Does listening to audios of texts improve understanding of them and support Post-16 learners with alternative approaches to reading in employability scenarios?
I have highlighted a need for our learners to be supported and encouraged in their level of enjoyment of reading for understanding and resilience around reading. As stated in the white paper, 15% of adults have literacy skills no better than the level expected of an 11-tear-old which clearly needs addressing so that employers get the competent staff they need but also to support our learners in finding a good job or progress further in their chosen careers. It is a requirement by law that those learners without an approved Level 2 in English continue to study it, but this leads to decreased confidence as learners are expected to “bounce back” from perceived failure on multiple occasions. This has contributed to dislike or even hatred of the subject and sometimes a high level of intimidation felt when presented with a text to read. This is particularly the case with learners who have EHCPs who, according to the white paper, need extra support to increase their employability and may well be “bouncing back” every year until they are aged 25. If we can provide these students with an alternative to reading texts, they could carry this forward into their future employment and progress further as a result.
I am hoping learners will enjoy reading more, feel more confident and understand more when they read for themselves. I would like the learners to gain some ideas as to the alternative approaches they can use to access written material so that they can improve their understanding and dissecting of information that will support them in their current study programme but also in the work place and enable them to develop self-advocacy skills. I predict that most learners will engage well with and make more progress with their reading for understanding. This will not be the case for a minority of learners due to lower literacy skills and previous negative experiences affecting their attitude to English, particularly reading.
Qualitative data will be collected by the tutor in the classroom through a reflective journal, seeing how learners react to the audio recordings and whether this is improved from the first half term of this year. I will also interview fellow English and vocational tutors to see how widely these alternative approaches are adopted by the learners. Quantitative data will be given by a survey completed by learners about their level of enjoyment and understanding of the texts at the start and end of the project. Also, quantitative data will be gathered from learners’ comprehension question quizzes and assessment grades.
I will write a research poster including charts of quantitative data. Qualitative data will be included as quotations.