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Lexia Software

Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:47 pm
by Derrie Clark
Is anyone familiar with this? I was quite concerned recently as I observed a young child on it. Some of the sounds produced by the computer are not pure. Also when introducing high frequency words it uses letter names rather than phoneme to grapheme matching, for example, 'all' was taught as 'ay, el, el' and 'there' as 'tee, aitch, ee, are, ee'?

Re: Lexia Software

Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:50 pm
by Susan Godsland
It was discussed earlier this year:

http://www.rrf.org.uk/messageforum/view ... f=1&t=5230

Re: Lexia Software

Posted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:39 pm
by Derrie Clark
Thanks Susan. It looks like another one of those programmes that does not reflect a good understanding of the underpinning principles of the alphabet code which removes consistency across teaching and causes some muddlement for children.

Re: Lexia Software

Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:40 am
by cartwheel
I have a bit of experience with Lexia. It's not synthetic phonics. It's phonics of the Not-Terribly-Effective type. But around where I live in the U.S. it's better than the "No Phonics" that so many children suffer from. I don't see any reason for folks in the U.K. to use Lexia. You have much better programs readily available.

The entry level of Lexia covers phonological awareness (first/last sounds and rhyming). It drove me crazy in a school setting recently when I watched struggling students in Spring of their kindergarten year trying to move through these PA activities instead of learning letter-sound correspondences and blending right from the start. I learned that I could by-pass that level and get them into the next level (letter-sounds). It had to be done manually. Interestingly, the students became far more engaged once they were actually learning something that they knew was connected to learning to read.

There are lots of sight words with no indication of "tricky parts" plus blending.

There is some connecting of words to their pictures (yes, I saw lots of guessing based on the first letter).

Digraphs don't show up until well into the program. (Children were often removed from Lexia before they ever got to that level.)

There don't seem to be explicit instructions from the program that the child should be saying the sounds out loud.

There are assessments that can be used: letter-sounds (alphabet sounds); real words; nonsense words. But the reports that result from the assessments are visually confusing and don't provide clear enough guidance to the instructor.

There absolutely needs to be direct oversight by a trained adult. It is not unknown for students to stay on the same activities and make zero progress over the course of many months.

Jennie (U.S.)

Re: Lexia Software

Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:27 am
by geraldinecarter
Thank you Jennie. What an admirably clear summary.

Some time ago Lexia approached the government but I hope that nothing came of that.

Re: Lexia Software

Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:06 am
by Derrie Clark
Thank you Jennie. I will print off your answer and show it to Head Teachers.

I think schools assume that any of these phonic resources on the market all share the same principles and computer packages, on the face of it, don't require an adult with the child.

Re: Lexia Software

Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:34 am
by Susan Godsland
From Brooks 'What works for pupils with literacy difficulties?'

Lexia
(1) Norfolk
Main reference: Worsley (2003b)
Research design: One-group pre-test/post-test study
Date: 2003
Age range: Y2–3
Type of children: Low attainment (most had r.a’s 2 years or more below c.a.)
N of experimental group: 37 in 13 schools
N of comparison group: (no comparison group)
N of alternative intervention group: (no alternative intervention group)
Length of intervention in weeks: 10
Tests used: Salford Sentence Reading Test, revised; Young’s Parallel Spelling Test
Pre- and post-test average r.a’s in years and months, average s.a’s in years and decimal years,
gains in months of r.a./s.a. (s.d’s not stated), and ratio gains:
pre post gain RG
reading comprehension 5:1 5:7.4 6.4 2.6
spelling 6.5 6.7 2.4 1.0
Effect sizes: n/a
Statistical significances: were not stated and could not be calculated
Starting and ending levels and progress: The pre- and post-test average scores were all within the
functionally illiterate range. There was useful progress in comprehension, only standard progress in spelling.
These children would need systematic further intervention.
Follow-up: (no follow-up)

Googling reveals that many schools are using their precious pupil premium money to fund Lexia.

Re: Lexia Software

Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:40 am
by Derrie Clark
Oh dear! Thank you Susan, I will add this to my note to Head Teachers!