A refreshing new approach to literacy in New Zealand
Literacy Innovators serves as a conduit for fresh, if not revolutionary, high-quality literacy products and programmes that are purposely designed for educators teaching primary and secondary school students.
Literacy Innovators is the brainchild of two passionate and highly qualified academics, Chuck Marriott and Louise Douglas, who have a combined teaching history in New Zealand spanning over 70 years.
Literacy Innovators makes available evidence and research based resources for teachers. Currently offering three resources, they plan to assist other educators with products they want to share with fellow teachers. Literacy Innovators can provide increased exposure, direct marketing and a trustworthy platform for online sales. If you have a teaching product that you would like Literacy Innovators to consider endorsing, please contact either Chuck or Louise.
The teaching frameworks and literacy programmes (WordLab, SevenPlus, FivePlus and AVAILLL) are comprehensive, methodical and novel. Best of all, they offer practical solutions for teachers who struggle to find effective resources, pedagogies and programmes to teach their students.
To be endorsed and promoted by Literacy Innovators, every aspect of each product or programme is rigorously researched, evaluated and thoroughly tested in schools. Before being vetted each literacy product must demonstrate that it is:
• evidenced-based teaching
• relevant to the New Zealand curriculum
• affordable for schools
• teacher and student friendly
• motivating for both teachers and students
• effective and practical
“Teachers are very savvy and cautious when it comes to purchasing resources for their classroom. Funds are limited so must be spent on products that deliver effective results. Teachers recommend our products to their colleagues because they know they offer outstanding value,” — Louise Douglas
Literacy Innovators founders Chuck Marriott and Louise Douglas, are in classrooms everyday working with teachers and students. This privileged position gives them the ability to see firsthand where the issues are and how to improve literacy standards in New Zealand.
In the case of visual digital technology, the pair began to question how they could develop literacy skills in a way that engages all students, even those not interested in reading.
Since it’s development in 2008, AVAILLL has become a proven and effective literacy programme that accelerates students reading comprehension, fluency and vocabulary levels. “I have found it is such a compelling approach to teaching reading that students of all abilities are completely engaged in all lessons,” says Chuck.
Chuck says in his 30-year teaching career he believes there is still a significant lack of resources for teachers to properly teach students to spell.
“Because we work in classrooms everyday we see what literacy programmes and resources are needed to enhance teaching and learning,” says Chuck.
WordLab also includes a New Zealand Spelling Syllabus, an extensive document that clearly outlines what aspects of spelling need to be taught at all levels of the primary school. “Louise and I are proud of offer this comprehensive and affordable programme which includes videos and a self-training guide to make it quick and easy for teachers to implement.”
Another worrying problem they discovered in the classroom was that every primary school has students who are low progress readers.
“We soon realised that many of students were being challenged as they encountered more complex text that was beyond the 8-year-old reading level. Teachers were trying various approaches but with limited success, and while the Ministry of Education supports schools with the Reading Recovery reading intervention, it is only for six year-olds,” says Chuck.
This lead to the release of SevenPlus – a reading intervention programme for older students. “Teachers enjoy using it and students truly benefit from the results,” says Chuck.
The products offered by Literacy Innovators are a direct response to the difficulties faced by teachers and students.
“For an educational resource to be offered by us it must meet strict criteria. At a very minimum, it must be evidence and research based and fit the qualifications for best practice.” Chuck Marriott