Programme authenticated

International research validates AVAILLL

The AVAILLL programme has been researched in eight studies over a period of six years and peer reviewed by independent analysis.

The first two quasi-experimental studies* led by the teacher/developer took place in the United States with fourteen-year-olds and included substantial subgroups of special education, ESL and minority students.

The raw data was taken to a peer review committee at New Zealand’s University of Canterbury — a country highly regarded in the field of literacy education. There, an independent peer review committee analysed the original quantitative and qualitative raw data. The committee not only confirmed the results of the previous research but proposed cooperative research on a larger scale in New Zealand.

AVAILLL research projects and analysis

University of Canterbury: Have undertaken further work in a number of schools in South Auckland.
University of Canterbury : Research team has conducted a very large study at Blockhouse Bay Intermediate School in Auckland.

The results from this study will provide fascinating data as this is a school with a very rich cultural mix.

Hawkes Bay Research Project: Hawkes Bay (275 students) Year 5 and 6 from 5 Decile One schools.

Sustainability of results included retesting at the end of the year (similar to the second study above).

The ethnic makeup of these students comprised 65% Maori, 15% of Pasifika and 15% of New Zealand European ethnicity. The latest international reports from PISA (Telford and May, 2010) indicated that New Zealand’s 15-year-old students continued to perform very strongly in reading literacy, with a mean score of 521 points. This was statistically better than the average score for the 34 OECD countries (493). However, those students identifying as Māori (19%) and Pasifika (10%) scored 478 score points and 448 score points, respectively and this was below the OECD mean. As a vulnerable group in terms of reading achievement, we were keen to investigate the impact of the variable of ethnicity.

In terms of the quantitative data, the gains in scale scores for both comprehension and vocabulary were significant. The new AVAILLL programme developed for this level of the school spans eight weeks rather than six weeks that is recommended for the programmes developed for the other year levels. Once again, an analysis of variance (P<0.001) indicated a significant difference in scale score means between time 1 and time 2, with an effect size of 0.31.

Sustainability data revealed even more progress with an overall effect size of .72 for comprehension and .34 for vocabulary. No other interventions occurred during the year, with normal literacy classroom programmes resuming after Test 2. The stanine growth for the year for 223 students in comprehension was 1.79.


Beeby Fellowship Prison research with young offenders

Faye Parkhill, senior lecturer in Literacies and Arts in Education at the University of Canterbury, was awarded the Beeby fellowship bt the New Zealand Council for Educational Research to study the use of AVAILLL with young offenders in prison.

Queensland Research Project : The University of Canterbury initiated an AVAILLL research project with Kurwongbah State School in Brisbane. Several teachers of Year 6 and 7 classes (the equivalent of Year 7 and 8 in New Zealand) from Kurwongbah State School participated in an AVAILLL training in Term Two of 2010.

They then implemented AVAILLL Part One with approximately one hundred and twenty students. The classes were tested immediately before and after implementation with the New Zealand Progressive Achievement tests for Comprehension and Vocabulary.

University of Canterbury Research Project : The research paper documenting the 2008/2009 study with Years 7 and 8 students in Christchurch is now available.

The 2008/2009 study also included Years 9 and 10 students and the paper documenting this study has been published in English in Aotearoa.

  • Connector.

    Literacy Forum NZ

    Does viewing movies with subtitles count as reading? Dr Ronnie Davey and Faye Parkhill. New Zealand Literacy Association. Dec 2015

  • Connector.

    Pacific-Asian Journal

    The Hawke’s Bay Years 5 and 6 Study. Reading while viewing: the impact of movie subtitles as a strategy to raise
    achievement in comprehension and vocabulary for Māori and Pasifika
    students. 2014.

  • Connector.

    Darfield School study

    “AVAILLL: Does it Avail itself for all teachers and all children in literacy?” Alan. M Fielding, 2014

  • Connector.

    A.L.E.A article

    ‘I used to read one page in two
    minutes and now I am reading
    ten’: Using popular film subtitles
    to enhance literacy outcomes’. Parkhill and Davey, University of Canterbury, June 2014.

  • Connector.

    Wesley College Y9 Report

    Implementing AVAILLL at Wesley College. Colin Webster and Annie Sio Tima, 2012

  • Connector.

    English in Aotearoa study

    Raising Adolescent Reading Achievement. Dr Ronnie Davey and Faye Parkhill.

  • Connector.

    Practically Primary study

    We Enjoyed It and We Learned at the Same Time! Faye Parkhill and Ronnie Davey 2010

  • Connector.

    University of Canterbury

    Movie-based programme a boost for struggling readers’ literacy. Press release, University of Canterbury, 2008.

  • Connector.

    Beeby Fellowship report

    Literacy and Youth Offending. Parkhill and Davey, 2012.