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Best courses for learning to teach reading, and specific learning difficulties

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by mystery10, May 18, 2011.

  1. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    I have QTS status (secondary) but I don't want to go back into class teaching. I like working one to one with all ages with people who are struggling with literacy and numeracy - child, teenager, adult. I've done some of this in a voluntary capacity, and would like to do it part-time on a paid basis (either employed or self-employed).
    I'm looking to get some qualifications first - both in the teaching of reading, and how to work with people with "dyslexia", dyscalculia etc.
    Any ideas welcome. I would like the course to be distance learning if possible, and if practical experience is needed I am sure I can get some pupils through volunteer work.
     
  2. I'm an independent specialist reading tutor and use the Sound Reading System. I can't recommend it highly enough. Training takes just 4-5 days (in Oxford) and enables you to teach all ages how to read/spell, whether they have a diagnosis of 'dyslexia' or not.
    <a> http://www.dyslexics.org.uk/resources_and_further_16.htm[/URL]
    Contact Fiona Nevola directly if you're interested in training: fiona.nevola at gmail.com


     
  3. Any training in a recognised synthetic phonics or linguistic phonics programme would be exactly what you require for working withanyone (child or adult) with reading difficulties. However, this will not give you a 'recognised' qualification because most of the 'recognised' training is in Orton Gillingham based programmes, and ideas and methods which have not kept up with research and best practice. These are what are mostly promoted by the Dyslexia organisations. I am currently mentoring a colleague, who is on such a course, who is being told to use such outdated, indeed discredited, techniques as whole word learning[​IMG]
    I would suggest that you get some SP training and experience, then go for something like an OU course which gives you AMBDA accreditation but which 'allows' you to do the 'practical' element your own way! I have a friend who achieved the accreditation through an OU course without using a single wooden alphabet letter....[​IMG]
     
  4. Absolutely right, maizie, but a typical AMBDA course takes about 3 years and costs about &pound;3000, I believe...
     
  5. But nothing is free, is it[​IMG]
     
  6. R13

    R13 New commenter

    once you have gained your qualifications do you plan to do private tutoring or do you think you'll be employed to do 1-1 teaching in a school?
     
  7. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    I take your point entirely, and I'm hoping that I could get some real experience via voluntary work with truly struggling readers, and make some progress with them. There is a special school looking for volunteers not far from here, and also some independents who take in a high proportion of "dyslexics".
    I don't want bol**xs or useless practices!! It's not really my thing, and I would not be happy charging for it, or doing it on a voluntary basis even if it was rubbish.
    Also, I'm not just thinking about struggling readers. I'm thinking about parents who want to support their children correctly at home during their early reading with practices that are consistent with good synthetic phonics teaching. Some schools equip parents very well to do this, and others don't.
    I've seen a franchise which seems to operate successfully in certain areas to help parents improve their children's early reading skills; but it's a really poor sight words scheme. If there are pockets of parents willing to pay for a poor scheme, maybe there are ones who would pay for soething good.

     
  8. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    I take your point entirely, and I'm hoping that I could get some real experience via voluntary work with truly struggling readers, and make some progress with them. There is a special school looking for volunteers not far from here, and also some independents who take in a high proportion of "dyslexics".
    I don't want bol**xs or useless practices!! It's not really my thing, and I would not be happy charging for it, or doing it on a voluntary basis even if it was rubbish.
    Also, I'm not just thinking about struggling readers. I'm thinking about parents who want to support their children correctly at home during their early reading with practices that are consistent with good synthetic phonics teaching. Some schools equip parents very well to do this, and others don't.
    I've seen a franchise which seems to operate successfully in certain areas to help parents improve their children's early reading skills; but it's a really poor sight words scheme. If there are pockets of parents willing to pay for a poor scheme, maybe there are ones who would pay for soething good.



     
  9. Andy_91

    Andy_91 New commenter

    Do not take the advice above. The synthetics lobbyists are evangelists for one true way of developing literacy. This is palpably nonsense. Despite their claims, they are seriously lacking in peer-reviewed empirical evidence.
     
  10. Whereas you, of course, are a highly experienced and successful teacher of beginning reading and a whizz at remediating struggling readers. All with empirically evidenced programmes which you can support with hundreds of references to gold standard, peer reviewed research.
     
  11. Andy_91

    Andy_91 New commenter

    See what I mean - the shrill voice of the cultist or fundamentalist.
    After years of cluttering up the forums with their one-true-way nonsense and rounding on dissenters, those who advised caution and those who had the temerity to suggest a plurality of approach, they recently got their comeuppance.
    https://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6075433
    I will never forget their suggestion to me that children who are fluent readers at 4, would nonetheless benefit from synthetic phonics at 5+. A real recipe for switching kids off. As for adults, you are better sticking with mainstream approaches.
     
  12. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

    To dismiss all official dyslexia courses out of hand is misleading.
    The level 5 postgraduate diploma will allow you to not only be a qualified SpLD teacher but also to assess for access arrangements.
    The level 7 postgraduate qualification will also allow you to assess students for the disabled students allowance, as well as going into more depth about the subject of SpLD.
    Dyslexia Action offers these 2 courses (the certificate has to be completed before you can apply for the diploma) As well as teaching the reading and spelling programme, there is emphasis on the structure of language and theories about the reasons for SpLD including dyslexia, dyspraxia and dysculia and ADHD. This includes indepth study in areas of psychology.
    Some universities offer the above courses and take different approaches to teaching students with Splds and can be extended into a MA by completing a dissertation. The best thing to do is find the relevant university website and read the desciption of the course modules.
    Southampton, Bath,London Met and South Bank are the courses I am aware of but there are lots more around the country. Southbank has some really interesting modules and many are appropriate for adult learners with Spld. There is also the Helen Arkell centre.
    My advice would be to use one of the university search websites which lists all the relevant courses. Look at the BDA ,Patoss and Dyslexia Action website.
    You are right about the cost. It costs about 4 k to do carry on to the postgrad diploma. There was government funding for the postgrad cert by it has just stopped. I took out a career development loan for mine but some employers will contribute towards some of the cost.
    I would definitely recommend doing a recognised qualification as it will help if you want to apply for a job in SpLD as many employers ask for one and i5t can give you a definite advantage over less well qualified applicants.
     
