Article

Literacy Changes Lives: an advocacy resource

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Abstract

Background to this research In 2007, an American publication, To Read or Not to Read, set out a US perspective on the wider benefits of literacy. The document highlighted many areas familiar to English literacy research. To allow individuals to better understand the wider benefits of literacy, the National Literacy Trust has compiled this equivalent document for England. It draws on a number of sources that make use of longitudinal studies that have tracked their subjects from birth, such as the National Child Development Study (NCDS), which started in 1958, and the British Cohort Study, which began in 1970 (BCS70). This research presents overwhelming evidence that literacy has a significant relationship with a person's happiness and success. It gives a clear indication of the dangers of poor literacy and also the benefits of improving literacy for the individual, the community, the workforce and the nation.

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... While literacy difficulties occur for a range of reasons including special educational needs, disaffection and low aspirations (Dugdale & Clark, 2008), the impact of not developing competent reading skills may be significant. McCoy (2013) proposes that those with low levels of literacy are more likely to earn less money and experience poverty, while Dugdale and Clark (2008) state, 'literacy has a significant relationship with a person's happiness and success' (p. 6). ...
... While literacy difficulties occur for a range of reasons including special educational needs, disaffection and low aspirations (Dugdale & Clark, 2008), the impact of not developing competent reading skills may be significant. McCoy (2013) proposes that those with low levels of literacy are more likely to earn less money and experience poverty, while Dugdale and Clark (2008) state, 'literacy has a significant relationship with a person's happiness and success' (p. 6). Morrisroe (2014) highlighted that over half of teenage offenders have literacy difficulties and that factors associated with crime, including low attainment and negative school experiences, are related to low literacy levels. ...
Article
Research suggests that reading engagement and motivation are strong predictors of reading performance. Reading motivation may decline as students approach adolescence, resulting in less time spent with text. To date, there has been no research on how practitioners might directly support students to address affective factors in reading. In this exploratory case study, three disengaged, Year 8 readers received five sessions of an affective intervention aimed at helping them explore and challenge their own ambivalence towards reading. Quantitative and qualitative data from pre-, post- and three-month follow-up indicated a range of benefits in relation to reading engagement and motivation, including improved self-efficacy, increased participation and the usefulness of talking about affective factors in reading. Findings are further examined and implications for practitioners are discussed.
... 11 12 Reading is a skill that is dependent on underlying language ability 22 23 that relates very closely to educational and employment outcomes, and as such is a key functional outcome. 24 Reading comprehension was therefore prespecified as the primary outcome in this study. ...
... The superiority resulting from this rich-get-richer 'Matthew effect' 35 was more than 1 SD of the range of reading comprehension scores in their normally Table 3 Reading z-scores for children with bilateral PCHI by age of confirmation of PCHI and by birth in periods with and without UNHS hearing peers and is likely to impact on their life chances through educational achievement and employment. 24 Non-verbal ability was very similar in the early and late confirmed groups and adjustment for it was included in the regression model. This suggests that the deficit in reading scores in the late confirmed participants did not result from a general cognitive deficit but rather from the specific impact of delayed access to optimal language input early in life on language-related abilities. ...
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Objective To determine whether the benefits of universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS) seen at age 8 years persist through the second decade. Design Prospective cohort study of a population sample of children with permanent childhood hearing impairment (PCHI) followed up for 17 years since birth in periods with (or without) UNHS. Setting Birth cohort of 100 000 in southern England. Participants 114 teenagers aged 13–19 years, 76 with PCHI and 38 with normal hearing. All had previously their reading assessed aged 6–10 years. Interventions Birth in periods with and without UNHS; confirmation of PCHI before and after age 9 months. Main outcome measure Reading comprehension ability. Regression modelling took account of severity of hearing loss, non-verbal ability, maternal education and main language. Results Confirmation of PCHI by age 9 months was associated with significantly higher mean z-scores for reading comprehension (adjusted mean difference 1.17, 95% CI 0.36 to 1.97) although birth during periods with UNHS was not (adjusted mean difference 0.15, 95% CI −0.75 to 1.06). The gap between the reading comprehension z-scores of teenagers with early compared with late confirmed PCHI had widened at an adjusted mean rate of 0.06 per year (95% CI −0.02 to 0.13) during the 9.2-year mean interval since the previous assessment. Conclusions The benefit to reading comprehension of confirmation of PCHI by age 9 months increases during the teenage years. This strengthens the case for UNHS programmes that lead to early confirmation of permanent hearing loss.
... Being literate is key to success in the modern world, enabling employment, decreasing dependency on state benefits, and improving participation in the democratic process (Dugdale & Clark, 2008). There is growing awareness of the intergenerational nature of literacy skillsparents' reading-related knowledge (Ladd, Martin-Chang, & Levesque, 2011) and the home literacy environment they provide (Axford et al., 2019;Carroll, Holliman, Weir, & Baroody, 2019;Yeo, Ong, & Ng, 2014) influence children's reading development. ...
