FIVE from FIVE
Language, Learning and Literacy (L3)
http://www.fivefromfive.org.au/wp-conte ... ief-l3.pdf
The L3 program is a ‘whole class’ literacy program developed by the NSW government, and is described as a “research-based classroom intervention”. Instructional leaders appointed in the Early Action for Success strategy (EAfS) participate in L3 training.
L3 is used in several hundred schools across NSW, involving more than 16,000 students in Kindergarten to Year 2.
The research base for L3
L3 was developed within the NSW Department for Education based on the findings of a New Zealand project called Picking Up The Pace.
The NZ project — involving 12 low-SES, high Maori population schools over 12 months — was published in 2002 but was guided by research that is now around 20 years old and has since been superseded. It draws heavily on the same research that influenced the development of the Reading Recovery program.
The literacy learning approach in Picking Up The Pace is described as a “socio-cultural, co-constructivist view”.
Language and meaning are a way of thinking, feeling, and acting in a social practice. From this perspective literacy is not a process of going from print to sound to language, nor is it a two-part process of decoding and comprehending.
According to this definition, the conceptual model of literacy on which L3 is based is at odds with the model most strongly supported by recent empirical research — the ‘Simple View of Reading’, which frames reading as the product of word identification (most efficiently achieved through decoding) and language comprehension.
Does L3 program content and pedagogy reflect the evidence-base for effective early reading instruction?
A critique of the L3 program by Dr Roslyn Neilson and Dr Sally Howell found that the L3 program does not teach the five key components of early literacy explicitly and systematically.
Strong and consistent evidence has found that phonics in particular should be taught explicitly, sequentially, and systematically.
However, L3 teaches phonics incidentally, for example:
The words, letters and sounds chosen for explicit lessons in Word Work are drawn from the language of the text. There is not a predetermined sequence to follow. The text itself creates the gradient of complexity and determines the content for instruction. (L3 Kindergarten training materials, p.62)
The teaching method specified in the L3 manual does not meet the usual criteria for explicit teaching — an ‘I do, we do, you do’ approach. In guidance provided in the manual, the first two steps are absent (for example, “Use these letters to make the word am”).
This is consistent with the approach to phonics instruction in the Reading Recovery program. A ‘masterclass’ in phonics for L3 trainers was run by Dr Susan Duncan, a former Reading Recovery trainer who has no research or publication record on phonics instruction.
The L3 training materials state that it is a comprehensive program, and no additional literacy programs are required.
L3 incorporates all aspects of the Department of Education and Training documents related to literacy learning in Early Stage 1. L3 does not require additional programs. (L3 Training Materials, p.2)
However, an online survey conducted by FIVE from FIVE (247 L3 teacher respondents) found that 56% of L3 teachers supplemented it with other literacy programs. Of these, 71% of teachers supplemented L3 with phonics programs.
Here is the link to the FIVE from FIVE site: