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Learning Support Assistants - Essay Example

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The UK government is in the process of making some changes in the education system. Increasing the role of the Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) is one of the proposals. The present paper is the report of the research carried out to find if the role of the LSAs is effective in helping children improve upon their basis skill of reading and spelling…
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Learning Support Assistants
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Download file to see previous pages Whether it should be rhyme based or phoneme based or mix of the two methods.
Earlier evidence, like that of Ehri et al (2001) have found that training children to adopt analytic phonologically word based words-level strategies in the early readings help in improving reading and spelling ability.
The role of LSAs is to help the children with the poor reading abilities in small groups. They have good experience but only have the basic training. Despite their crucial role with the 'at-risk' students, their contribution has not been fully explored. There have been strong evidences, which show that these teaching assistants can provide crucial support in teaching methodology. Thus the main aim of the research is to find out the effectiveness of LSA based system in the education system where presently this is not typical.
There are several ways to teach the phonological and decoding skills. In the rhyme based intervention programmes children are made to pronounce the whole word like 'cut', 'but' and so on. While in the phoneme based method the students are made to give importance to each and every letter of the word, pronounce it and then add them all together. Thus the second aim of the research is to find out which method of intervention will be more effective, rhyme based or phoneme based or the combination of the two.
Methodology: The study of intervention was carri...
One morning LSAs met with the authors to get the feel of the training material.
From first nine responding schools 498 selected students were screened by LSAs to find the poorest students. All the students had experienced three months of Year 1 National Curriculum classes. One LSA was deployed in each school. They were trained to screen the children on the measures of phonological awareness, word reading and spelling, non-word reading and letter-sound knowledge.
Screening Materials: Students were made to recite the nursery rhymes if they knew them. If they did not know it then the adults would say a rhyme and check if the child could complete it. The purpose was to clarify if the child knew the word 'rhyme'.
In the rhyme matching, the children were shown the picture of the animals. They were then asked to find the picture of an animal that rhymed with some particular picture of animal, say like 'dog'. There were two practice trials and 12 experimental trials in this test.
In rhyme generation children were shown the picture of a particular animal and then made to name the other animals whose name matched with that animal. If there were no answers then children were given the examples.
In the blending method of screening LSA would pretend to be a Robot and make the sound like /m/-/at/. The children were asked to blend together the sounds and make some word from it like 'mat'. The LSA would complete the work if children did not respond. In the Segmentation method it was opposite, the children were given a word like 'pat'. They were told to break it and sound it like the robot. They had to break the word in either two or three parts.
All these phonological tasks were combined together from a single ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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