27 SES 12 A, Literacy at Primary School - Reading and Writing
Research shows that pupil’s vocabulary skills can be strengthens by explicit vocabulary instruction (Graves, 2006; NRP, 2000). Furthermore, research indicates a strong connection between vocabulary, word consciousness and reading comprehension (Biemiller, 2003; Scott and Nagy, 2004). There are also connections between vocabulary skills, reading and academic achievement (Hattie, 2009; Marzano, 2004). PISA results from 2000–2012 shows that literacy achievement is dropping in Iceland and many western countries (OECD, 2013), so in the light of the research findings referred to above, well thought literacy program may be vital response to the situation.
Orð af orði™ (OAO) (English transl. Word by Word) is an interactive constructive (Lupker, 2005; Plaut, 2005; Rumelhart, 1985) program where a number of methods are integrated which aims to increase children’s literacy, reading skills and understanding of words, as well as methods to work with and understand complex texts. OAO is based on Graves (2006) four-part vocabulary program main components: (1) providing rich and varied language experience, (2) teaching individual words, (3) teaching word-learning strategies, and (4) fostering word consciousness. OAO is usually implemented by a two year literacy development project and over one third of Icelandic primary schools have participated in the program for the last 3 years.
The author has conducted an action research project along with primary school teachers, where short-term and defined intervention of OAO (only vocabulary methods) was made in two primary schools. Children were taught how to analyse words into meaningful parts and shown how new words can be made on the basis of these. The children were also taught how to use words in an analytical and creative manner in order to incorporate them in their productive vocabulary. The aim of the research was to examine the success of the programme in strengthening pupils’ vocabulary and reading comprehension.
Biemiller, A. (2003). Vocabulary: Needed if more children are to read well. Reading Psychology, 24, 323–335. Graves, M. F. (2006). The vocabulary book: Learning & instruction. New York: Teachers College Press. Gunnarsdóttir, E. K., Ólason, D. Þ., & Pind, J. L. (2004). Orðalykill: Staðlað orðaforðapróf fyrir börn á grunnskólaaldri [WordKey: Standardised vocabulary test for primary school children]. Sálfræðiritið [Psychology], 9, 141–149. Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. London: Routledge. Lupker, S. J. (2005). Visual word recognition: Theories and findings. In M. J. Snowling og C. Hulme (Eds), The science of reading: A handbook (pp. 39−60). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. Marzano, R. J. (2004). Building background knowledge for academic achievement. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). National Reading Panel (NRP). (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction. Washington, DC: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. OECD. (2013). PISA 2012 results: What students know and can do – student performance in mathematics, reading and science (Volume 1). PISA, OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264201118-en Plaut, D. C. (2005). Connectionist approaches to reading. In M. J. Snowling og C. Hulme (Eds), The science of reading: A handbook (pp. 24−38). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. Rumelhart, D. E. (1985). Toward an interactive model of reading. In H. Singer og R. B. Ruddell (Eds), Theoretical models and processes of reading (3. ed) (pp. 722–750). Newark: International Reading Association. Scott, J. A. og Nagy, W. E. (2004). Developing word consciousness. In J. F. Baumann og E. J. Kame’enui (Eds), Vocabulary instruction: Research to practice (pp. 201–217). New York: The Guilford Press.
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