Literacy

Literacy assessment

With the national testing of all students parents are getting information on their child’s progress at school.  However many parents find that it is difficult to understand the results or they do not tally with their own belief about how their child is going.

Developing literacy in children

Child can’t read? Or can your child read a paragraph out of a book with few errors but doesn’t understand anything that was just read?  If so, your child almost certainly has difficulty with literacy.  Or perhaps your child has been given a label such as ‘intellectual disability’ or ‘autism’ and you have been told he or she will not be able to read.  This may be untrue.

Some crucial things you need to know about reading:

  • It is never too late to learn.  We work in high schools and can work with adults (see below).
  • Failure to learn to read is almost never due to the child not having the ‘ability’ — it is normally due to inefficient and inappropriate teaching methods.  With appropriate, research-based teaching methods and positive feedback, most children can learn to read.
  • It doesn’t have to take years.  With appropriate teaching, learning rates can often be accelerated to 2 or 3 times normal rates so the child can ‘catch up’.
  • Failure to read has been shown to have life-long consequences — reducing employment prospects, education prospects and is strongly linked to crime.

What skills does a child need for us to start teaching reading?

Just two things:

  • The skill of being able to imitate sound reliably.  For example, if you say ‘mmmmm’ your child will be able to imitate this reliably.
  • Can say 20 plus words accurately in relation to objects — for example can name pictures of a cow, car, house etc.

What do you need to teach your child to read?

  • Commitment to teach 4 or more lessons per week (15-45 minutes)
  • Research based teaching approaches based around carefully constructed lessons.

Include can assist with this.  Teaching is done in the home by the parents using teaching material hired through the program.  Click here for more information.  To view examples of the teaching program click here.

Note that while we have extensive experience in successfully developing literacy, numeracy and spelling, it is not possible to guarantee success as this depends on several factors outside of our control.  However we will give accurate information about progress so everyone is able to see the outcome of the program, even if results are not as desired.

Literacy for Adults and Adolescents

Adults and adolescents can also be taught to read.  What is required is commitment to at least 4 hours per week of work on literacy and a person who is literate to teach the adult.

The teacher could be a spouse, friend or a person (e.g.  a student) who is privately engaged to teach the adult.  The teacher would be taught how to carry out the program and the teaching material would be hired from Include.  Click here for more information.