Lost for Words website -advice for parents on intervention

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Susan Godsland
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Lost for Words website -advice for parents on intervention

Post by Susan Godsland » Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:37 am

I just don’t understand why Jean Gross, Director of ECAR (the organisation responsible for pushing the commercial, whole-language intervention programme Reading Recovery into schools) was given the job of writing the Lost for Words page for parents, on interventions.

'What To Do if Your Child Has Reading Difficulties'
http://www.channel4.com/culture/microsi ... elp_8.html

Ms Gross has put some very misleading information on that page.
She writes:
There are a number of intervention programmes that have evidence of effectiveness behind them. Government commissioned a research report on the evidence for different interventions in 2002, with an update due to be published later this year. The research concluded that effective interventions could at least double children's normal rate of progress, and set out which interventions actually on average achieve this. They are:

Acceleread, Accelewrite
Academy of Reading
ARROW
Better Reading Partnership
Better Reading Partnership
Corrective Reading
Catch-up Literacy
ENABLE PLUS
Direct Phonics Literacy Acceleration
ENABLE
Paired reading
Family Literacy
Fischer Family Trust Wave 3
Lexia
Multisensory Teaching system for reading (MTSR)
Paired reading
Phono-graphixTM
Reading Recovery
Reciprocal Teaching
Reading Intervention
Read Write Inc
Sound /Discovery
Sounds-Write
SIDNEY
Toe by Toe
THRASS
The 2002 research review was carried out by Greg Brooks. Here is the report:
http://www.dfes.gov.uk/research/data/up ... /RR380.pdf

If you look at the 25 programmes included in the ACTUAL report you’ll notice that not one synthetic phonic programme (apart from, possibly, **) was mentioned. In fact, two of the listed programmes, Reading Recovery and its cheaper copy, Catch Up, were investigated by the RRF and shown to be very far from satisfactory http://www.rrf.org.uk/newsletter.php?n_ID=185
http://www.rrf.org.uk/newsletter.php?n_ID=186

If you examine Ms Gross’ list above, it appears that she has pulled some synthetic phonic programmes (Read Write Inc /Sound Discovery/ Sounds-Write…) out of the ether and added them to the 2002 report.

Could it be that it suddenly appears timely to put a ‘synthetic phonic gloss’ on all those whole–language interventions?

Putting the two very different types of programme together on the list will give some anxious and vulnerable parents the misleading impression that they are equally good. They are not. Putting struggling children through any whole-language intervention is adding insult to injury.

Parents who need help for their children’s reading difficulties should know that there ARE some genuine synthetic phonic intervention programmes. Besides being effective, these programmes are faster, cheaper to implement and fully compliant with the Rose review's advice on literacy intervention; '…effective intervention work should focus on the phonic skills children have already met in their mainstream classes but may need more help and time from skilled adults to strengthen and secure those aspects they had not first understood' (Rose 153) i.e. that intervention work should consist of more time and help using synthetic phonics, not something different. Rose’s advice was backed by the DCSF when it stated that, 'High-quality phonic work, as defined by the Rose review, should be a key feature of literacy provision in all the ‘waves’ of intervention'.

Genuine synthetic phonics programmes suitable for literacy intervention work are marked with a pink XX: http://www.aowm73.dsl.pipex.com/dyslexi ... her_10.htm

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Post by maizie » Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:04 pm

Susan,

AcceleReadAcceleWrite is not a Whole Language intervention. As I seem to remember, it came out very well in Greg Brooks report.

It isn't 'exactly' SP either, but it can be used in an SP way. It is a series of sentences for reading and writing which work through letter/sound correspondences. It presupposes that children can sound out and blend and segment for spelling.

It is used in conjunction with a text to speech programme on a computer.

Child reads a sentence several times to memorise it. Child then types the sentence from memory, the computer reads back each word when it is typed, exactly as it is written, so if the child has made a mistake they hear their error. Child then corrects (unaided). Once four sentences have been typed they are then deleted and child has to type in all the words they can remember with the target PGC in them.

What do you think?

It is highly recommended by people whose views I respect.

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Post by Derrie Clark » Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:53 pm

Perhaps they are in the update she mentions Susan?
As you say, Reading Recovery did not fare well in the first report but this list does not reflect efficacy as the one in the report does. I'm really not sure what evidence there is for the Better Reading Partnership, Family Fischer Trust, etc?

And, as you say Maizie, Acceleread Accelewrite (alongside **) did come out well.

