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Draft Structure of Mapping Project Literature Review

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Draft Structure of Mapping Project Literature Review

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    FOUNDATION LEARNING PROJECT:

    WORKING IN THE LIGHT OF EVIDENCE, AS WELL AS ASPIRATION

A LITERATURE REVIEW OF THE BEST AVAILABLE EVIDENCE ABOUT

    EFFECTIVE ADULT LITERACY, NUMERACY AND LANGUAGE TEACHING

    PHASE 5 REPORT

    AUCKLAND UNISERVICES LIMITED

    A wholly owned company of

    THE UNIVERSITY OF AUCKLAND

    Prepared for: Prepared By: Ministry of Education John Benseman Tertiary Education Learning Outcomes Alison Sutton Policy Group Josie Lander 45-47 Pipitea Street PO Box 1666

    Wellington

    Date: January 2005

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    Reports from Auckland UniServices Limited should only be used for the purposes for which they were commissioned. If it is proposed to use a report prepared by Auckland UniServices Limited for a different purpose or in a different context from that intended at the time of commissioning the work, then UniServices should be consulted to verify whether the report is being correctly interpreted. In particular it is requested that, where quoted, conclusions given in UniServices reports should be stated in full.

    ____________________________________________ Literature review of best available evidence on LNL teaching

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    Acknowledgements

    We would like to thank the colleagues who were supportive and insightful during the project and whose critiques improved our work. In particular we would like to thank

    ; John Hattie, School of Education, The University of Auckland

    ; Rosemary Wette, Department of Applied Language Studies and

    Linguistics, The University of Auckland

    ; Judy Hunter, School of Social and Cultural Studies, Massey University,

    Albany

    ; Kathleen Krsinich, Literacy Advisor, Manukau Institute of Technology

    ; Heide Spruck Wrigley, Senior Research Associate, Aguirre

    International Ltd

    ; Mary Jane Schmitt, Co-Principal Investigator for the Extending

    Mathematical Power (EMPower) project, TERC.

Our report title is used acknowledging Diana Coben‘s statement (2003, p. 116) that

    detailed critical studies are required ―before it will be possible to delineate good practice in the light of evidence rather than aspiration.‖ We think aspiration is still necessary alongside research evidence.

    ____________________________________________ Literature review of best available evidence on LNL teaching

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    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    GLOSSARY .......................................................................................................... 5 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ....................................................................................... 7 Project brief and background............................................................................................................................. 7 Methodology ............................................................................................................................................................. 7 Findings ...................................................................................................................................................................... 8 Recommendations ............................................................................................................................................... 12 1 INTRODUCTION ...........................................................................................14 1.1 Background .............................................................................................................................................. 14 1.2 Project brief .............................................................................................................................................. 14 1.3 Using an evidence-based approach .............................................................................................. 15 1.4 Reading research in the light of the local context .................................................................... 17 2 PROJECT METHODOLOGY .........................................................................22 2.1 Literature retrieval ................................................................................................................................. 22 2.2 Reviewing initial selection .................................................................................................................. 23 2.3 Scrutiny of selected studies .............................................................................................................. 24 2.4 Assessment instruments used to determine change ............................................................. 25 3 RESEARCH FINDINGS .................................................................................28 3.1 Quality ........................................................................................................................................................ 28 3.2 Participation and retention ................................................................................................................. 37 3.3 Features of provision ........................................................................................................................... 42 3.4 Reading ..................................................................................................................................................... 56 3.5 Writing ........................................................................................................................................................ 67 3.6 English for Speakers of Other languages (ESOLl) ................................................................. 72 3.7 Numeracy .................................................................................................................................................. 83 3.8 Literacy contexts .................................................................................................................................... 89 4 CONCLUSIONS ............................................................................................99 4.1 Findings ..................................................................................................................................................... 99 4.2 Developing a cycle of research that informs practice and policy .................................... 103 4.3 Recommendations .............................................................................................................................. 107 APPENDIX A PROFESSOR JOHN HATTIE‘S ANALYSIS OF STUDIES IN

    TORGERSON ET AL. (2004) 108 APPENDIX B LIST OF DATABASES AND WEB-PAGES SEARCHED ................................. 114 APPENDIX C DESCRIPTORS USED IN LITERATURE SEARCH .......................................... 117 REFERENCES .................................................................................................................................................... 118 ____________________________________________ Literature review of best available evidence on LNL teaching