Article
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Background: Parents play a crucial role in supporting children's literacy, especially in the first years of school. However, parents can find this challenging if they struggle with reading themselves. We explore whether family learning phonics courses boost parents' reading-related skills and ability to support their children's reading, in a collaboration between UK academics and the National Family Learning Forum. Methods: Prior to data collection, academics and course leaders identified key skills for courses to target: phonological awareness, letter-sounds, segmenting and blending, and awareness of irregular words. Family learning teams recruited parents of Reception children (4–5 years old) for the phonics group (N = 50), targeting parents who were likely to need literacy support. Parents received 6 weeks of 1- to 2-hour phonics sessions in groups. Control participants (N = 76) were recruited online and had a Reception-age child (4–5 years old); controls received no training. All participants completed phonics-related tests at weeks 1 and 6. Results: The phonics group significantly improved on letter-sound knowledge (by 4.64 letters; 51 total items); the control group did not significantly improve on this measure. Both groups showed some improvement in phonological awareness and word reading (likely due to practice effects), and neither group improved on nonword reading. The reading questionnaire showed that the phonics group reported giving their children more regular support with literacy activities and placed a higher level of importance on homework, with no increase for the control group. Conclusions: We provide evidence that family learning phonics courses can improve crucial reading skills (letter-sound knowledge) and increase parents' confidence to support their children's reading. Some reading skills (phonological awareness, whole word reading, and decoding) may be slower to change and require longer term support. Future work should explore long-term consequences of such courses for parents' and their children's reading habits and skills.
... In the UK, the reading ability of 20% of adults is below that expected of an 11 year old child [2]. Such poor literacy skills are also linked to poor future employment success [3], and to a worse prognosis for health [4]. Given such findings, literacy is seen by many governments as a key area to target for pupils in schools. ...
Article
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Basic literacy skills underlie much future adult functioning, and are targeted in children through a variety of means. Children with reading problems were exposed either to a self-paced computer programme that focused on improving phonetic ability, or underwent a classroom-based reading intervention. Exposure was limited to 3 40-min sessions a week, for six weeks. The children were assessed in terms of their reading, spelling, and mathematics abilities, as well as for their externalising and internalising behaviour problems, before the programme commenced, and immediately after the programme terminated. Relative to the control group, the computer-programme improved reading by about seven months in boys (but not in girls), but had no impact on either spelling or mathematics. Children on the programme also demonstrated fewer externalising and internalising behaviour problems than the control group. The results suggest that brief exposure to a self-paced phonetic computer-teaching programme had some benefits for the sample.
... The involvement of carers cannot be taken for granted by the project, but contributions in the forms of developing language around texts, creating motivation and encouraging aspiration are significant in helping children develop literacy skills. The strong links between home life, parental or carer aspiration, and educational attainment are well demonstrated (Dugdale andClark 2008, Dymoke and. ...
... Encouraging people to read benefits society. In To Read or Not to Read (Endowment for the Arts, 2007) and Literacy Changes Lives (Dugdale and Clark, 2008), the authors argue that reading is essential for cultural and civic enrichment because good readers are also good citizens. Because employers prefer to hire proficient readers, these readers are more likely to enjoy economic success, happiness and life satisfaction. ...
Article
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Bugünün aday öğretmenleri, gelecek nesillerin işlevsel okuryazar olarak yetiştirilmesinde önemli bir sorumluluğa sahiptir. Ancak bu durum öğretmen adaylarının okumaya ilişkin nasıl bir tutuma sahip oldukları ile beraber, hangi gerekçelere dayalı olarak okudukları sorusunu da akla getirmektedir. Bu araştırma, sözü edilen soruya yanıt oluşturabilmek amacıyla var olan durumun betimlenmesine dayalı olarak gerçekleştirilmiştir. Araştırmanın verileri, Pamukkale Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Pedagojik Formasyon grubunda öğrenim gören 132 öğretmen adayından, araştırmacı tarafından hazırlanmış anket formu aracılığıyla toplanmıştır. Elde edilen veriler, içerik analizi tekniğiyle çözümlenmiştir. Araştırmada öğretmen adaylarının kitap okumanın önemine ilişkin gerekçeleri sırasıyla, akademik, sosyal ve kişisel olmak üzere üç tema şeklinde ortaya çıkmıştır. Akademik olarak adlandırılan tema; bilgiyi elde etme, dil becerilerini geliştirme, eleştirel ve yaratıcı düşünme becerilerini geliştirme olmak üzere üç alt temadan oluşmaktadır. Sosyal olarak adlandırılan ikinci tema; farklı bakış açılarını takdir etme, toplumda yer alma, farklı insanları/ kültürleri tanıma ve anlama, güncel olayların farkında olma, empati kurma şeklinde beş alt temadan oluşmaktadır. Kişisel olarak adlandırılan son tema ise, kişiliğimi geliştirme, yaşamımı düzenleme, rahatlama, keyif alma ve mutlu olma şeklinde beş alt tema olarak ifade edilmiştir.
... This has profound negative consequences for individuals in the long term in relation to their choice of employment, as many careers call for reading proficiency. Reading failure affects school achievement, job choice and economic prosperity in adulthood (Dugdale & Clark, 2008). But it is not just an economic problem; children's self esteem may be lowered and low self esteem can have other negative effects on children's achievement of their full human potential. ...