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Post by Derrie Clark » Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:03 pm


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Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:55 pm

Gordon Brown needs to get his act together and make his political gesture at funding one to one tutoring for children who can't yet read well based on support of the Rose Recommendations - not the reading strategies encapsulated in Reading Recovery that Rose rejects.

I can see nothing but wrong practice here whether intentionally or naively.

The sooner, though, that Gordon Brown acknowledges his political and educational gaffe and straightens out the underlying principles of accountability and consistency - the better. Is this government going to be consistently in support of the Rose recommendations or not?

Attention will continue to be drawn to the connections of what Gordon Brown promotes and the way that he promotes his initiative which will completely detract from the sheer miracle of us achieving the Rose Review and the Rose Report at all.

How this will pan out in history will be fascinating - although potentially tragic. We can have fast and impacting teaching in our schools or drag out the debate ad infinitum.

Will the Tory party come out of the closet and come down on the side of applying good and fair principles and equality?

Or will they continue to hide away from the Reading Recovery-promotion issue?

Will teachers continue to put up with the promotion of intervention programmes which contradict the latest guidance in Letters and Sounds and the Rose Report through either their ignorance of the situation or because funding accompanies the use of the flawed intervention programmes?

It's such a mega can of worms.

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Post by ian » Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:51 pm

maizie wrote:AcceleReadAcceleWrite is not a Whole Language intervention. As I seem to remember, it came out very well in Greg Brooks report.
I think this might have been the report that Dominic Wyse was referring to as 'proof' that Reading Recovery works during the Channel 4 debate. (He spoke of a metaanalysis comparing different intervention programmes).
I'm sure I read somewhere a minister or DFES bod directly citing it; his argument was along the lines that 'Brooks say that an ratio gain over 1.4 was significant. RR has an ratio gain of 2.9 so it must work'. He failed to mention that AcceleRead had an ratio gain of 16.
I read it a while a go, so please correct me if I'm misinterpreting something. If you look at p.137 they do list all the schemes in order. ** is 8.3 and RR is even beaten by Paired Reading! (3.3).
Perhaps, if someone is feeling brave, they could send Dr Dom an email and ask him to clarify!

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Post by Derrie Clark » Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:15 pm

So does a ratio gain of 2.9 justify that level of funding? Also, what is being measured here - the one-to-one intensive daily input for 30 plus weeks or the mixed methods programme content?

I would have thought it would be fairly straight forward for Professor Dominic Wyse, with the backing of Cambridge University, to run a matched sample study - comparing Reading Recovery with a systematic, structured phonic programme.

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Post by Derrie Clark » Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:17 pm

And the Institute of Education for that matter.

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Post by maizie » Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:57 pm

Does anyone know how you work out a 'ratio gain'?
I would have thought it would be fairly straight forward for Professor Dominic Wyse, with the backing of Cambridge University, to run a matched sample study - comparing Reading Recovery with a systematic, structured phonic programme.

We seem to be the only people on earth who are asking this question, Derrie :evil:

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Post by Hammered » Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:56 pm

'a ratio gain is group's average gain in reading or spelling age in months divided by the time between pre- and post-test in months.' (p14).

I am right in understanding that the Greg Brooks report merely consisted of each programme submitting its own findings?? I heard Jean Gross speak last year and when she mentioned this paper I assumed that they had all been independently reviewed and compared statistically and fairly.

How on earth can they compare findings from all those different studies if everyone had reviewed their own programme? There is no consistency between them in research methods so how can they be compared with any confidence. All they give is a vague picture of effectiveness. RR certainly doesn't come out well. Gordon Brown can't have flicked through this report very thoroughly.

Surely someone out there must be comparing these properly!!!!! (and most important longitudally)

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Post by Susan Godsland » Thu Oct 25, 2007 7:05 pm

I am right in understanding that the Greg Brooks report merely consisted of each programme submitting its own findings??
Yes, that's correct -and it's the same for the, as yet unpublished, report update:

-see page 3.
http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/second ... 422806.pdf

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Post by Derrie Clark » Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:28 pm

How on earth can they compare findings from all those different studies if everyone had reviewed their own programme? There is no consistency between them in research methods so how can they be compared with any confidence.
I think I recall Dianne McGuinness commenting on this.

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Post by JIM CURRAN » Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:58 pm

Thanks Susan, this has turned out to be a very interesting thread with some very useful and important information being provided.

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Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Thu Oct 25, 2007 9:47 pm


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Post by JIM CURRAN » Fri Oct 26, 2007 4:25 am

When working out a groups ratio gain are the amount of actual hours of tuitition taken into account? If for example one group get 40 hours of intervention over a four month period and another group get 80 hours over the same four months, how is this calculated?

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