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About Learner Assist

Specialist Teacher

Learner Assist is in the business of Learning Support. It offers specialist intervention for Primary-aged and Middle Years students with learning disabilities and for students who are underachieving in the areas of literacy and numeracy at school. It also offers support to the parents and teachers of its students.

 

Support:

Support offered by Learner Assist may be in the form of: specialist tuition services, standardised reading and spelling assessment and / or assessment of phonological awareness skills, accompanied by an assessment report, access to specialist information, referrals to other developmental specialists if required and general tutor reports. Learning support lessons take place at the tutor's home or via online learning.

Learner Assist also provides a consulting service. The consultant specialist tutor  is able to assist teachers in creating Individual Education Plans for students with Specific Learning Disabilities. These documents are usually developed at school by the teacher/s and in collaboration with parents, specialists and sometimes also with the student involved, depending on his / her age.

 

IEPs record learning goals for the student, modifications to school work activities to accommodate learning difficulties, altered time frames for work completion and any other strategies that might assist the student to cope better at school and improve his/her foundation and learning skills. IEP documents are Action Plans and are reviewed over time.  It is important that a student's confidence and motivation be maintained, especially as they enter the Upper Primary and Secondary School levels.

Support is a four-step process at Learner Assist:

1. Establish a working relationship with student, parents and where necessary, with teachers.

2. Investigate the student's learning strengths and difficulties via previously completed educational assessments, Learner Assist diagnostic and standardised assessment and communication with the parents, teachers and any other specialists involved in assessing or assisting the student.

3. Brainstorm areas of focus, necessary interventions and teaching and learning strategies to be used. Learning goals devised.

4. Evaluate the effectiveness of interventions periodically via Response to Intervention standardised and diagnostic testing to inform future teaching and learning. 

Purpose Statement:

Learner Assist endeavours to not only assist Primary-aged and Middle Years students in their specific area of learning difficulty via evidence-based teaching but to also provide reliable specialist information with regard to the prevention and remediation of learning difficulties and their manifestations to parents and teachers. 

 

Referrals can sometimes be made to other specialists by the Learner Assist Specialist Consultant Tutor; the possibilities including: speech pathologists, occupational therapists, audiologists, behavioural optometrists and educational psychologists, but only if deemed necessary and always at the discretion of the parents.

Learner Assist is passionate about providing structured, explicit, evidence-based teaching that is best known to support students with poor foundation-level reading, spelling and writing skills. 

Learner Assist also supports Primary-aged students who require assistance in: understanding numeracy concepts, enhancing their number fact fluency, improving their conceptual and computation skills and developing their proficiency in all other areas of Maths as covered in the Australian Curriculum for their age group. Students with dyscalculia receive the appropriate explicit, structured, multisensory interventions.

Belief Statement:

Learner Assist is built on the firm belief that all students should have equal access to learning and that it is a fact that learning is facilitated by effective reading, spelling and writing skills. To achieve the objective of equal access to learning all children therefore need to master foundation literacy skills to bring about good comprehension, thinking and advanced writing skills; fostering an enthusiasm for learning.

The motto at Learner Assist is: 

READ LEARN THINK DREAM.

This motto really pertains to all literacy skills and not only to reading, in that foundation skills open doors to further 'learning' facilitating a future in which a child has the tools to think and dream. 

Developing good understandings and skills in maths is just as important in the field of numeracy.  Learner Assist aims to provide effective, evidence-based teaching that will assist students struggling in maths to master basic number skills and more advanced maths concepts.

Director of Learner Assist and Specialist Tutor

Juanita Lee

FROM THE SPECIALIST'S DESK:
Juanita Lee

So what does structured, evidence-based reading instruction look like? Well, it actually starts with listening ...

 

We develop an awareness for speech sounds from an early age. The English Language has 44 individual sounds. Reading, essentially, is linking letters (graphemes) to individual speech sounds (phonemes) and blending these sounds to say words. This process is referred to as decoding (or cracking the code) and research tells us that the teaching method best used to teach the code is structured synthetic phonics (synthetic referring to the blending of sounds).

 

For most students, a structured synthetic phonic-based reading program that uses an explicit teaching approach will improve their reading and spelling skills within a few months. Nevertheless, there are some students that have inherent processing difficulties that may hinder them from learning to read and spell efficiently. Their difficulty is oftentimes phonological in nature. These students require more intensive synthetic phonic instruction that is individually tailored to suit each student. Foundation literacy skills facilitate thinking and writing and will determine a child's future success at school.

AUSPELD, SPELDVIC and Learning Difficulties Australia (LDA) are reputed associations whose web pages are well worth a visit by  parents and teachers who would like to better understand explicit teaching practices based on scientific research and gain a clearer understanding of learning difficulties. 

 

The Five from Five website is also recommended. It can be found via this link https://fivefromfive.com.au/publications

Specialist Teacher
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