Tuesday, 17 May 2022
    011220, Education

    Literacy coaches ‘absolute gold’

    A primary school in Hobart’s northern suburbs has dramatically improved its students’ literacy by blending innovative ways of teaching with tried and true methods, ABC News reports.

    In 2016, senior staff at Rosetta Primary realised some students’ results were not improving as they should.

    It sparked the curiosity of advanced skills teacher Deb Button — and her research and dedication have since led to a whole-of-school approach to teaching reading and spelling, including a method known as Multisensory Structured Language.

    “It’s direct, explicit, it’s sequential, we constantly review what we do, and it also means they see it, they hear it and they feel it,” Ms Button said.

    “When I say feel, I mean how it feels in your mouth when you say a word … and that improves what they hear, what they see, and how it comes out on paper.”

    Part of its benefit was that it was more tangible to learners, Ms Button said.

    “There’s not the — dare I say it — look, cover, write, check. ‘Here’s a worksheet, let’s have a test, we’ll do another test at the end of the week,'” she said.

    “The reading and the spelling are so closely linked at the same time, so that means we hear it, we see it, we spell it … then we read it again.”

    The model is promoted by the Australian Dyslexia Association, which notes the theory allows specially trained teachers to “adjust their teaching to meet the needs of the learners rather than expecting the learners to fit one way”.

    Principal Deirdre Arendt said the results since implementing Multisensory Structured Language for students in grades one to three had blown her away.

    “We’ve got students achieving across the board,” she said.


    Embedding literacy coaches ‘absolute gold’ for one Tasmanian primary school (ABC News)


    Grade 1 students Mason Willing (left) and Emily Martin are among the students involved in the new literacy coach approach. (ABC News: Luke Bowd