Creating solutions that benefits teachers and students

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.

“Because we work in classrooms everyday we see what literacy programmes and resources are needed to enhance teaching and learning.”
Chuck Marriott