Work in Progress
Investigating the impact of intensive reading pedagogy in adult literacy
- Investigating the impact of intensive reading pedagogy in adult literacy
- Managed research project
- Project no:
- Date commenced:
- 1 December 2006
- Helen de Silva Joyce
- phone: 02 9289 9216
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The purpose of this research project is to investigate, through an action-research methodology, the most effective means for informing and training practising adult ESOL and Adult Basic Education (ABE) teachers in how to implement a more intensive and scaffolded approach to the teaching of reading, which many find the most problematic aspect of adult literacy teaching. The aim is to contribute evidenced-based research to processes of professional development in reading pedagogy, improving support for teachers and enhancing learning opportunities of ESOL and ABE students. It is intended that the research process will, in the immediate-term, build a base of skilled and reflective teachers, and in the longer-term contribute to resource and policy development and impact on professional training programs.
Action research, interviews, observations
The following research questions will be considered during this project:
1. What differences in learning outcomes eventuate from a more intensive and scaffolded approach to the teaching of reading?
2. Does a more intensive and scaffolded approach to the teaching of reading affect learner responses to reading?
3. Does a more intensive and scaffolded approach to the teaching of reading affect other educational outcomes for adult literacy students eg: writing skills?
4. What changes in teacher attitudes and practices are necessary to implement a more intensive and scaffolded approach to the teaching of reading?
5. What is the best means to train practising adult ESOL and ABE teachers to implement a more intensive and scaffolded approach to the teaching of reading?
The proposed research project will involve a combination of teacher development, action research undertaken by language, literacy and numeracy teachers in ESOL and ABE classrooms, observation and evaluation of resulting classroom practices and learner outcomes.
Three classes from two NSW community colleges, as well as three Adult Migrant English Services (AMES) classes will be identified. A demonstration scaffolding lesson with an AMES class will be conducted by an experienced practitioner of the approach, and video recorded. As least 3 ABE teachers and 3 Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) teachers will be recruited to participate in a series of four workshops focusing on the scaffolding reading approach. The teachers will be required to implement this approach in their classrooms, using detailed lesson plans provided, and to reflect on the approach through guided action-research questions. Some lessons given by the teachers using the scaffolding approach will be video recorded for reflection with the researchers, and in the training workshops.
A cross-section of students will be interviewed, either individually or in focus groups, about their responses to the approach. The students ability to read the text-types that will be the focus of intensive reading lessons will also be assessed. The cross-section will include 50 to 60 beginner and low-intermediate students in the ESL and ABE sectors - refugees, migrant and native speaker literacy students.
Data collected from observations, teacher action research and interviews with students will be collaboratively reviewed and analysed by teachers and researchers towards the development of a series of case studies. Researchers will undertake more detailed analysis of classroom discourse and other data for preparation of the final report and recommendations about future implementation in ABE and ESOL.
The NSW Directorate of Community and Migrant Education brings together the NSW Adult Migrant English Service and the Adult and Community Education Unit. NSW AMES has been providing English language and literacy programs for over 56 years and is the lead agency and Prime Contractor for the DET Consortia to deliver English Language and Literacy services through the Commonwealth funded Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) across three regions in NSW. AMES also delivers the LLNP in partnership with TAFE NSW. NSW AMES developed the Certificates I to IV in Spoken and Written English which are now the most widely used language and literacy curricula in Australia. They are used as the basis of the Adult Migrant English Program, in NSW school-based Intensive English Centres, in Aboriginal Education in the Northern Territory, in Corrective Services in NSW and the Northern Territory and by a range of private providers. The Adult and Community Education Unit administers funds and provides support to 62 adult and community education (ACE) providers across NSW.
The Faculty of Education at the University of Technology, Sydney is one of Australia's major providers of adult education, language and literacy and teacher education, with more than 2200 enrolled students. The Faculty has a well-established and internationally recognised reputation for undertaking research that focuses on the complex and multifaceted relationship between learning and change.
Reading to Learn provides inservice training to teachers in schools and universities across Australia and internationally, in the scaffolding pedagogy outlined above. Numerous national and international education providers have participated in the program since 2000.