principles of reading recovery

What is Reading Recovery?

Reading Recovery is an early literacy intervention that provides a second chance for at-risk Year One students, who are struggling with learning to read and write. Reading Recovery identifies students early, before problems become entrenched.

The student works in a one to one teaching situation with a trained Reading Recovery specialist teacher for a 30-minute daily lesson, for 12-20 weeks. This is in addition to the classroom program.

Professional development is an essential part of Reading Recovery, where Reading Recovery teachers complete their initial training and then continue with on-going professional learning. Reading Recovery Tutors work closely with teachers, supporting them with their students and further developing their analytical and observational skills.

Reading Recovery has a strong tradition of success with the lowest-achieving students. Developed in New Zealand in 1976-1977, Reading Recovery now also operates in the United States, Canada, Bermuda, Denmark, Jersey, the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Sources: RRCNA, IRRTO, Reading Recovery NZ

What are the principles of Reading Recovery?

Early literacy learning

Reading Recovery is based on Marie Clay’s ‘Literacy Processing’ Theory, which was developed through her studying of changes in literacy behaviours of young children as they learned to read and write continuous text.

The ‘Literacy Processing’ theory principles are the foundation of learning and teaching in Reading Recovery.

Principles of Reading Recovery

Young learners utilise a range of strategies when they read and write. These strategies are often inside the learner’s thought processing as they collect information, filter it through their lived experiences, make decisions about the information and use it to strategically solve problems or tasks.

Reading and writing are reciprocal and interrelated processes
(Reading and writing are complementary and concurrent processes)

There is a generally accepted overlap between the knowledge and skills of writers and readers. These two processes are complementary and concurrent in the development of early learning literacy skills.

Literacy learning involves reading and writing continuous text
(Reading and writing continuous text are foundational elements of Reading Recovery)

Young readers do not just read letters, sounds, or words in isolation. They continually integrate many different and essential communication skills and behaviours into their reading and writing.

Literacy learning involves continuous change over time.
(Literacy learners continually change and grow over time)

Young literacy learners are continually growing and changing in the ways that they process the information they are taking in. Teachers plan effective strategies to further develop these learners through observational notes.

Children construct their own understandings
(Teachers support the literacy learner as they take responsibility for their own literacy learning)

It is important that at each stage of their growth in reading and writing that young literacy learners are encouraged to use their own abilities and knowledge to work on printed messages.

Children come to literacy learning with varying knowledge
(Each child’s literacy journey is unique)

All literacy learners start their journey at different levels of competency, knowledge and confidence based on their life experiences and support systems and grow at different rates and in different ways. Marie Clay describes this as different paths to common outcomes.

Building on strengths makes it easy for children to learn.
(The best learning approach is to continuously reinforce and scaffold from what each child can do)

Reading Recovery teachers identify each child’s point of need and co-construct the learning journey with the young literacy learner. Learners extend their own learning with substantial opportunities to read and to compose in writing.