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.
The University of Canterbury literacy faculty then led a third experimental and replication study with 14 teachers and 296 students, aged 8-12 years old. This third study validated and extended the previous American studies.
A narrative summary is reflected in the University of Canterbury’s press release.
* In the United States study with 14 year old high school students, 68% of the students were below level readers averaging 3.1 years below grade level. In New Zealand with 8-12 year old students, 36% of the students were below level readers averaging 1.05 years below grade level. The data results generated by the two populations reflect these proportionate differences.
AVAILLL research projects and analysis
The results from this study will provide fascinating data as this is a school with a very rich cultural mix.
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.
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.
The 2008/2009 study also included Years 9 and 10 students and the paper documenting this study has been published in English in Aotearoa.
Literacy Forum NZ
Does viewing movies with subtitles count as reading? Dr Ronnie Davey and Faye Parkhill. New Zealand Literacy Association. Dec 2015 ...download
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. ...download
Darfield School study
“AVAILLL: Does it Avail itself for all teachers and all children in literacy?” Alan. M Fielding, 2014 ...download
‘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. ...download
Wesley College Y9 Report
Implementing AVAILLL at Wesley College. Colin Webster and Annie Sio Tima, 2012 ...download
English in Aotearoa study
Raising Adolescent Reading Achievement. Dr Ronnie Davey and Faye Parkhill. ...download
Practically Primary study
We Enjoyed It and We Learned at the Same Time! Faye Parkhill and Ronnie Davey 2010 ...download
University of Canterbury
Movie-based programme a boost for struggling readers’ literacy. Press release, University of Canterbury, 2008. ...download
Beeby Fellowship report
Literacy and Youth Offending. Parkhill and Davey, 2012. ...download