Successful early literacy intervention must be designed for individuals and delivered by trained teachers in the first two years of school.
Literacy Lessons: Designed for Individuals Part Two is a training manual for practising teachers. Children unable to READ and WRITE can achieve effective performance among their peers in their first or second year in school. Subsequently, in professional development sessions, those teachers will continue to explore many questions raised in the theoretical and research-based explanations provided in this book for each teaching procedure.
The book Reading Recovery: A Guidebook for Teachers in Training (1993) is still valued by early intervention teachers. More than a decade after its publication we have a wealth of new evidence which calls for a new guidebook. Many sharp minds have applied their thinking about theory, research results, critiques of different kinds, and implementations in vastly varying locations to re-consider how best to provide for children who find it difficult to learn to read and write in the first two years of school.
Teachers select from long lists of reading books, with new materials becoming available all the time.
- New theory and research from several disciplines has guided the revision of teaching procedures.
- Implementations in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom have created a body of research and evaluation from many different cultural perspectives and in English, Spanish and French.
- Emphasis has been placed
on oral language and teacher-child conversations,
on the importance of early writing,
on hearing and recording the sounds in words, (which teaches phonemic awareness)
on knowing how words are spelled,
on phrasing, fluency, and speed of response
and on appropriate eye movements for written language.
A competent reader uses a vast range of alternative approaches flexibly, so during a series of individual Literacy Lessons, children are introduced to alternative ways of solving new challenges in increasingly difficult texts. The way they work on print changes over time.
This new guidebook, Literacy Lessons: Designed for Individuals, is expected to expand the range of children who can be helped, to increase teacher effectiveness, and to generate new research questions about effective reading and writing in the early years of school.