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Enhancing Digital Literacy Skills in Early & Primary Education
Good & Promising Practice Examples ELINET 2022
|LESIKUS® is a software in a modular system which offers tasks to practices basic reading skills, referring to 4 reading levels:
Lesikus includes 6 programmes which are age-independent.
A systematic structure is indispensable in reading for effective support. Both the modular system and the programs themselves follow a structured step-by-step sequenece with gradual increase in difficulty.
Target groups are parents and therapists. All Lesikus reading programs offer a wide range of possibilities to specifically adapt the tasks (f.i. the duration of exposure time in tachistoskopic tasks, possibility to segment into syllables).
|4. Lead organisation||Claudia Scherling (teacher and owner)|
|5. Main partners||Dr. Walter Bayrhamer (software development), Peter und Urlike Arp (speaker texts and sound recordings), Sabine Grossbauer (design), Christoph Zeller (technical support)|
|6. Period of activity||ongoing|
|7. Cost to User (if any)||Information and manuals for the programmes are freely available on the website, and a brochure with information is distributed in training courses. The price for every modul is about 320 Euros for 6 programmes. Information material for therapists costs 199 Euros.|
|8. Language(s)||German. It offers different versions for Austria, Germany and Switzerland.|
|9. Conceptual basis||The concepts of all Lesikus programmes refer to evidence-based teaching methods (rhythmic syllabication, repetitive reading, tachistoscopic representation of syllables or words, use of pseudo-words, etc.). Linguistic knowledge is included (sequence of sounds, phonological complexity of syllables/words, etc.).|
|10. Programme objectives||
|11. Target group(s)||Besides children there are two other target groups:
1: Parents and teachers who want to support their children systematically and individually without any specialist background knowledge.
2: Therapists who need a tool for individual support of struggling readers
|12. Implementation process||Lesikus started as a very small project and was spread through lectures at colleges of education, universities, scientific congresses and, above all, through recommendations from satisfied teachers and parents. Over time, other authors collaborated, new programs were added and a “modular system” was created. This modular system rises the possibility to choose a specific programme matching the developmental level of a child.|
|13. Resources and materials (outcomes of the programme or project)||Six different softwares, one therapist package (download)|
|14. Impact on the target group(s) (documented by other testimonies than a scientific evaluation)||Lesikus also received awards from a non-academic side: In 2014, it was nominated for the state award (Austria) and Lesikus took 2nd place at the Constantinus Award. Newspaper articles have appeared in Austrian, renowned daily newspapers (e.g. SN), Austria-Presse-Agentur-Bericht, area “science”, in the journal club Österreich (leading reading association of the Austrian ministry), which addresses schools and parents, and mentions in the context of School projects with Lesikus in smaller newspapers (https://www.lesikus.com/meinungen-fachpersonen/meinungen-presse/). There is a lot of feedback from teachers and therapists, here are some examples: https://www.lesikus.com/meinungen-fachpersonen/
|15. Evaluation (design and results)||The effectiveness of the Lesikus basic course in reading technique was scientifically tested and confirmed by the Free University of Berlin in a study from the research team Prof. Dr. A. Jacobs, Dr. V. Thaler, Dipl.-Psych. A. Heine, Dipl.-Psych. V. Engl (https://www.lesikus.com/was-ist-lesikus/wissenschaftlich-belegt/studiendetails-evaluation-uni-berlin/). The reading promotion programme was tested with 2455 children in 13 primary schools in Berlin in grades 2-4.
Children reading slowly and with low reading, accuracy got individual treatment in 24 . training sessions, 15 ms twice a week. With regard to reading accuracy, the Lesikus- children achieved the level of normal (average) reading children (reference grade level). The increasing automation of synthetic reading also improved the reading speed. Transfer from reading pseudo-words to reading more frequent “real” words: Simultaneously with the reading accuracy, the reading speed of sentences and also of texts has been increased. Sentences and texts were not only read accurately but also more quickly.
The second research project is Lese.Impulse. 50 elementary schools developed a project for their school on the subject of reading skills with appropriate support. There were training courses on various topics such as diagnostics, scientific findings from reading research, and reading promotion methods, for 2-4 teachers/school. Each school worked with the Lesikus Lesetechnik programmes.
• All students improved significantly.
• Children with German native language: The proportion of good readers grew by 16%, the proportion of weak readers decreased by 17%.
• Children whose native language is not German: The proportion of good readers grew by 3.2%, the proportion of weak readers decreased by 18.3%.
• There were no longer any pupils with very poor literacy skills. The share sank from 5.1% to 0%. The group of real reading risk students no longer exists.
The third study is published by the University of Zurich (Simone E. Pfenninger: MSL in the digital ages: Effects and effectiveness of computer-mediated intervention for FL learners with dyslexia. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, Adam Mickiewicz University, Kalisz. 2015):
“The results of this study provide a contribution to the literature of FL interventions with MSL computerized language training for dyslexic language learners. Due to self-dependent, systematic multisensory and highly repetitive phonics practice in L3, dyslexic learners learn to map print onto speech, develop quite competent decoding abilities and phonemic awareness, and accordingly can catch up in both L2 and L3 acquisition. This training has a positive impact not only on L3 but also L2 decoding skills.” (Simone E. Pfenninger: MSL in the digital ages: Effects and effectiveness of computer-mediated intervention for FL learners with dyslexia. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, Adam Mickiewicz University, Kalisz. 2015).
The following study is in preparation:
Richlan Fabio, Hawelka Stefan, Hutzler Florian, Hawelka Verena: Assessment and prevention of the impact of COVID-19-related school closure on reading acquisition. Children at the end of 1st and 2nd grade practised at home with their parents 3-5x/week, 15 minutes, increase in reading performance up to 50%.
More information: https://www.lesikus.com/wissenschaftlich-belegt/
|16. Transferability||Lesikus is already used in other countries to promote basic reading skills in the German language. Lesikus is also spreading by word of mouth in Germany, Switzerland and South Tyrol – but there is still a lot of space for improvement – i.e. greater awareness and increased commitment would be desirable.|
|17. References||Schönbaß, Doris/Pfitzer, Herrman (2013). Lese.Impulse. Empirische Ergebnisse und Evaluation. Edition Buch.Zeit: Wels.
Pfenniger, Simone E. (2015). MSL in the Digital Age. Effects and Effectiveness of Computer-mediated Intervention for FL Learners with dyslexia. Studies in Secon Language Learning and Teaching. Kilsz: Adam Mickiewicz University.
Richlan, Fabio/Hawelka, Stefan/Hutzler, Florian/Hawelka, Verena (in preparation). Assessment and Prevention of the Impact of COVID-19-related School Closure on Reading Acquisition. The University of Salzburg.
|18. Result of reviews||Approved as good practice
Lesikus is based on a research-based programme theory, and has been evaluated in several studies.