... success, and success in life after graduating from school or university (cf. Dugdale & Clark, 2008;Sternberg, Grigorenko, & Bundy, 2001). This paper explores first the relationship between home-based literacy activities (HBLA) and child and family characteristics, and second the development of children's verbal and cognitive development in Australia and Germany over the year prior to school entry. ...
Article
Home-based literacy activities (HBLA) such as reading with a child and their impact on cognitive competencies have been widely investigated. However, few comparison studies between different countries have been conducted. This study compares HBLA in Germany and Australia, and their associations with different control and outcome variables using longitudinal data of some 900/2500 children. More than two-thirds of the parents in both samples engaged in literacy interactions with their children more or less daily. Parents in both countries who reported more HBLA had higher levels of education, were less likely to speak another language than German or English (respectively) at home, and their children performed better in cognitive outcomes. These differences proved to be stable for the whole preschool period.
... Most school assessment is literacy-based; concessions made to assist children who find reading and writing challenging still require strong verbal communication skills. Later in life, strong literacy skills are associated with higher income, better job prospects, employment, lower risk of mental illnesses and better health overall (Fawcett, 2003;Lyon, 2002), and small gains in literacy competence have been associated with significant improvements in several areas of life (Dugdale and Clark, 2008). This highlights the important role to be played by early childhood educators in supporting early literacy skills. ...
Article
Children’s cognitive development has a neural basis, yet children’s learning is facilitated by interactions with more knowledgeable others. Young children experience such interactions in the context of the home learning environment (HLE), when parents support children’s thinking and learning during everyday activities. Consequently, one way to improve children’s cognitive abilities may be to enhance the quality of the HLE. In this study a non-intensive intervention was developed to improve both the HLE and children’s cognitive abilities. The sample consisted of 113 Australian 4-year-old children and their parents. All parents were invited to participate in a two-part intervention that included firstly attending a group meeting at which information regarding the HLE was provided, and secondly participating in an additional individual session that introduced the principles of counting and dialogic reading. The HLE and children’s Concept Formation, as an indicator of fluid reasoning, were assessed before and after the intervention. Families and children in the intervention group showed significantly greater gains in both, the quality of the HLE and children’s Concept Formation than members of the control group. Results indicate that non-intensive family interventions may positively impact on the HLE and children’s fluid reasoning.
... In 2007 a U.S. perspective on the wider benefits of literacy was reported in To Read or Not to Read. The NLT compiled an equivalent document for England and the Literacy Changes Lives report (Dugdale and Clark, 2008) draws on a number of sources that have used longitudinal studies that track subjects from birth. This research presents evidence that literacy has a significant impact on person's happiness and success, and gives a clear indication of the dangers of illiteracy as well as the benefits of improving literacy for the individual, the community, the workforce and the nation (2008). ...
Article
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Objective - To present the development, planning and implementation of a qualitative research project on the impact of National Year of Reading in Yorkshire. Methods - Generic Social Outcomes (GSO) were used to develop a theoretical framework. Data were gathered via in-depth interviews and focus groups with National Year of Reading (NYR) steering group partners in Calderdale and North Lincolnshire, selected as the two case study authorities. The use of MAXQDA computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS) enabled data and coding structures to be stored and facilitated comparison in this longitudinal study. Results - The findings using the GSO framework show considerable evidence of NYR related activities in supporting the three first-tier social outcomes: 'Stronger and Safer Communities', 'Health and Well-Being' and 'Strengthening Public Life.' Conclusion - The GSO framework can be used by practitioners to help provide evidence for how public libraries contribute to diverse agendas and demonstrate their value to the community. Public library authorities can use this evidence for planning and for advocacy with a range of audiences including local and central government.
... Literacy is a fundamental skill that is linked to economic success and personal wellbeing (Dugdale & Clark, 2008). The United Nations identified early universal access to quality education, through both the Millennium Development Goals in 2000 and the Sustainable Development Goals in 2012, as a means to reverse the negative cycle of illiteracy and poverty (United Nations, 2015a, 2015b. ...
... Moreover, modern communication is increasingly dependent on being able to read and make sense of what is read: Twitter and Facebook for example require sufficient reading ability in order to be used. Reading abilities have also been shown to be related to well-being, health and civic engagement (Dugdale & Clark, 2008). Adult literacy studies like the OECD's Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC; OECD, 2013a) show how reading ability is related to demands on the job and performance in the labour market. ...
Article
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Research provides evidence that gender, immigrant background and socio-economic characteristics present multiple disadvantaging characteristics that change their relative importance and configurations over time. When evaluating inequalities researchers tend to focus on one particular aspect and often use composite measures when evaluating socio-economic characteristics. Neither can fully represent the complexity of students’ various disadvantaging characteristics, which have autonomous associations with attainment and with each other. This paper investigates how the relative importance and configurations of different disadvantaging factors have changed over time to form educational inequalities and how these changes differ across countries. Data from five PISA cycles (2000–2012) for France, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom are used and configurations of gender, immigration background, parents’ occupational and educational levels, and the number of books at home evaluated. Results enable us to relate changes (or lack thereof) in configurations of disadvantaging factors to recent reforms targeted at reducing educational inequality after the first PISA results.
