Workshop (26 May 2016) and materials

Thank you to everyone who came and made our first research into practice event such a success! If you attended and did not get round to filling in the short feedback form, we would really appreciate it if you could do it now by clicking here. Presentations including the keynote speech are available for download below. Thank you!

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Language(s) and Literacy at Primary:

A Free Research into Practice Event

Thursday 26 May 2016 from 2.00pm-6.00pm
Institute of Education, University of Reading

Teachers and local authority staff were warmly welcomed to attend, free of charge, a “Research-into-Practice” event, bringing together practitioners and researchers interested in primary school children’s language and literacy development. The event presented a great chance to hear about what is going on at Reading, to reflect on research-informed teaching and to forge new research partnerships between the university and schools.

Presentations available for download:

 

The event has taken place now but you can still download the flyer and view the programme below.

PROGRAMME
2 – 2.15 Welcome and refreshments
2.15 – 3.15 Parallel workshops 1: Reading development 1, EAL 1, Primary languages 1
3.15 – 3.30 Break
3.30 – 4.30 Parallel workshops 2: Reading development 2,EAL 2, Primary languages 2
4.30 – 5.30 Keynote speaker: Professor Victoria Murphy
5.30 – 6.00 Plenary discussion: What are the research questions that teachers want researchers to ask?
Networking, wine and nibbles

Keynote speech (all delegates):

Improving children’s language and literacy skills: a research agenda
Professor Victoria Murphy, University of Oxford
Vocabulary knowledge and literacy skills in children with English as an Additional Language
International studies have shown that children from ethnic minorities tend to underperform but this varies considerably across different language groups and age groups. In this talk I will first explore recent findings that identify those sub-groups
of children with English as an Additional Language (EAL) who are most at risk of academic difficulty, followed by a discussion of research on EAL children’s vocabulary and literacy development.

Workshops

Session 1:
Reading development 1: WORD READING IN ENGLISH: CHALLENGES FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING
Professor Rhona Stainthorp and Dr Daisy Powell, University of Reading
Learning to read in English is much harder than in most other languages. While early structured phonics is essential for teaching children to read regular words like “dog” and “fish”, we’ll be discussing our research showing that learning to read exception words like “cow” and “salmon” requires more than just phonics. These word characteristics also impact on spelling. We’ll be talking about how to identify which aspects of word reading
children struggle with, and will invite discussion of how best to intervene accordingly. This session will be of interest to teachers developing children’s initial word reading skills in EY and KS1, and those who are supporting children who have difficulties in KS2. The session will allow us to work together to generate potential strategies
for targeted teaching and research to evaluate them.
EAL 1: READING COMPREHENSION, ENGLISH LANGUAGE ABILITY AND MATHS KNOWLEDGE AMONG EAL LEARNERS
Professor Jeanine Treffers-Daller and Dr Natthapoj Vincent Trakulphadetkrai, University of Reading
We present findings from an exploratory study among EAL learners which focused on reading comprehension, English language ability and mathematics and the relationship between these different competencies. We will discuss implications for targeted language support for EAL learners, including help with specific language knowledge needed for
word-based mathematical problems.
Primary Languages 1: PROGRESS AND PREPAREDNESS IN PRIMARY LANGUAGES
Professor Suzanne Graham, University of Reading
Suzanne Graham will give summary findings from a longitudinal research project conducted with over 250 learners of French, following them from Year 5 through to Years 6 and 7. It explored the impact of two different teaching approaches on the development of learners’ knowledge of French grammar and vocabulary across the three years, as well as on their motivation and confidence for learning French. This session will focus on the impact of teaching and teacher factors on learning and motivation, discussing with participants the implications of the findings for curriculum planning and classroom practice. It will be an opportunity to explore together possible strategies for maximising classroom learning and areas that need further practice-focussed research.

Session 2:
Reading development 2: WHAT CAN EYE MOVEMENTS TELL US ABOUT READING COMPREHENSION DIFFICULTIES?
Dr Holly Joseph, University of Reading
Developing and teaching reading comprehension skills is extremely complex and time-consuming, and compared to decoding, we know relatively little about why some children have particular difficulty understanding what they read. In this session, I’ll be talking
about how monitoring a children’s eye movements as they’re reading can provide important insights into the process of reading comprehension and the strategies good and poorer comprehenders use to understand text. We’ll then discuss how these findings
might be relevant to classroom practice and how we can best support children who struggle to make sense of what they’re reading. This session is likely to be of particular interest to those working with children in KS2.
EAL 2: EAL TEACHING AND THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM
Dr Naomi Flynn, University of Reading
Naomi Flynn will discuss her findings from interviews with teachers about their Polish and other children with EAL. Findings were focussed around two key areas: firstly that teachers’ classroom decisions for their EAL learners are constrained by the National
Curriculum for English; and secondly that Polish children are often perceived in a very positive light. This session will be of interest to those wanting to discuss what good practice for EAL looks like, whether different national/linguistic groups need different
responses, and in exploring ways of serving both the requirements of the curriculum and the needs of children whose home language is not English.
Primary Languages 2: PROGRESS AND PREPAREDNESS IN PRIMARY LANGUAGES
Dr Louise Courtney, University of Reading
Louise Courtney will expand upon the findings, presented by Suzanne Graham, from the longitudinal research project conducted with over 250 young learners of French. While group data indicates that learners’ motivation for studying French, their perceptions
of self-efficacy and knowledge of vocabulary and grammar increased from Year 5 to Year 7, a closer examination of learner data shows that there is a wide range of variation between learners for all of these measures. This session will investigate the interaction of individual characteristics (e.g. literacy level, gender, motivation) on second language outcomes, and how these interact with contextual factors related to the language learning environment. The aim of the session is to raise awareness, question assumptions and to stimulate debate among participants about what these findings mean for classroom practice, both in primary and secondary schools. The final part of the session will focus on discussions around the requirements for future research in this area.

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