Student Improves Reading Age by Two Years

In September 2017, Sam*, a nine-year-old primary school student, enrolled on a 16-week literacy programme at Premier Tuition Centre.

Prior to commencing tuition, Sam’s reading ability was assessed in order to help us put together the most appropriate programme suitable for his age and ability. Using a range of different tests, this assessment showed that Sam was reading at a well-below average ability range with a reading age of just 6 years and 4 months. His main area of concern was comprehension. Although Sam was a good, fluent reader, he rarely understood what he was reading. This was partly because Sam did not start speaking until he was 4 years old but also because he speaks Russian at home.

Over the course of 16 literacy classes, Sam’s tutor focused on improving his comprehension skills through a range of activities including cloze tests (filling in the blanks) and reading comprehension texts which matched his level of ability. This is really important - if texts are too easy or difficult, very little progress will be made so it is imperative that the appropriate level is selected for the pupil.

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Sam’s tutor also focused on developing his vocabulary in order to help him to understand the meaning of new words. This generally involved teaching Sam the meaning of the new word and allowing him opportunities to practice using that word in writing and oral language activities. A range of word games, such as TRUGS, was also used to develop Sam’s vocabulary and these proved extremely effective because Sam loved playing them!

By the end of the programme, Sam’s reading age had increased to 8 years and 7 months, a progression of over two years! We were absolutely delighted with the result and so proud of the work Sam did over the duration of the programme. Here’s what his tutor had to say:

It was an absolute pleasure working with Sam. Not only is he one of the kindest and most considerate students I’ve ever worked with but he is also extremely eager to learn and willing to do his best, no matter what task he is presented with. For me, this is the perfect combination and it meant that our classes were always enjoyable.

* Name has been changed to protect the student's identity.