    GLOSSARY

ABE Adult basic education

    ACE Adult and community education

    ALLS Adult Literacy and Life-Skills Survey

    ALAF Adult Literacy Achievement Framework (draft)

    AR At risk learners

    BSA Basic Skills Agency (UK)

    CAI Computer Aided Instruction

    CASAS Comprehensive adult student assessment system CTs Controlled Trials (also known as quasi-experimental

    research): uses treatment and control groups, but the

    participants are not randomly assigned and may have

    unseen differences; statistical controls allow

    researchers to compensate for the differences between

    the two groups

    Effect size A way of quantifying the effectiveness of a particular

    intervention, relative to some comparison intervention. Empirical research Based on valid and reliable data (rather than theory or

    opinion); data may be quantitative or qualitative ESOL English for Speakers of Other Languages

    GED General Education Development qualification

    IALS International Adult Literacy Survey

    ICT Information communication technology

    LD Learning disabilities (including dyslexia)

    LNL Literacy, numeracy and language

    MFLP Manukau Family Literacy Project

    NCSALL National Center for Study of Adult Learning and

    Literacy (USA)

    NRP Report on the National Reading Panel: Teaching

    children to read

    NRDC National Research and Development Centre for Adult

    Literacy and Numeracy (UK)

    Phonemes The smallest unit of sounds in a word

    Phonemic awareness (PA) The ability to hear, differentiate and attend to the

    individual sounds in a word

    Phonics The relationship between sounds and the letters that

    represent them

    PAC Parent and child together time (a component of the

    Keegan model for family literacy)

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    RCT Randomised controlled Trials (also known as

    experimental research designs) using two identical

    groups of participants randomly assigned to treatment

    and control groups

    TABE Test of Adult Basic Education (a US assessment tool) TALS Test of Applied Literacy Skills (a US assessment tool) Tutors Adult literacy teachers, who may be paid or voluntary Tuition Teaching or instruction

    Wananga A public tertiary institution that provides programmes

    with an emphasis on the application of knowledge

    regarding Maori traditions and custom

    Whanau Family

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    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    Project brief and background

    The purpose of this literature review is to provide a critical evaluation of the available research evidence about effective practices in literacy, numeracy and language (LNL)teaching and programme provision in order to inform policy development within the broader arena of foundation learning.

    This review has sought original research studies that reliably relate specific aspects of teaching practice and programmes‘ operations to learning outcomes – especially

    demonstrable changes in the literacy skills of learners. Over the last three decades there has been a considerable amount of research and writing in the sector, most of which did not meet the criteria for this review. Evaluation studies are by far the most common type of research. Their purpose is usually to illustrate programme benefit and learner gain but they rarely supply sufficient evidence of learner gain or evidence of the specific factors that may have lead to it, to warrant inclusion in this review. There is also a significant body of literature that discusses approaches to teaching and programme organisation that appear to be more driven by philosophy and definitions of literacy than by empirical evidence of what works and have therefore not been included.

    Despite the growing recognition of the importance of LNL, there is still a dearth of specific research relating to this area in New Zealand and the situation is only marginally better overseas. It is noteworthy however that in the process of undertaking this review, we have become aware of a considerable number of substantial, intervention studies that are currently underway or due for completion in 2005-2006. The results of these studies are likely to be very useful to us in future. Methodology

    Two experienced database researchers initially undertook a systematic search of more than 60 databases and research web pages using a combination of key words derived from the project brief. The intent was to locate high quality studies (either quantitative or qualitative) that demonstrated a clear relationship between learner outcomes and specific components of teaching or provision. All potential studies (in excess of 500) were initially read where possible (usually on-line) and screened for relevance to the project. More than 300 studies broadly matching the project brief were then located and acquired through downloads, library interloan or direct access. Each of these articles was then read by at least two of the research team and rated for its validity in terms of the project brief. Studies that satisfied both reviewers were included in the review.

     1Initially we were seeking experimental research studies. However, the overall quality

    of the studies located was not particularly high and fell somewhat short of comparable reviews carried out in schooling and the early childhood sectors. On the

     1 Either randomised controlled trials, or controlled trials, where groups of learners received different interventions and any effects were statistically measured.

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    advice of the project‘s technical advisor Professor John Hattie, the scope of the research was expanded to include case studies, observational studies and collections of professional wisdom from practitioners, in order to ensure a reasonable pool of studies to consider and to identify ‗the best available evidence‘.