... Clark and Foster, 2005). Consequently, a lack of access to books and other reading materials may result in children not being exposed to the cognitive and linguistic experiences that books and other texts provide (for a detailed account of the relationship between poor literacy skills and social inclusion, see Dugdale and Clark, 2008). Indeed, a previous analysis by the NLT showed that pupils from lower socio-economic backgrounds read less and hold more negative attitudes towards reading than pupils from more advantaged backgrounds (Clark and Akerman, 2006). ...
... The National Literacy Trust have reported that literacy within communities facilitates social justice, economic independence and personal health and wellbeing (Dugdale & Clark, 2008). However, almost 15% of adults in England have literacy skills equivalent to, or below, those expected at the age of 11 (Harding et al., 2012). ...
Thesis
Thesis: A systematic literature review and a piece of qualitative research. This systematic review investigates the links between literacy difficulties, dyslexia and the self-perceptions of children and young people (CYP). It aims to further understanding by building on Burden’s (2008) review and explores how the additional factors of attributional style and the dyslexia label may contribute to the self-perceptions of children and young people. 19 papers are included and quality assessed. Quantitative papers measured the self reported self-perceptions of CYP with literacy difficulties and/or dyslexia (LitD/D) and compared these with the CYP without LitD/D. Qualitative papers explored the lived experiences of CYP with LitD/D, including their self-views and how these were affected by receiving a dyslexia diagnosis. Results suggest that CYP with LitD/D may be at greater risk of developing negative self-perceptions of themselves as learners, but not of their overall self-worth. Factors found to be relevant in supporting positive self-perceptions include adaptive attributional styles, good relationships with peers and parents, and positive attitudes towards dyslexia and neurodiversity. In some cases, CYP with LitD/Dfelt that others perceived them as unintelligent or idle; for these CYP, a diagnosis led to more positive self-perceptions, as it provided an alternative picture of themselves. There is a need for further research to explore the impact of attributional style and the potential for intervention, as well as CYP’s experiences of diagnosis and the associated advantages or disadvantages. There has been ongoing debate around the use of the term ‘dyslexia’ to describe the literacy difficulties of certain individuals, however, CYP’s perceptions of the advantages and disadvantages of the use of the term have not been directly sought. This study aims to explore the views of young people (YP), with and without experiences of dyslexia, with a particular focus on the impact of labels. A qualitative methodology is used to explore the views of a range of individuals currently in secondary education (aged 13-19). The views of 36 YP (12 with self-reported dyslexia, 12 with self-reported literacy difficulties and 12 with no reported literacy difficulties) were gathered using an online survey. In depth one to-one interviews were also carried out with six YP who reported having dyslexia. Results show that YP saw the dyslexia label as an important factor in gaining appropriate support for difficulties, and highlight the potential for discrimination in terms of access to diagnosis and therefore access to support. The dyslexia label led to changes in perceptions and helped to remove the sense that a YP may be to blame for their difficulties, as dyslexia was seen as having a biological origin. This was beneficial for those individuals who had the label, but led to more negative judgements being made in relation to individuals with literacy difficulties but no dyslexia label. Furthermore, the label was associated with permanence, which is discussed in terms of attribution theory. Implications for Educational Psychologists and school staff are discussed in terms of ensuring that YP, and their teachers, have a good understanding of their literacy needs and are empowered by the way their needs are described, and are not subject to selective stigmatisation
... The literacy problem carries negative implications beyond just the classroom; as these students grow into adults, the lack of literacy has the potential to alter their quality of life. Clark and Dugdale (2008) provide evidence from their research that shows literate individuals contribute to creating literate families and communities, which contributes towards a literate nation. The benefits for literate families include decreased divorce rates, increased likelihood of living in a working household, and more likely to own a home. ...
Article
This case study (Merriam, 1998) describes the experiences, attitudes, and perceptions of four twelfth-grade students at Bob Jones High School (pseudonym) with literacy deficiencies as they used collaborative technology tools in an online after-school tutoring program that focused on reading and writing skills. Leveraging the sociocultural theory of reading (Freebod & Luke, 1990), participants worked collaboratively to strengthen skills while completing tasks. In addition, students used online collaborative tools, based on the principles of the New Literacies Studies (Gee, 2010), to construct and share meaning. Data collection included semi-structured interviews, participant observation and student artifacts. The data from these sources were analyzed using the constant comparative method (Glaser and Strauss, 1967). The data from the study showed that although students took time to adjust to from the face-to-face learning environment to an online virtual environment during COVID-19 pandemic, they described and exhibited positive experiences and attitudes while working collaboratively. Students experiences and attitudes toward online collaborative tools were a mixture between positive and indifferent. Students became accustomed to using these tools and did not indicate overly positive or definitively negative attitude toward online collaborative tools. Students did perceive the usefulness of these tools because of their speed, ease, and convenience and identified how they could be used in other classes. The findings from this study support the use of small-group instruction and online collaborative technology tools to support students with literacy deficiencies.
... Moreover, modern communication is increasingly dependent on being able to read and make sense of what is read: Twitter and Facebook for example require sufficient reading ability in order to be used. Reading abilities have also been shown to be related to well-being, health and civic engagement (Dugdale & Clark, 2008). Adult literacy studies like the OECD's Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC; OECD, 2013a) show how reading ability is related to demands on the job and performance in the labour market. ...
