Literacy & Reading
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the ability to read and write.
1. the action or skill of reading. 2. an instance of something being read to an audience. 3. an interpretation of a text. 4. a figure recorded on a measuring instrument. 5. a stage of debate in parliament through which a bill must pass before it can become law.
Literacy is a crucial skill for survival in the modern world. The ability to read and write applies wherever you are and in any walk of life. Reading is an essential component of being literate. The development of Literacy and Reading, forms a significant part of education throughout life and applies to many kinds of literacy, all of which are based in on the capacity to read and understand.
This page looks at Literacy and Reading Development. It includes background information, statistics, innovations and more from Australia and overseas. Reading Development looks at different formats including the Phonics debate, Direct Instruction and Reading Recovery.
Background information, statistics, the Australian scene, innovations, more.
- Australian Literacy Educators’ Association
‘Support and professional development to educators and others interested in literacy through international, national, state and regional conferences, workshops and seminars, journals, position papers, other publications’.
- Better Beginnings Family Literacy Program
‘Better Beginnings supports parents in reading to children so that they build the early literacy skills they need to become good readers and succeed at school’.
- Reading and Writing Hotline
‘Australia’s national telephone adult literacy and numeracy referral service’.
Reports, Major Documents, Articles, etc.
- Language & Literacy
Learning Difficulties Australia. Key Research Papers, plus resources, government initiatives, links, more.
- Literacy In The New Millennium
PDF report on this topic. Summary available in HTML, purchase a hard copy.
- Literacy Standards in Australia
PDF document. ACER Research.
- Literacy Strategies Handbook
‘Contains effective strategies that can be used to develop classroom literacy activities’. Nearly 7mb in size.
- National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy
2005, ACER. Multiple documents available as a result of this.
- National Partnership Agreement on Literacy and Numeracy
Council of Australian Governments COAG.
- Reading to Young Children : A Head-Start in Life
DET, Victoria. ‘Explores the connections between parents reading to their young children and their child’s later reading and other cognitive skills’.
Standards for Teachers of English Language and Literacy in Australia. ‘STELLA attempts to capture the depth and range of accomplished English/Literacy teaching. The STELLA materials identify current best principles and practice for English Literacy teaching. They encourage continuing reflection, review and dialogue about what ‘good’ English Literacy teachers believe, know and are able to do’.
- Who Set the Benchmarks ? …
“Analysing the National Literacy Agenda”. Thoughtful article by Margaret Gill, Monash University. Australian Association for the Teaching of English.
- 21st Century Literacies
Reviews literacies from Basic Language to Mathematical, Cultural, Information. Each has a range of information in various forms - PDF, extracts, Power Point, web page, etc..
- 30 Storytelling Tips For Educators
‘If a teacher becomes an excellent storyteller, he or she can ensure that any concept they teach will be remembered for years to come’.
- Critical literacy
‘This article outlines the history and theory of critical literacy and details its application in the classroom’. USA.
- Critical Literacy : A Lens to Learning
‘Critical Literacy is an ongoing learning process that enables one to use reading, writing, thinking, listening, speaking, and evaluating in order to effectively interact, construct meaning, and communicate for real-life situations’. Multi-part presentation. USA.
- What is Critical Literacy ?
9 part presentation. USA.
- Five from Five
‘Children need explicit instruction in the five essential components of reading in every classroom, every day’.
- Kids and Family Reading Report
‘Kids age 5-17 believe technology will supplement - not replace - book reading and say they will always want to read books printed on paper’. This is the January, 2015 Report.
- Literacy Learning Progressions
Done for the Ministry of Education in New Zealand. PDF download available.
- Literacy Assessment Online
‘Rapidly assess pupils’ literacy standards, Measure intervention effectiveness. Track progress over time. Quickly gain an insight into literacy standards across your school’. While UK Based, some Australian teachers who have discovered the site are now applying for accounts.
‘Your source for research and development on literacy in the U.S. and worldwide’.
- Literacy Resources on The Internet
International Association of School Librarianship. Well annotated links to resources, information.
- The Literacy Shed
‘The Literacy Shed is home to a wealth of visual resources that I have collected over my 10 year career as a primary school teacher. I trawl YouTube, Vimeo and other sites looking for suitable resources to use in the sheds. The aim is to provide high quality resources that can be used in stand alone literacy lessons’.
