More than 80 teachers and teacher aids from all over the Northern Territory will descend on Charles Darwin University this week for professional development training in literacy teaching.
Convened by the National Accelerated Literacy Program (NALP), the course will provide Territory teachers with the skills to use Accelerated Literacy (AL), a teaching methodology designed to accelerate students’ reading, writing and comprehension skills, in classrooms.
Conventionally held over three sessions, this is the first time the training has been condensed into an intensive one-week course. With NALP entering its final phase and aiming to reach 100 schools across the Territory by the end of 2008, the need to train as many teachers as possible has become paramount.
Wendy Cowey, co-developer of the Accelerated Literacy methodology, said the level of interest in the workshop had exceeded expectations.
“We thought if we could train 50 teachers, that would be great, but we now have more than 80 teachers attending, which will mean that thousands of students will reap the benefits of this training,” she said.
“Many of these teachers are from regional or remote schools, where the risk of students failing national literacy benchmarks is greatest. But there is hope that AL might play some role in changing this statistic.”
Student progress in AL classrooms in 2006 was on average 1.74 reading levels per year, where one reading level per year is considered normal. With up to 10,000 students participating in the program by the end of the year, it is hoped significant student progress can be sustained.
The National Accelerated Literacy Program is run by the Commonwealth Department of Education Science and Training, the Northern Territory Department of Employment Education and Training, and the School for Social and Policy Research.
For more details about NALP, the Accelerated Literacy workshop, and student progress results, visit www.nalp.edu.au.