... The Letter Identification (Letter ID) sub-test of the Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests (WRMT-NU/R) was also used as a measure of children's emerging literacy. Literacy skills are fundamental for success in education, employment and community participation and for higher levels of well-being (Clark, 2011;Dugdale & Clark, 2008;Marmot & Bell, 2012). Vocabulary during preschool has also been shown to predict future writing ability (Dunsmuir & Blatchford, 2004). ...
Article
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The Born in Bradford (BiB) cohort of 13,776 children born between 2007-2011 and their parents provides a rich data resource for researchers exploring protective and risk factors influencing long-term developmental and health outcomes. Educational attainment is a critical factor related to later health. Literacy and communication, fine motor skills and social and emotional health are key ‘early’ predictors of educational attainment and can be used to identify children in need of additional support. We describe our BiB ‘Starting School’ data collection protocol which assessed literacy and communication, fine motor skills and social and emotional health on 3,444 BiB children aged 4-5 years old. These measures supplement the existing dataset, and complement the routine educational, health and social care data available for the cohort.
... Skilled reading provides individuals with the opportunity to be successful in their education and consequently in their employment and life prospects. According to the National Literacy Trust (for reviews see Dugdale & Clark, 2008;Morrisroe, 2014), individuals with low or very low literacy skills are more likely to be unemployed or in low-paid jobs with fewer chances for promotion or career choices. This lack of choices appears to negatively influence their self-development, family life, physical health, mental wellbeing, civic/cultural engagement, and general life satisfaction. ...
Conference Paper
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One of the regions that have consistently been included in the neurological models of reading is the left inferior parietal lobule (IPL), however, the precise functional and temporal contributions of this region to reading have not yet been fully established. There are three hypotheses concerning IPL contributions to visual word recognition. The first one claims that the IPL is the site of stored visual word forms although it remains unclear whether these are stored in supramarginal (SMG) or angular (ANG) fields of the IPL. The second hypothesis argues that the procedures for converting spelling-to-sound are a function of the IPL, but it is unclear whether these are specifically located in SMG or ANG, or both. Finally, a third hypothesis suggests that SMG and ANG preferentially contribute to phonological and semantic processing of written words, respectively. In this thesis, I empirically evaluated these hypotheses using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to temporarily and selectively disrupt processing in left SMG and ANG during visual word recognition and measure the effect on reading behaviour. I also investigated the time course of SMG and ANG involvement to visual word recognition using double-pulse TMS. My research demonstrates that SMG contributes preferentially to phonological aspects of word processing and the processing begins early and over a sustained period of time (between 80 to 200 msec post-stimulus onset). ANG contributes preferentially to semantic aspects of word processing but the temporal dynamics of this contribution were not successfully revealed in this thesis and require further investigation. In addition, I empirically evaluated the efficiency of using functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) and TMS to functionally localize a target site for TMS experiments. I demonstrated that both methods are similarly accurate in identifying stimulation site but neither of them is 100% accurate.
... Moreover, modern communication is increasingly dependent on being able to read and make sense of what is read: Twitter and Facebook for example require sufficient reading ability in order to be used. Reading abilities have also been shown to be related to well-being, health and civic engagement (Dugdale & Clark, 2008). Adult literacy studies like the OECD's Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC; OECD, 2013a) show how reading ability is related to demands on the job and performance in the labour market. ...
Book
Jenny Lenkeit and Knut Schwippert have guest edited a special issue of the journal Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice with the theme ‘The Assessment of Reading in International Studies’. The papers address a range of perspectives on the challenges of reading assessments as well as their opportunities for educational improvement. It includes contributions from Caro, Kyriakides, and Televantou, Walzebug and Kasper, Lenkeit, Schwippert and Knigge, Shepherd as well as Solheim and Lundetræ. David Rutkowski discusses how to improve international large-scale assessments through evaluation.
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ABSTRACT ITA Lettura e salute sono intrinsecamente connesse per gli innumerevoli motivi che descrivono il potenziale della lettura nel promuovere benessere e qualità della vita, realizzazione di sé e progettazione del proprio futuro. La lettura può altresì considerarsi una risorsa per generare salute così come intui to da Antonovsky, nel suo modello salutogenico, come immaginato da recenti progetti sulla promozione del l a let tur a ispi rat i al l a salutogenesi o da studiosi che hanno comparato le teorie della salutogenesi con alcuni elementi costitutivi della letteratura angloame r i c a n a , a r r i v a n d o a d i p o t i z z a r e un’immaginazione salutogenica. In questo framework di confine tra letteratura, promozione della lettura e modelli di salute, nel testo si percorreranno i presupposti teorici della connessione tra lettura e salutogenesi e possibili pratiche ascrivibili alle health humanities da implementare a tutte le età e nei diversi contesti e servizi del Welfare in cui lettura e salute si possono incontrare. ABSTRACT ENG Reading and health are strictly connected for several reasons describing the potential of reading in promoting wellbeing, quality of life, personal and professional realization, and future plans. As stated by Antonovsky, reading can be also considered a determinant of health. The theorist of salutogenesis, describes reading as a resource for health generation. Later Antonovsky’s intuition, some projects planned reading promotion programs grounded in salutogenic principles. Otherwise, researchers in the field of Anglo-American literature designed the idea of “salutogenic imagination”, a mental function connected to salutogenesis, which can be enhanced through learning events based on reading. Within this framework, theoretical aspects concerning the connection between reading and salutogenesis will be analysed, as well as best practices following the health humanities’ perspective, as case examples in lifelong learning, where reading and health can meet in a new Welfare.
