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Title: Early educators' awareness and knowledge of structured multisensory literary instruction
Author: Falzon, Ruth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2724 5382
Awarding Body: Northumbria University
Current Institution: Northumbria University
Date of Award: 2012
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Literacy is a 21st Century fundamental human right and children who struggle to break the code to literacy continue to be challenged in learning and to experience a poorer quality of life. In spite of a whole body of literature concluding that structured multisensory literacy instruction (SMSLI), which embraces basic linguistic knowledge, is effective in improving reading skills, early educators are either unaware or misinformed about explicit language knowledge they need to know in order to address early literacy in the classroom. When compared to studies on reading, little research on teachers’ knowledge and early literacy instruction has been done. Such research has never been addressed on a national scale. The author decided to undertake this research path following years of immersion in education in Malta and perceived lacunae in early educators’ knowledge. The purpose of this research is to explore early educators’ awareness and knowledge of SMSLI. A mixed methodology approach was employed in order to explore this issue on a national level (questionnaires), as well as investigate professionals’ experiences of the effect of SMSLI training on their professional development (focus groups). Descriptive statistics indicate an incomplete and incorrect body of knowledge. Results highlight marked deficits in basic language constructs knowledge and awareness of SMSLI, and indicate that exposure to training increases the required language constructs to address SMSLI. In theory, the conclusion from this research is that awareness of SMSLI leads to students’ increased reading success. Professionals indicating knowledge in SMSLI evidenced more confidence in knowledge and abilities to teach early reading skills than they actually have. Relevant recommendations for formal training, continued professional development and further research with professionals, parents and pupils’ literacy scores are suggested.
Supervisor: Swain, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: X200 Research and Study Skills in Education