  13. An article which Ms Tickell promptly made clear had completely misinterpreted her conclusions. I have given the link to your OH on previous occasions.
    What a strange thing to have made such a huge impression on you.

    Now tell me how many children you have successfully taught to read with a plurality of approaches and the research evidence which supports those approaches (gold standard, peer reviewed, don't forget)


     
  14. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

    Hi,
    Here is the blurb from Southampton Uni. I thought it would give you an idea of the course content.
    BTW The courses at Dyslexia action are mostly distance learning.
    <h1>MSc Education Specific Learning Differences (SpLD)</h1> | Description | Tutor | Structure | Assessment | Special Entry Requirements | Questions |
    Click for a University Prospectus.
    Order the MSc Education Specific Learning Differences (SpLD) course information.
    Download, view or print the MSc Education Specific Learning Differences (SpLD) Course leaflet PDF
    Building on the success of the MSc SpLD (Dyslexia) programme, this newly revised course will provide you with additional flexibility and coverage, while retaining strong links between real-world classroom impact, current research and theory. You will recognise that social inclusion is fundamental to educational principles and that current initiatives expect teachers to adopt a flexible approach to diversity of needs.
    Our staff have specialist expertise, and your study will enable you to meet the needs of dyslexic students and develop the professional skills required to identify and support dyslexic individuals in a variety of situations.
    <h2><a name="Tutor">[/URL]Tutor</h2> Julia Kender
    <h2><a name="Structure">[/URL]Structure</h2>You will study at least seven modules and produce a dissertation. These will include at least three SpLD pathway modules addressing themed contexts. These will draw on research from cognitive psychology, neurology, genetics and education, and will cover matters relating to teaching methodology and assessment and identification.
    Depending on your needs, you may be required to study specific optional modules. These will reflect our research expertise in areas such as: social justice and inclusive education; professional practice and pedagogy; lifelong and work-related learning; leadership, school improvement and effectiveness; mathematics and science education; leadership and administration in higher education; and mentoring and staff development. It may be possible to select an optional module from a range of master&rsquo;s modules offered across the University.
    <h2>Professional practice</h2> Subject to additional study and more specific entry requirements, places may be available to support you to gain additional professional qualifications recognised by the British Dyslexia Association (BDA), ie Associate Membership of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA) or Approved Teacher Status (ATS). These specialist qualifications are increasingly recognised by local authorities and other employers. AMBDA status gives teachers the opportunity to assess and make recommendations for provisions for external examinations.
    <h2>Duration</h2>1 year (full-time); 2 years (part-time)
    <h2><a name="Assessment">[/URL]Assessment</h2>6 assignments (each equivalent to 4,000 words), dissertation (16,000 words). A professional report and evidence-based practice file is required for the additional professional qualifications awarded by BD.
    <h2>Career destinations</h2>Overseas and national government administration; senior educational and organisational practitioners; teachers; SENCOs
    <h2><a name="Special_Entry_Requirements">[/URL]Special Entry Requirements</h2>Good honours degree, teaching qualification and minimum of 2 years&rsquo; teaching experience usually required. If you are seeking BDA accreditation, you must also be able to demonstrate support from your workplace and be working in a context which will enable you to undertake the placement components for this element of the programme. Standard university English language requirements for master&rsquo;s students apply
    <h2>http://www.education.soton.ac.uk/courses/masters_degrees/index.php?link=course_details.php&id=219<a name="Questions">[/URL]</h2>
     
  15. gcf

    gcf

    Mystery10 - I spent a year doing a part-time SpLD course which I much enjoyed at the time . Official dyslexia courses, however, work painfully slowly for those children who struggle to read and their multi-strategy advice and rule-heavy instruction muddles many children. Synthetic phonics instruction, on the other hand, enables children to see the logic of our writing system and gives them the focus and practice they need to catch up with their peers. Sound Reading System, as Susan G says, is outstanding.
    If you would like, I will send you a set of BRI books for beginner readers and teaching assistant/tutor guide. Many parents and volunteer parents in school use the books - they couldn't be easier to use (and have a strong research base) . Do, in any case, have a look at
    www.piperbooks.co.uk
    as it provides a good overview of how the books work.
     
  16. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

    GCF - who strangely has only posted briefly in 5 years always comes in to echo the advice of the synthetic phonics mob.
    I have posted above a course that would lead to very good job opportunities in all sectors of education with a recognised qualification which many employers look for. The course details I posted does none of the things stated in the above post .
    This is someone's career we are talking about and they need impartial advice.
    I am not dismissing looking into the synthetic training route but to say that is the only viable option is misleading.
     
  17. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Don't worry, I find all the different viewpoints helpful. I'm pretty sure the answer is going to be the kind of course suggested by Moonpenny and some synthetic phonics training - best of all worlds. I really like the look of the Piper books too - I've viewed the online extracts. The later stages look particularly good; a lot of the SP scheme books I've looked at don't seem to have so much good prose material at a more sophisticated level.
     
  18. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

    If this is an attempt to sell your own books, I think it would be a good idea to say that you are the author - then the person can make an informed decision.
     

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