Article
Basic literacy skills underlie much future adult functioning, and are targeted in children through a variety of means. Children with identified special needs in reading were exposed to a self-paced computer-based reading programme that focused on improving phonetic ability. Exposure was limited to three, 40-minute sessions a week, for 10 weeks. The children were assessed in terms of their reading, spelling and mathematics abilities before the programme commenced, and immediately after the programme terminated. The programme improved reading and spelling by about eight months, but had no impact on mathematics. The results suggest that brief exposure to a self-paced phonetic computer-based teaching programme had some benefits for the sample.
Preprint
This study explores the views of young people (YP), with and without self-reported dyslexia or literacy difficulties, focussing on the impact of labels. Qualitative data were gathered through an online survey and individual interviews. The study highlights how the presence or absence of a label can impact people's perceptions. Dyslexia was perceived as biological in origin, therefore, YP with the label were seen as not to blame for their difficulties; however, more negative judgements were made about YP without the label but with the same difficulties. Participants viewed the label as important for gaining support, yet highlighted the potential for discrimination, in terms of access to diagnosis and resources. What was important to participants with dyslexia was not necessarily the label, but the support that they received and how they were viewed by others. Implications for school professionals are discussed in terms of ensuring that YP feel empowered by the way they are described.
Article
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This paper provides evidence on the sources of differences in inequality in educational scores and their evolution over time in four European countries. Using Programme for International Student Assessment data from the 2000 and the 2006 waves, the paper shows that inequality decreased in Germany and Spain (two ‘decentralised’ schooling systems), whilst it increased in France and Italy (two ‘centralised’ systems). The decomposition exercise shows that educational inequality not only does reflect the background related inequality, but also schools' characteristics especially. These characteristics are responsible for the observed evolution over time of inequality.
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Mental Well-being Impact Assessment (MWIA) enables people and organisations to assess and improve a policy, programme, service or project to ensure it has a maximum equitable impact on people's mental well-being. Published by the National MWIA Collaborative (England)
Thesis
This thesis explores the experiences of both early school leavers and their teachers when a group of eight young people were invited to have greater involvement in their learning. The study is based in a literacy programme within a youth service setting in rural Ireland. The research is situated outside the mainstream school system and this affords a unique chance to see how the young people managed when they were given the chance to have more involvement in their learning, once they had rejected mainstream education. My previous research within the organisation indicates that young people consider that they are capable of taking on more challenging curricula and are keen to pursue higher level qualifications. The study took place between September 2010 and May 2011. The study aimed to develop and evaluate a new approach to a current literacy programme using constructivist teaching strategies which, while supporting increased learner involvement, also offered a higher level literacy certificate. An action research design was used and this thesis follows stages two, three and four of the first iterative cycle. Building on a conceptual framework which links the literatures of early school leaving and the learning theories of constructivism and self-determination, a qualitative analysis was undertaken comprising in depth interviews with young people and staff, field diaries, learner journals, questionnaires and participant observation. Findings show that despite early school leavers having difficult backgrounds, they respond positively when they are offered greater involvement in their learning. This is further enhanced by teacher support and expectation. Findings also suggest that early school leavers have gaps in their literacy skills that need to be addressed when preparing for higher level qualifications. Along with the need for greater learner involvement, it is essential that teaching institutions provide these young people with access to higher level programmes and a structured route to achieving relevant and more useful qualifications. In this way, it is possible to instill the confidence needed to attain significantly higher levels of learning.
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Easy access to orthography is important to resolve inequalities in literacy rates. Hangeul, the orthography of the Korean language may be a great example of this fact. This interdisciplinary paper seeks to quantify how much Korean letters inherently contain the sounds they represent and demonstrate that the use of certain fonts can maximize regularity. Compared to the English language, where huge efforts have been committed to make the language's orthography more shallow, Hangeul's natural consistency and regularity facilitates learning. The paper also provides several examples showing the potential of Hangeul as a scriptio franca.
Chapter
Educators and educational researchers are committed to better understanding the needs of young adolescents and developing the most effective and efficient ways to support students through school. One area which has received ongoing attention in the research field is adolescent students' achievement in literacy. The aim of this chapter is to identify effective methods for supporting adolescent students' literacy development as they transition from primary to secondary school. The chapter begins with a review of the Australian national English curriculum, along with a review of the current transition issues as they impact on students' achievement in English. A focus is then placed on identifying effective practices for supporting students as they transition from primary to secondary school. The chapter concludes with a discussion of future possibilities for improving the transition experience for students and teachers.
