In her article “Try Literacy Tutoring First”, Dr. Deborah P. Berrill of Trent University explains that one-to-one tutoring is especially beneficial to students who struggle with the development of literacy skills. Included as part of the research-into-practice series produced by a partnership between the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat and the Ontario Association of Deans of Education, Berrill’s article outlines the ways in which literacy support helps to make students better readers.
Stressing the importance of individual learning and additional support, Berrill explains, “in principle, one-to-one teaching enables a tutor to identify specific learning needs and addresses them on the spot, within the context of the task at hand”. At Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space, teachers are trained to recognize individual student needs and implement teaching strategies and processes to remediate literacy skills. RRLS teachers see the benefits of one-to-one literacy support on a daily basis: working from a student’s strengths to support learning and then decreasing that support until they are able to perform independently.
According to the research undertaken, Berrill suggests that effective literacy support incorporates the following:
- Provides a child with the focused attention of a caring adult
- Takes place at least twice weekly, for a minimum of 45 minutes, over ten weeks
- Includes opportunity for the child to read independently
- Focuses on comprehension (involving explicit teaching strategies)
- Zeroes in on word study arising from meaningful reading (or writing)
- Makes times for talk followed by a solid block of literary activities
If your child needs to work on literacy-skills development, consider enrolling him in academic support at Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space where students receive individual attention and support for remediation.