil correctly (and there's more to it than just what her hand is doing - issues to do with core strength, fine motor control, balance and midline crossing). The OT wants to be able to meet the teacher briefly. The school will not allow it.

Why is it that in maths most teachers seem to see a need to teach logically, and move on from what the child already knows, but in literacy they don't?

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Re: seeking info re: SP with illiterate teenage students

Post by volunteer » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:54 pm

Sorry have gone a bit off topic but it shows the various ways in which an illiterate teenager (or one who is a good deal less literate than they could be) is created.

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Re: seeking info re: SP with illiterate teenage students

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:35 pm

Not off topic at all - we need to observe and notice the detail - or lack of - that still occurs in our schools.

I never cease to be shocked.

All the more reason why Ofsted inspectors need to be first class and be very clear as to what it is EXACTLY that they are looking for and how best an inspection process can support teachers and schools to raise levels.

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