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Title: An Evaluation of the Phono-Graphix Approach to Literacy Development for Children with Moderate Learning Difficulties
Author: McLernon, Helen
ISNI:       0000 0001 3625 6989
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2008
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This study was designed to evaluate the systematic phonics approach, Phono-Graphix, in developing and sustaining the literacy skills of a sample of children with moderate learning difficulties (MLD). Sixteen children, aged between 7 - 11 years, received a weekly Phono-Graphix intervention for three terms. The children were drawn from eight primary schools in Northern Ireland. Within three s~hools, eight ofthe children received additional Phono-Graphix support, in either the classroom or special needs settings. The study examined three aspects ofliteracy development, namely reading, spelling and writing quality. The research design was based on a multi-method (literacy tests, observations, interviews, writing samples and reading book data) and a multi-source (pupils, teachers and parents) approach to help ensure that multiple perspectives were obtained on key issues relating to progress. The overall results indicated that Phono-Graphix contributed favourably to enhancing the literacy skills, independence and confidence levels ofthe children. Relatively swift progress appeared to result from the children's improved understanding and application ofthe processes involved in reading and spelling words. The fmdings suggested that this was attributable to focusing on those aspects considered most necessary to master the alphabetic code and embedding these in meaningful literacy ·experiences i.e. focusing on sounds and teaching these alongside the skills of sound-by-sound blending and segmenting in the context of words. The majority ofthe children sustained their gains and although some made further improvements, there was a lack of substantial progress one year later. At the end of intervention, little difference in progress was found between those children who had received some additional in-school Phono-Graphix support and those who did not, however, the former group generally made better progress one year later. This suggests the benefits of consistency of approach within schools for children with moderate learning difficulties.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available