READ & WRITE: A Jockey Club Learning Support Network

Project Outline

  • The 5-year project aims at conducting research, developing evidence-based assessment tools, learning packages, and school-based support models for helping these children. It has been started since July 2006. The principal investigator is Prof. Connie S. H. Ho (Department of Psychology, the University of Hong Kong). Collaborators of the project team come from different educational sectors, including the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Education and Manpower Bureau, Heep Hong Society for Handicapped Children and Society of Boys' Centres.
  • There are different components in this project as listed below:

Components

  1. Research and Development & Production of Screening and Assessment Tools
    • Students' long-term development in learning and responsiveness to intervention
    • Sentence/text level processing
    • Effectiveness of early intervention
    • 2nd edition of the HKT-SpLD
    • Production of a professional assessment battery for identification of secondary school students with dyslexia
    • 2nd edition of the teachers' behavior checklist for primary school students
    • 2nd edition of the computerized training package for dyslexic children
    • Development of a teachers' behavior checklist for secondary school students
    • Development of a computerized teacher assessment tools for primary school students
  2. Development of a school-based support model for primary schools
  3. Teachers' Development
    • Providing Training about educating children with literacy problems to EMB staff, teachers of participating schools, and subject teachers in Hong Kong
  4. Development of district-based support model and learning packages for preschool and primary school at-risk children
  5. Development of support and learning packages and use of IT for secondary school students with dyslexia
  6. Public education in enhancing the awareness and understanding of the needs of dyslexic children
  7. Invitation of overseas researchers to be consultants

Project Details

  1. Research and Development & Production of Screening and Assessment Tools
    • There are several dyslexia-related research studies to be carried out in this project. The aim is to build up essential and important theoretical foundations and empirical evidence to facilitate the setting up of an effective teaching program for students with dyslexia. The studies include:
      • Students' long-term development in learning and responsiveness to intervention of dyslexic children, and the difficulties experienced of their sentence/text level processing;
      • The effectiveness of early intervention in improving dyslexic children's learning behaviors;
      • The risks/protective factors that influence the effectiveness of early intervention
    • Development & Production of Screening and Assessment Tools
      • 2nd edition of the HKT-SpLD – identify primary school children with dyslexia by assessing their literacy and cognitive functioning
      • Production of a professional assessment battery for identification of secondary school students with dyslexia - identify junior secondary school students with dyslexia by assessing their literacy and cognitive functioning
      • 2nd edition of the teachers' behavior checklist for primary school students – with the use of primary school teachers for screening out the children with dyslexia features according to their learning behaviors
      • 2nd edition of the computerized training package for dyslexic children – enhance children's ability in Chinese words recognition
      • Development of a teachers' behavior checklist for secondary school students – with the use of secondary school teachers for screening out the students with dyslexic features at an early stage
      • Development of a computerized teacher assessment tools for primary school students – according to the development of IT - education, this computerized teacher assessment tools will be developed for primary school teachers to screen out the children with dyslexic feature
  2. Development of a school-based support model for primary schools
    • Department of Psychology, the University of Hong Kong will also be responsible for the development of Tiered Intervention Model for supporting dyslexic children in primary schools. The model will be developed and validated in local schools. There are 2 phases in the model development. In the first phase, three local primary schools will participate in the 3- year period of the Tiered Intervention Model. In the second phase, four other local primary schools will be invited to participate to continue in fine-tuning the model. By the application of Tiered Intervention Model, it is the aim to systemically improve the core literacy components, and to support the learning of Chinese language for dyslexic children. It is expected that the Tiered Intervention Model will be promoted in all primary schools in Hong Kong in the long run.
  3. Teachers' Development
    • Department of Educational Psychology, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and the Society of Boys' Centre, will be responsible for providing the training and development for teachers. The 5-year teacher development project includes the following components:
      • Provide school-based training for teachers of participating schools with the school-based support team of the University of Hong Kong
      • Organize workshops/seminars for staffs of the EMB
      • Provide teacher development curriculum for Chinese subject teachers in all primary schools in Hong Kong
    • Among these 3 components, to provide teacher development for primary schools is the core one. The teacher development team of the CUHK will develop a 30-hour training program which includes two parts. Part one focuses on understanding the psychological development of children's language learning process. The aim is to enhance language teaching skills and skills in identifying students with specific learning difficulties. In Part two, teachers will be further introduced with skills in teaching dyslexic children, such as the use of individualized education program and small group remedial learning; how to deal with emotional and family problems which caused by dyslexic issues; and to develop school-based policy in supporting dyslexic children. Over five thousand teachers will be trained in the 5-year teacher development project, and it is expected that at least 6-8 Chinese subject teachers from each school in Hong Kong will receive the training program.
  4. Development of district-based support model and learning packages for preschool and primary school at-risk children
    • Development of early intervention services for preschool at-risk children
      With the understanding of the importance of early intervention, learning packages will be developed for teaching preschool children who are at risk of developing specific learning difficulties. Heep Hong Society will provide interdisciplinary professional support in developing early intervention services to the targeted children and their families with the view of lessening the effects of the condition.
    • Development of district-based support model for dyslexic children
      Heep Hong Society will first conduct a survey on the district-based services which have been providing by various NGOs in Hong Kong. They will develop a district-based support model which aims at providing more efficient and effective services to dyslexic children of preschool and primary school levels.
  5. Development of support and learning packages and use of IT for secondary school students with dyslexia
    • The "Learning Development Project" of the Society of Boys' Centre will develop learning packages for junior secondary school students with dyslexia studying in mainstream schools. The packages will be developed by the Educational Psychologist, teacher and social worker to enhance students' reading and writing skills. Apart from the learning packages, the Society of Boys' Centre will also develop the use of IT to support study skills of dyslexic students that may enhance their motivation to learn languages.