A specific instructional format now being used in a number of Indigenous settings in particular. It is not a new idea in Australia, but has been out of favour for some time, and certainly more popular in a number of other countries.
- Direct Instruction
University of Kansas. Clear description, with links to Case Studies and Teacher Tools.
- Direct Instruction and the teaching of Reading
2014, The Conversation. Looks at what it is, several responses to its use and where it is being used.
- Five Meanings of Direct Instruction
A synthesis by Barak Rosenshine. A more technical presentation, but covers all areas well.
- On Explicit and Direct Instruction
ALEA. What they are; what the literacy says; a series of propositions and responses.
- What is Direct Instruction ?
Canadian. ‘Presents a short description of the three main evidence-based types of direct instruction, some of the reading programs most associated with them and examples of research showing how direct instruction has helped struggling readers improve their reading skills’. Canada.
Different to the Direct Instruction format above. The links below provide a clear description of this.
- Guided Reading
Introduction, features, models, links, references, more. Wikipedia.
- Guided Reading - A Snapshot
Overview, including what it is, reasons for using it, more.
- Using Guided Reading to Develop Student Reading Independence
ReadWriteThink. ‘This strategy guide describes ideas that support guided reading, including practical suggestions for implementing it in the classroom; introduces guided reading; and includes a reading list for further investigation’.
- What Is Guided Reading ?
A brief introduction from Scholastic.
Structured reading program based on phonics, sight word recognition, supported book reading.
- An Evaluation of Multilit
“Making Up Lost Time In Literacy”.
- MiniLit Program [MultiLit]
‘An evidence-based, effective and cost-effective early literacy program. 80 carefully structured lessons, divided into two levels of forty lessons each’.
Information about the program[s], including costs, for parents and schools.
- MultiLit [YouTube]
A series of short videos covering reviews and specific sections.
- Research Publications
Books, chapters, articles, materials, research reports, conference papers.
Many do not advocate use of phonics in reading. Some children benefit, especially when used in conjunction with other methods. With learning being individual, If it works - use it !.
- A Systematic Review of the Research Literature
On the Use of Phonics in the Teaching of Reading and Spelling. ‘Based on evidence from randomised controlled trials’. Department of Education, UK. Archived.
- NRRF - Phonics
‘The National Right to Read Foundation - Phonics - It Works !’
- Phonics Resources, Web English Teacher
- Review of Early Reading
The Rose Review. ‘Provided clear recommendations on what constitutes high quality phonics work. These recommendations were also summarised in the Core Position Paper’. UK.
- Synthetic Phonics
What it is; research, Analytic Phonics v Synthetic Phonics; glossary; further reading, Phonics in the Curriculum [including Australian Curriculum]; free and fee-based resources, more
Phonics or Whole Language ?
Over recent years there has been heated discussion about which is best. If people think about it, both can be of value. The approach selected Must take into account the needs and capacities of each individual student. These sites give input to this discussion.
- Beyond the Phonics vs. Whole Language Debate
‘What the research says we should really be teaching in Reading’. Sydney University.
- IRA Position Statement - Phonics
- NRRF - About Phonics
‘The National Right to Read Foundation - About Phonics’.
- NRRF Research
‘Research findings from more than 30 years of studies under two very expensive federally funded programs are now available’.
- Phonics & Whole Language
‘Published from 1976 to 2002, the findings of these reviews are mixed’. Listing with abstracts, many with PDF downloads.
- The Reading Wars
“Phonics versus Whole Language”. Article by Jon Reyhner, Northern Arizona University.
- Reading Stages
‘Chall proposed six developmental stages that describe how children typically learn to read, as summarised in table below’.
- Stages of Development
Four stages are detailed.
- Techniques for Teaching Reading Effectively
Includes ‘Reading 101; Who’s at risk for not learning to read; What else matters in teaching reading such as classroom management, differentiated instruction/grouping, working with parents, Glossary of basic terms in reading instruction’.
- Three Stages of Reading
‘The Three Stages Of Reading strategy involves teaching students to delve into text’. Covers the Before, During, After periods related to reading.
‘An early literacy intervention program providing intensive, individual help for children with difficulties in learning to read and write’. State & Territory links included.
- New South Wales
PDF, Multiple languages.
- South Australia
Information for South Australia can also be found on the Early Years Literacy and Numeracy Program site.
- Reading Recovery Council of North America
North American approach. Book lists, publications, journals, directories, training. Research section [PDF articles] is particularly good.