Thursday 17 October, 2019

Teachers get specialised training to rectify student challenges

Consultant at the Creative Language-Based Learning (CLBL) Foundation, Mary McDonald, bringing greetings at a contract-signing ceremony involving the entity and Jamaica Social Investment Fund.

Consultant at the Creative Language-Based Learning (CLBL) Foundation, Mary McDonald, bringing greetings at a contract-signing ceremony involving the entity and Jamaica Social Investment Fund.

More than 70 primary schools islandwide are now benefiting from the expertise of some 130 teachers who have been trained to detect and successfully correct learning challenges in students.

The intervention, which has been reaping tremendous success, particularly in relation to the students’ ability to read, has resulted from the utilisation of the Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes.

The methodologies, which were initially imparted to 50 teachers in 2017, are designed to diagnose and correct language-based learning disabilities.

These are now being expanded to include an additional 120 teachers, who will be trained and certified by the Creative Language-Based Learning (CLBL) Foundation.

According to the Foundation’s Consultant, Mary McDonald, based on a system that has been implemented to track the teachers’ progress, “we have been able to see substantial increases in how the children are able to pick up the different [aspects] of reading”.

“So, for example, they may have little children who are not familiar with even letters and sounds, although they are expected to be at their age… they have made a jump of 300 per cent in those areas, [and] in the ability to sound out words they don’t know, they have increased 600 per cent,” she added.

The consultant was speaking at a contract-signing ceremony with the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and CLBL on Wednesday (September 18) at JSIF’s office in Kingston.

McDonald cited, as another example, a six-year-old girl who was unable to read when she started primary school, noting that she was only familiar with five consonants and few vowels, which she could not sound.

She said, however, that after being instructed by a Lindamood Bell-trained teacher, she commenced reading at the grade-four level.

“So that’s a huge difference to this one little girl, and the change in how that girl interacts with the world is indescribable. She went from having her head down and being frustrated, angry and acting out in the classroom, to being the first one with her hands up [responding to questions, and becoming] extremely confident,” she revealed.

The education consultant pointed out that some of the teachers who are already proficient in the Lindamood-Bell Processes have trained other educators and are going to other institutions to assist students.

“So we are very proud of what the teachers have done, and we are proud to receive those 130 teachers and the thousands of children who they work with on a daily basis,” McDonald said.

Meanwhile, CLBL Founder, Mandy Melville, who started the Foundation after she was recommended to the programme for her dyslexic son, said the entity plans to reach out to as many teachers as is possible.

“I would love to infuse this in as many schools as possible; the more schools, the better the exams. It’s not just for dyslexic children…. It’s also a tool the teachers can use in the regular classroom. How they share the knowledge and check that the youngsters are following up on what they’re training them is just amazing,” she informed.

Noting that the teachers are very enthusiastic about learning the methodology, Melville said: “the more they hear and the more they see their colleagues being able to reach the children using the programme, the more teachers want to participate”.

“Teachers who started in 2017 continue working with us because we are trying to develop them into local instructional leaders and mentors so that they can work and share the programme with other teachers and make it more successful,” she added.

 

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