I have been helping with entering data from a research project about a reading programme which is becoming widely used here in New Zealand. Availll is a research based literacy programme for the classroom. It uses films in a series of scripted lessons to teach skills in three areas of literacy:
- comprehension strategies
Availll was developed by Dr. Alice Killackey (previously from Northern Arizona University) who had found, when teaching in the classroom in 2001, that while students had a good understanding of video they did not have good reading skills. She was inspired to use the students' strengths in video to bring up their weaknesses in reading. A range of activities were created, tested and re-tested with dramatic experimental results.
The researchers have found that students are highly motivated to use the programme. Originally this programme was only available in New Zealand but is now available internationally at a very low cost. For those teachers who are looking for a reading programme to motivate their children this is very worthwhile. Some of the books used are available as free downloadable ebooks.
A list server I am on is currently discussing the use of this programme and here is what one teacher had to say:
We found that the students were all very motivated and they found it
exciting to 'read' a DVD. After a term of the programme we found
students listening skills had improved and when we did the PROBE testing
we found most students reading and comprehension levels had improved by
between 1 and 3 years (great result after a term)