EALD Teachers’ Attitudes Towards Using the Simple View of Reading (SVR) to Improve the Reading Proficiency Levels of Aboriginal EALD Students in One Very Remote Setting

Author: Rose Nyaramba

Nyaramba, Rose, 2021 EALD Teachers’ Attitudes Towards Using the Simple View of Reading (SVR) to Improve the Reading Proficiency Levels of Aboriginal EALD Students in One Very Remote Setting, Flinders University, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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One of the most important outcomes of any education system, including the primary education system, is to produce literate citizens who can read and write. However, for decades, Aboriginal students from very remote schools in South Australia (SA) have not achieved this significant outcome. Consequently, a reading comprehension (RC) gap exists between them and their non-Aboriginal peers and there is a strong need for a suitable teaching model. The Simple View of Reading (SVR) reading model, first proposed by Gough and Tunmer in 1986, posits that reading comprehension is the product of word decoding and language comprehension. Thousands of studies undertaken globally and in Australia’s mainstream schools have largely confirmed its successful use as an evidence-based reading model for teaching both English and additional languages. However, there is a lack of research investigating its use for teaching English as an Additional Language/Dialect (EALD) students in very remote school contexts in South Australia (SA). The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the attitudes of EALD teachers in schools in one such very remote setting in SA towards using the SVR model to teach their Aboriginal EALD students Standard Australian English (SAE) to improve their reading proficiency, narrowing the existing reading achievement gap between them and their non-Aboriginal peers. Analyses of data collected from one-on-one semi-structured interviews with seven EALD teachers from three schools revealed that some had positive attitudes towards the SVR model and viewed it as beneficial for teaching RC. These findings underscore the importance of the SVR and are consistent with the existing international literature. Despite its limitations in its research context and methodology, the findings could contribute to narrowing the gap in the literature on the application of the SVR model in Australian EALD contexts, especially in SA school contexts. The study makes recommendations that could also inform EALD teachers and policy makers on the benefits of the model and its feasible use to teach Aboriginal EALD learners. However, further research is needed in other remote EALD school contexts across SA and beyond to provide more empirical evidence on its effectiveness state-wide and nation-wide.

Keywords: The Simple View of Reading, SVR, Aboriginal EALD students, Closing the Gap, very remote schools/settings, Aboriginal Education Strategy, Reading proficiency, South Australia

Subject: Languages thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2021
School: College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Supervisor: Dr. Mai Ngo