Thesis
The research was undertaken with young people aged 10 to 14 years, concentrating on the lower and higher end of the age group, and took place in schools. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used with 158 young people taking part in a questionnaire survey and 43 participating in interviews. The study found that young people were active co-constructors, rather than passive recipients, of representations of childhood in children’s books. Young people demonstrated that they were skilled text handlers who acknowledged the influence of other media on their engagement with books although there were marked differences in their reading interests depending on age and gender. Young people were interested in fiction which portrayed assertive and competent depictions of childhood which they could relate to their own experience as well as enjoying reading about young characters with powers and skills which were extraordinary. Young people did not view childhood or the depiction of childhood negatively, accepting it as a state of being rather than one of becoming, hence contributing to their own understandings of childhood.
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Nelson Mandela’s words at the Launch of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund in Mahlamba Ndlopfu Pretoria South Africa back in 1995 continue to resonate with theorists, politicians, policy makers and practitioners across jurisdictions and through many years.
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A profitable method to address reading delays is to use computer-assisted learning, but these techniques are not always effective. In this research, the researchers evaluated a commercially available computer system, which uses visual mnemonics, in a randomised controlled trial with 78 English-speaking children (mean age 7 years) who their schools identified as needing reading support. School based individual tutorials usually took place 2-3 times/week. Only the experimental group received the intervention in the first 10 months, thereafter both the experimental and control groups received the intervention for 6 months. After 10 months, the experimental group had significantly higher standardised scores than the waiting list control group of decoding, phonological awareness, naming speed, phonological short-term memory and executive loaded working memory. The computer-assisted intervention was effective and this suggests that this medium can be used for reading interventions with English speaking children.
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Encouraging young children and their families to access a library with all its resources can provide a great foundation for developing early literacy, communication and language skills. Library services offer educational and cultural enrichment for the young; the children’s library can be seen as the treasure house providing access to wonderful books and other resources to inspire the imagination and delight the sense of adventure. Community-based libraries are uniquely placed to support families and young children as they offer accessible learning opportunities for intergenerational groups.
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A cost-effective method to address reading delays is to use computer-assisted learning, but these techniques are not always effective. We evaluated a commercially available computer system that uses visual mnemonics, in a randomised controlled trial with 78 English-speaking children (mean age 7 years) who their schools identified as needing reading support. School-based individual tutorials usually took place 2–3 times/week. Only the experimental group received the intervention in the first 10 months; thereafter, both the experimental and control groups received the intervention for 6 months. After 10 months, the experimental group had significantly higher standardised scores than the waiting list control group of decoding, phonological awareness, naming speed, phonological short-term memory and executive loaded working memory. The computer-assisted intervention was effective, and this suggests that this medium can be used for reading interventions with English-speaking children. What is already known about this topic There are comparatively few randomised controlled trial evaluations of computer-based reading interventions. Meta-analyses report small positive effect sizes for such interventions with English-speaking children. The use of visual mnemonics to improve reading has rarely been investigated. What this paper adds The findings suggest that computer-based interventions for English-speaking, struggling readers can be effective. The effects extended beyond the targeted abilities, and a longer intervention was more effective than a shorter one. Apart from spelling, the mean reading and reading related standardised scores for children at the end of the intervention were above or just below 100. Implications for theory, policy or practice Computer-based interventions can be used to support English-speaking, struggling readers, and their effects can go beyond targeted abilities. The use of visual mnemonics and the development of the intervention programme over a number of years could have contributed to this success. The role of visual mnemonics as a help for struggling readers deserves further investigation.
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This article focuses on the perceptions and experiences of education of two female adult members of the Gypsy and Traveller community and one female adult member of the settled community who works closely with Travellers. Narrative interviews were conducted in England in 2016, to gain some understanding of the factors contributing to the persistently relatively low educational outcomes of Travellers. Data were analysed in accordance with the principles of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Findings suggest that traditional cultural aspects of the Traveller community strongly influence attitudes to education and whether formal education is accessed. Whilst there are indications that negative perceptions of formal schooling have been entrenched in the Traveller community, this research found that attitudes to education may be slowly changing, particularly with younger generations. This largely stems from a recognition of the need for a level of formal education and qualifications owing to changes in the availability of traditional forms of employment for Travellers. Nonetheless, it emerged that deeply rooted negative views about formal schooling remain, particularly with regard to the perceived dangers and safety concerns associated with secondary schools. There are far-reaching implications for school leaders. Pivotal to this is a need for schools to be fully inclusive to ensure that the cultural needs of Gypsies and Travellers are met, particularly since the Traveller Education Service (TES) has been vastly reduced. For this to be possible, educators, school leaders and governors require a deeper understanding of the culture of the Gypsy and Traveller community, which should inform proactively inclusive policies, procedures and practices in formal educational settings. This might encourage more Travellers to engage with and remain in formal education, at primary and secondary school and beyond, and could also help foster positive relationships with local communities.
