A levelled literacy intervention for foundation phase learners

Kidd, Nita (2011-03)

Thesis (MEd)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: It is clear from a recent study done by the Western Cape Education Department that the quality of literacy instruction in primary schools is not up to standard (WCED, 2006; Kruizinga, 2010). Therefore, countless learners struggle with the acquisition of literacy skills, such as reading and writing (WCED, 2006). One of the numerous reasons for South Africa's poor literacy levels is stated in the National Reading Strategy (Department of Education, 2008:10): “Learners who experience barriers to learning often do not receive the support needed to become fluent readers.” Despite the policies of inclusive education that recognise the special needs of learners in all sectors of education (Department of Education, 2008:10), countless children find it impossible to decipher and make sense of the unfamiliar texts they encounter in school. For this reason, many learners struggle with feelings of frustration, inadequacy and a sense of failure. As a result of the poor literacy levels, a literacy intervention programme was developed that was used to improve the literacy levels of learners who needed individualised instruction in the specific areas of reading and writing. This intervention programme was based on the principles of Reading Recovery®, a New Zealand literacy intervention programme developed by Clay (1993). Her Observation Survey assessment tasks (Clay, 2002) were used as the main research instrument within a pre-test, mid-test and post-test design. In addition to quantitative data, the Observation Survey yielded qualitative, descriptive data on children's literacy-processing behaviours, which were used to monitor learner progress and provide a source of feedback to guide teachers' instructional decision-making. Three struggling grade three learners were chosen for the intervention, together with a control group consisting of four average-performing learners to which the intervention group was compared. The comparison was done in order to gain knowledge of the intervention group‟s improvement and to see whether they progressed to the level of the control group as a result of the intervention. This programme was designed to accelerate the learning process of struggling learners, firstly by using levelled texts, and secondly by teaching the learners to apply the comprehension strategies needed for successful reading and writing. The results indicate that the intervention group reached the average performance level of the control group and therefore the intervention proved to be successful. Towards the end of the intervention it became clear that the project merited further research and support.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: 'n Onlangse studie wat deur die Wes-Kaapse Onderwysdepartement voltooi is, het aangetoon dat die kwaliteit van geletterdheidsonderrig nie op standaard is nie. Gevolglik is daar baie leerders wat geletterdheidsprobleme ervaar (WCED, 2006). Een van die vele redes vir Suid-Afrika se lae geletterdheidsvlakke word in die Nasionale Leesstrategie (Department of Education, 2008:10) weergegee: “Leerders wat struikelblokke tot leer ervaar, ontvang gewoonlik nie die ondersteuning wat hul benodig om suksesvolle lesers te word nie.” Ten spyte van die Inklusiewe Onderwysriglyne wat die spesiale behoeftes van alle leerders in alle sektore van onderwys erken (Department of Education, 2008:100), is daar steeds vele kinders wat dit feitlik onmoontlik vind om sin te maak van onbekende tekste waarmee hul in die skool te doen kry. Vir hierdie redes sukkel baie leerders met gevoelens van frustrasie, ontoereikendheid en mislukking. As gevolg van die geletterdheidsprobleme onder jong leerders, het ek 'n intervensieprogram ontwikkel wat gebruik is om die geletterdheidsvlakke van leerders wat spesifiek geletterdheidsprobleme ervaar op te stoot. Die intervensie is gebaseer op beginsels van Reading Recovery®, 'n Nieu-Seelandse Geletterdheidsprogram wat deur Clay (2002) ontwikkel is. Die bykomende “Observation Survey” assesseringstake is gebruik as die hoof navorsingsinstrument binne die raamwerk van 'n voortoets, middel-toets, natoets-navorsingsontwerp. Bo en behalwe die kwantitatiewe data wat die “Observation Survey” take opgelewer het, het die assesseringsinstrument ook kwalitatiewe data verskaf ten opsigte van die leerders se geletterdheids-prosesseringsgedrag. Hierdie data het my gehelp om die leerders se vordering te monitor, asook om my onderrigsbesluite te rig. Drie graad drie leerders wat geletterdheidsprobleme ervaar het, is gekies om deel te neem aan die intervensie. Vier graad drie leerders wat gemiddeld presteer, is vir die kontrolegroep gekies waarteen die intervensiegroep gemeet is. Een van die doele van die intervensie was om te sien of die intervensiegroep binne die gegewe tydperk die gemiddelde vlak van die kontrolegroep kon bereik. Die program is ontwerp om op die een-tot-een vlak sukkelende leerders se leerproses te versnel deur eerstens gebruik te maak van tekste wat in vlakke van „n progressiewe moeilikheidsgraad opgedeel is. Tweedens is die intervensieleerders geleer om 'n verskeidenheid begripstrategieё toe te pas wat enige leser nodig het om met sukses te kan lees en skryf. Die assesseringsresultate het getoon dat die intervensieleerders na verloop van die intervensie die gemiddelde lees- en skryfvlakke van die kontrole groep bereik het. Dus was die studie 'n sukses. Aan die einde van die intervensie het dit duidelik geword dat die projek verdere navorsing in hierdie veld vereis.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6682
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