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Plugging In

Plugging In

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Published by Iain Cook-Bonney
Does Audio Learning Enhance Skills and Attitudes in Students who find Reading Challenging?
Does Audio Learning Enhance Skills and Attitudes in Students who find Reading Challenging?

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Published by: Iain Cook-Bonney on Nov 17, 2009
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11/16/2009

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“PluggingIn?”
Does Audio Learning EnhanceSkills and Attitudes in Students who find Reading Challenging?
An action research projectBy Kat Freeman and Faye Elliot2009
 
Background and Rationale
“Experts agree that reading aloud is the single most important activity for developing proficientreading skills. Reading aloud to young and older readers alike introduces new vocabulary andconcepts, provides demonstrations of proficient reading, and allows young children access to storiesthat they are unable to read on their own or that they might not choose for themselves. Researchhas also shown that reading aloud with children provides the foundation for their development asreaders.
1
 Some children, for whatever reason, have missed out on the benefits and motivationprovided by being read to. As a result their strategies to become independent readers arelimited. Equally important these students also lack the motivation to want to read. Wewanted to investigate what tools could be effective in enhancing reading attitudes andability in students identified as finding reading challenging.The aim of this action research was to investigate whether reading could be enhancedthrough the use of audio books, DVDs and CDs. We surveyed students on the maincomponents of a typical reading programme. Students were asked to rate thesecomponents as to their impact on their enjoyment of reading and on their perception of theimprovement these made to their reading skills.Although explicit and targeted teaching of reading skills must remain the cornerstone ofany classroom reading programme, intuition and experience have led us to believe thatprogrammes that include the use of audio supports improve students’ reading proficiencyand motivation. With this action research we were seeking feedback to confirm our beliefin the importance of including these technologies in a well balanced reading programme.
1.
Audio Books and Literacy
– An Educators Guide to Utilising Audio books in the Classroom byDr Frank Serafini 2004
Research Method
 
 
 Students used for this research were those who had been identified by teachers as needingextra reading support because they had achieved stanine four or less in the STAR readingassessment completed in classes at the beginning of the year. We also included studentswho rated their own attitude to reading and performance at reading as poor in the readingattitude survey as part of the AsTTle reading assessment completed at the beginning ofthe year.There were fourteen students from eight classes included in the research. These studentsfell into two groups, those identified as needing literacy support and those identified ashaving a “poor attitude” to reading whose reading needs were catered for in a typicalclassroom reading programme.We were already convinced of the benefits of including audio supports in our classroomreading programmes and have been doing so for some time. There was difficulty incollecting “before and after” data as the students involved in this research had alreadybeen exposed to audio support tools alongside components of a typical readingprogramme when this action research project was started. We decided therefore to gatherdata from the student voice via a survey (appendix 1). Students were surveyed on theirperceptions of their improvement in reading and on which components of their readingprogramme they believed had led to this improvement. They were also asked to rate thecomponents of their reading programme as to how much they enhanced their enjoymentof reading.
Research Findings

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