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EADING HAS cognitive consequences that extend beyond its immediate task of lifting meaning from a particular passage. Furthermore, these consequences are reciprocal and exponential in nature. Accumulated over time—spiraling either upward or downward— they carry profound implications for the development of a wide range of cognitive capabilities. Concern about the reciprocal influences of reading achievement has been elucidated through discussions of so-called "Matthew effects" in academic achieve- ment (Stanovich, 1986;Walberg & Tsai, 1983).The term "Matthew effects" is taken from the Biblical passage that describes a rich-get-richer and poor-get-poorer phenomenon.Applying this concept to reading, we see that very early in the reading process poor readers, who experience greater difficulty in breaking the spelling-to-sound code, begin to be exposed to much less text than their more skilled peers (Allington, 1984; Biemiller, 1977-1978). Further exacerbating the prob- lem is the fact that less-skilled readers often find them- selves in materials that are too difficult for them (Allington, 1977, 1983, 1984; Gambrell,Wilson, & Gantt, 1981). The combination of deficient decoding skills, lack of practice, and difficult materials results in unre- warding early reading experiences that lead to less in- volvement in reading-related activities. Lack of expo- sure and practice on the part of the less-skilled reader delays the development of automaticity and speed at the word recognition level. Slow, capacity-draining word recognition processes require cognitive re- sources that should be allocated to comprehension. Thus, reading for meaning is hindered; unrewarding reading experiences multiply; and practice is avoided or merely tolerated without real cognitive involve- ment. The disparity in the reading experiences of children of varying skill may have many other consequences for
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The current review is a quantitative meta-analysis ofthe available empirical evidence related to parent-preschooler reading and several outcome mea- sures. In selecting the studies to be included in this meta-analysis, we focused on studies examining thefrequency ofbook reading to preschoolers. The results support the hypothesis that parent-preschooler reading is related to outcome measures such äs language growth, emergent literacy, and reading achievement. The overall effect size ofd = .59 indicates that book reading explains about 8% of the variance in the outcome measures. The results support the hypothesis that book reading, in particular, ajfects acqui- sition of the written language register. The effect of parent-presch ooler reading is not dependent on the socioeconomic Status of the families or on several methodological differences between the studies. However, the effect seems to become smaller äs soon äs children become conventional readers and are able to read on their own.
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In a follow-up study of over 17,000 individuals born 12 years apart (in 1958 and 1970) this article investigates the formation and realization of teenage career aspirations in a changing sociohistorical context. Two types of analytical models, a mediating model and a contextual systems model, were used to analyze the processes by which the effects of social structure influence teenage aspirations and subsequent occupational attainment. Both models suggest that teenage aspirations in combination with educational attainments are a major driving force in the occupational development of young people and that they mediate the effects of socioeconomic background factors. The contextual system model is an elaboration of the mediating model, providing additional insights into the effects of distal and proximal contexts. Differences in the experiences of young people growing up 12 years apart indicate that the sociohistorical context plays a key role in shaping occupational progression. For the later born cohort the importance of educational credentials has increased, both in influencing teenage aspirations and predicting adult occupational outcomes.
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Mental illness is associated with large costs to individuals and society. Education improves various health outcomes but little work has been done on mental illness. To obtain unbiased estimates of the effect of education on mental health, we rely on a rich longitudinal dataset that contains health information from childhood to adulthood and thus allow us to control for fixed effects in mental health. We measure two health outcomes: malaise score and depression and estimate the extensive and intensive margins of education on mental health using various estimators. For all estimators, accounting for the endogeneity of education augments its protecting effect on mental health. We find that the effect of education is greater at mid-level of qualifications, for women and for individuals at greater risk of mental illness. The effects of education are observed at all ages, additionally education also reduces the transition to depression. These results suggest substantial returns to education in term of improved mental health.
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Although there has been a considerable amount of research relating measures of schooling years, qualifications, or training spells to workers' labour market success, there has been very little assessment of the role of more basic literacy and numeracy skills, largely due to problems with measurement and data availability. Yet it is obviously crucial, in an era of apparently rising demand for skills, that we have evidence on the labour market value of the full range of worker skills, including basic literacy and numeracy. This paper therefore uses data from the National Child Development Study and the International Adult Literacy Survey to fill this gap. Specifically, we use test scores achieved by respondents in both surveys to measure their basic literacy and numeracy skills. We then evaluate the impact of these skills on workers' labour market outcomes, and find clear evidence of a substantial wage return to such basic skills. Copyright 2001 by Oxford University Press.
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In this paper we evaluate the labour market value of basic skills in the UK, focusing on the wage and employment returns to having better literacy and numeracy skills. We draw on literacy and numeracy assessments undertaken by all cohort members of the UK 1970 British Cohort Study. The data used are very rich and allow us to account for potential ability bias, including as they do early childhood assessments of ability. We find that the literacy and numeracy effects on earnings are over and above any general effect on earnings from a person being more cognitively able. We also assess whether the value of basic skills, in terms of wage returns, has increased over time, using a cross cohort analysis based on the 1958 National Child Development Study cohort and the 1970 British Cohort Study. Our results show that literacy and numeracy skills retained their high value in the labour market over the period 1995-2004, despite numerous policy attempts to increase the supply of basic skills during this period.
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Asks who benefits from illiteracy to reveal the political implications of literacy's empowering potential. Observes literacy's ultimate capacity to overturn power structures and redistribute wealth and resources at international, national, and local levels. Relates the literacy problem to colonialism and its legacy. Offers examples of literacy campaigns that accompanied political revolutions. (CH)
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