Improving Literacy at Work (Improving Learning)

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What are the Issues?

Literacy Learning at Work 2. Perspectives and Key Concepts 3. Literacy Learning at Work: The Benefits to Individuals 6. The Wider Context 9.

Evidence summaries

The Findings in International Context Improving Literacy Learning in and through Work. In particular, they combine rigorous social and educational science with high awareness of the significance of the issues being researched. The results show that while reading skills were improved considerably the biggest improvement concerned writing skills. Students in the test group wrote longer texts with better structure, clearer content, and a more elaborate language.

We use cookies to help provide and enhance our service and tailor content and ads. By continuing you agree to the use of cookies. Say the written word out loud to check that it matches the sound and recall the structure, shape and form. As pupils develop their literacy skills, teaching should respond to their changing needs. This approach can be used to identify appropriate catch up support for struggling pupils, but can also be used to ensure that high attaining pupils continue to make good progress.

Changing the focus targeting an aspect of literacy where a pupil needs more support; or. Changing the approach adopting a different approach to teaching the same aspect of literacy.

Improving Literacy in Key Stage One

A range of diagnostic tests and assessments for reading and writing are available and staff should be trained to use and interpret these effectively. Monitoring can be used to identify pupils who are struggling, or whose progress can be accelerated, and diagnostic assessments can suggest the type of support they need from the teacher to continue to progress.

When an assessment suggests that a child is struggling, effective diagnosis of the exact nature of their difficulty should be the first step, and should inform early and targeted intervention see recommendation 8. Every assessment involves trade-offs, such as between the time taken to complete an assessment and its validity and reliability.


Consequently, it is crucial to consider what data you hope to collect before selecting an appropriate assessment. For example, scores out of ten on a weekly spelling test may be valid for the purpose of identifying pupils most in need of extra spelling support monitoring , but the scores alone would not be valid for the purpose of informing future teaching diagnosis where an analysis of the kinds of mistakes a child makes in spelling should inform specific teaching strategies. Models of typical literacy development can provide useful tools to support teachers in selecting a particular aspect of literacy to focus on.

Proficient readers are skilled in both of these dimensions, while weaker readers may struggle with one or both of them. The four possible reading profiles are summarised in figure 2. The principle of using such a model to identify a pupil's relative strengths and weaknesses can be applied more broadly.

A similar model of writing development distinguishes between transcription handwriting, spelling and keyboard skills and composition skills composing a text that effectively suits its purpose and conveys meaning. Ultimately, the goal is fluency in these skills and integration of all dimensions of reading and writing, but in the short term it is critical to identify need and teach accordingly. It may be that a pupil does not need more instruction on a particular aspect of their literacy, but instead they require a different approach.

In this case the pupil may have become disengaged, or may be finding activities too hard or too easy. Where activities are found to be too challenging then scaffolding provides a useful analogy.

In construction, scaffolding provides temporary, adjustable support enabling tasks that would not otherwise be possible. There are many different frameworks for scaffolding, but they typically share three characteristics: A key principle of scaffolding is that one should aim to provide the minimum level of support that is needed. The level of support should gradually decrease in response to pupils becoming increasingly independent to avoid pupils failing to manage their own learning and becoming over-dependent. However, it provides a useful starting point when considering how to support pupils to improve.

Improving Literacy at Work

Schools should focus first on developing core classroom teaching strategies that improve the literacy capabilities of the whole class. With this in place, the need for additional support should decrease. Nevertheless, it is likely that a small number of pupils will require additional support—in the form of high-quality, structured, targeted interventions—to make progress. Identifying pupils who are struggling with their literacy is the first step see recommendation 7.

Targeted interventions involve a teacher, teaching assistant or other adult providing intensive individual or small-group support.

Improving Literacy in Key Stage One | Education Endowment Foundation | EEF

This may take place outside of normal lessons as additional teaching, or as a replacement for other lessons. If pupils are withdrawn from normal classroom activity it is important that the alternative support is more effective than the teaching they would normally receive. If the alternative support is not more effective then it is possible for pupils to fall even further behind as children left in their class will continue to make progress.

It is also important that pupils do not miss activities that they enjoy, and that a plan is in place to ensure the pupil can make links between their learning in intervention sessions and their work back in the classroom. On average, it is a case of the smaller the group, the greater the impact: Once group size increases above six or seven there is a noticeable reduction in effectiveness. However, although this generally holds, there is evidence that it is not always the case.

For example, in reading, small-group teaching can sometimes be more effective than either one-to-one or paired tuition.

It may be that in these cases reading practice has been efficiently organised so that all the group stay fully engaged as each take their turn, such as in Guided Reading. This variability in findings suggests that the quality of the teaching in small groups may be as or more important than group size. At present there are only a handful of catch-up programmes in the UK for which there is good evidence of effectiveness. If your school is using or considering programmes that have not been rigorously evaluated, you should ensure that they include these features: The evidence suggests that interventions delivered by Teaching Assistants TAs can have a positive impact on attainment, but on average this impact is lower than when delivered by a teacher.

Reimagining Classrooms: Teachers as Learners and Students as Leaders

In other words, what matters most is not whether TAs are delivering interventions, but how they are doing so. In this context, structured evidence- based programmes provide an excellent means of aiding high-quality delivery. The recommendations should be considered together, as a group, and should not be implemented selectively. For example, although there is very extensive evidence for teaching reading comprehension strategies recommendation 3 , this is just one part of a broad and balanced approach to teaching reading recommendation 2.

Improving Literacy at Work (Improving Learning) Improving Literacy at Work (Improving Learning)
Improving Literacy at Work (Improving Learning) Improving Literacy at Work (Improving Learning)
Improving Literacy at Work (Improving Learning) Improving Literacy at Work (Improving Learning)
Improving Literacy at Work (Improving Learning) Improving Literacy at Work (Improving Learning)
Improving Literacy at Work (Improving Learning) Improving Literacy at Work (Improving Learning)
Improving Literacy at Work (Improving Learning) Improving Literacy at Work (Improving Learning)

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