Findings

    The findings of this review need to be considered tentative, due to the limitations of the research base from which they are drawn. The difficulties of researching adult LNL have already been described; research to date has been of variable quality and much of it has involved such small sample size that it is difficult to generalise from the findings. Therefore, we cannot present a list of factors that will definitively ensure effective teaching of adult literacy, numeracy and language learners and result in learners‘ gaining LNL skills.

    However, an analysis across the strongest studies and reviews found some congruency of findings, which enables us to group those findings and have some confidence that the particular factors identified are likely to contribute to learner gain.

Factors that appear likely to enhance learner gain include:

    ; Appropriately skilled teachers who can identify the strengths and weaknesses 2 learners have in speaking, reading, writing and numeracy. Findings from two

    studies suggest that full-time teachers are more likely to enhance learner gain,

    and that learners benefit when there is assistance from teacher aides or

    volunteer tutors. Findings also suggest the importance of teachers having

    adequate non-teaching time for planning and professional development

    (Basic Skills Agency, 2000; Benseman, 2001; G Brooks et al., 2001;

    Fitzgerald & Young, 1997; Kruidenier, 2002b; Padak, Sapin, & Baycich, 2002).

    ; Deliberate and sustained acts of teaching, clearly focused on learners’

    diagnosed needs. All LNL learners, including those who have learning

    disabilities or dyslexia, would benefit from teachers who are able to offer a

    range of teaching strategies. Many studies commented that the actual amount

    of deliberate teaching in LNL programmes was often not very high. (Basic

    Skills Agency, 2000; Condelli, 2003; Condelli & Wrigley, 2004a; Kruidenier,

    2002b; Rice & Brooks, 2004; H.S Wrigley, 2003)

    ; A curriculum that is linked to the authentic literacy events that learners

    experience in their lives. An authentic curriculum appears to lead to gain for

    learners in family literacy, for ESOL learners and for mainstream LNL learners

    (supported by more tentative findings that an authentic curriculum assists in

    achieving learner gain in workplace and prison programmes). (Condelli, 2003;

    Condelli & Wrigley, 2004a; Kruidenier, 2002b; Padak & Padak, 1991; Purcell-

    Gates, Degener, Jacobson, & Soler, 2002)

    ; Programmes that allow for high levels of participation, probably more than

    100 hours of tuition. Learners with low levels of skill need more tuition for

    longer, as do ESOL learners. It should be noted that the research reviewed

     2 This finding resonates with the research on effectiveness in New Zealand schools (Hattie, 2002a), where ―what teachers know, do and care about‖ is recognised as one of the greatest influences on student learning (p. 7).

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    had a mix of findings. Three studies (including one ESOL study) found learners made gain when receiving over 100 hours teaching (with one study suggesting learners would need 300+ hours to move between levels). Two other findings suggested fewer hours might also be effective; one of these found learners improved when learners had more than 50 hours provision; while in another the greatest level of improvement occurred when learners had 51-60 hours between pre- and post-tests. Researchers commented that, regardless of the exact number of hours before learners made gains, for many LNL participants the total hours of teaching received were likely to be considerably less than the figures suggested above. While most of the research focused on total amount of provision, the intensity or regularity of tuition is probably also important. For example, one study suggested that learners made less gain once they received more than nine hours teaching per week. Intensive courses may be particularly important. For some ESOL learners, regular attendance was a more significant variable in achieving skills than the actual hours per week. (Basic Skills Agency, 2000; Boudett & Friedlander, 1997; Comings, 2003; Kruidenier, 2002b; Shameem, McDermott, Blaker, & Carryer, 2002)

    ; Explicit teaching of reading, by teachers who are well trained in the reading process, and who are skilled in identifying reading difficulties and using appropriate teaching strategies to address them. Findings suggested learners

    are more likely to make gain when there is explicit, structured teaching of alphabetics, fluency, vocabulary building and comprehension. ESOL learners gain when there is explicit teaching of comprehension and vocabulary. Reciprocal reading was identified as an effective teaching strategy; others what warrant further investigation include oral reading, strategies to increase comprehension and fluency-related strategies. (Besser et al., 2004; Kruidenier, 2002b; Rich & Shepherd, 1993; Sabatini, 2002; Snow & Strucker, 2000)

    ; On-going assessment that takes into account the variation in learners’ skills across the dimensions of reading and writing. Assessment processes need to

    incorporate measurement of all four components of reading: alphabetics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. The assessment of reading needs to use more than silent reading and oral comprehension questions as assessment tools. A study of learners‘ perspectives also identified the importance of on-going assessment. (Besser et al., 2004; Davidson & Strucker, 2002; Kruidenier, 2002b; Ward, 2003)

    ; ESOL programmes structured to maximise oral communication, discussion and group work. Findings suggest learners make gain, particularly in comprehension, when there are bi-lingual tutors who teach concepts and explain learning tasks and instructions using learners‘ first languages and when they attend regularly. (Condelli & Wrigley, 2004; Condelli & Wrigley, 2004a; C. Roberts et al., 2004; Shameem et al., 2002)

    ; Programmes that deliver clearly structured teaching using a range of methods.

    Provision needs to occur in a range of contexts that: meets learners‘ needs; that allows for learning plans for every learner; and where those plans are related to regular assessments and reviews with learners. Most of these factors are not necessarily unique to LNL teaching they should be

    components of any quality adult education provision. (Basic Skills Agency, 2000; Boudett & Friedlander, 1997; G Brooks et al., 2001; G. Brooks et al., 2001; Comings, Parrella, & Soricone, 1999, 2000; Condelli & Wrigley, 2004a; Eldred, 2002; Yaffe & Williams, 1998)

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    ; Writing programmes that use writing based on expressing learners’

    experiences and opinions. Programmes that include project-based instruction

    that focus on issues of common interest, on authentic tasks and materials and

    that encourage a variety of writing activities are more likely to promote gain.

    (Gillespie, 2001; Kelly, Soundranayagam, & Grief, 2004; Purcell-Gates et al.,

    2002)

    ; Making efforts to retain learners, including pro-active management of the

    positive and negative forces that help and hinder persistence. Findings

    suggest that childcare, transport assistance, and access to social services

    make a difference, as does building self-efficacy and self-confidence in

    learners and ensuring that learners receive personalised attention. (Comings

    et al., 1999; Eldred, 2002; B. A. Quigley & Uhland, 2000; Yaffe & Williams,

    1998)

    ; Family literacy programmes that have a clear focus on literacy/numeracy

    development: Findings suggested that programmes that are more likely to

    ensure gain have parents committed to improving their children‘s chances,

    have teaching sessions for parents only and children only, as well as together;

    have home visits; collaborate with other participating groups, to ensure

    programme and services integration; and have staff whose skills match the

    unique challenges of family literacy. (Alamprese, 2001b; Benseman, 2002,

    2003c, 2004; Padak, Rasinski, & Mraz, 2002; Philliber, Spillman, & King,

    1996; St Pierre et al., 2003; St. Pierre et al., 1995)

    There are some factors that may enhance learner gain, but for which there has been

    only limited research and where findings are even more tentative:

; Programmes that have an awareness and management of critical periods in

    the programme (when learners were susceptible to failure and/or withdrawal);

    provide pastoral care in times of need and crisis; have adequate fiscal

    resources and facilities; have administrative leadership.

    ; Teaching staff who undertake regular professional development; praise and

    encourage learners; are open as people to their students and have both

    credibility in their field and a passion for their subject.

    ; Assessment that includes self-assessment by learners, and constructive,

    verbal feedback from the tutor.

    ; Teaching that creates a positive and supportive learning environment; is able

    to balance challenge and support for learners; encourages peer support in the

    form of sharing skills and ideas and friendships; accentuates learners‘

    strengths. Again, these attributes appear to be aspects of good adult

    education practice.

    ; Computer Assisted Instruction may be a fruitful teaching strategy in teaching

    mathematics and other aspects of LNL in comparison with ‗traditional‘

    teaching and with learners with low levels of skill; does not replace skilled

    teachers; may motivate learners and develop self-confidence.

    ; Reading programmes that ensure learners‘ prior knowledge is used from the

    beginning (in integrated programmes), rather than assuming that adult

    beginning readers need to concentrate on strategies for processing print first;

    that include various strategies related to teaching alphabetics, fluency,

    vocabulary and comprehension as suggested in K-12 research; that teach

    learners to monitor their comprehension and understanding as they read; and

    ____________________________________________ Literature review of best available evidence on LNL teaching

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