Tag Archives: reading

Adequate Reading Skills Defined

Every learner needs adequate reading skills to master the subject content of the relevant school year (in other words the school grade) they are in.

Stimulus Maksima! define adequate reading skills as the competency that somebody has to read and understand material graded for his or her specific age or school grade at a prescribed speed.

Reading comprehension and speed at a specific grade does not only strongly correlate with, but actually determines, the learner’s academic achievement.   Learners failing to keep up with the reading skills required for their specific grade often show signs of the following:

  • Low confidence and self-esteem, often expressed in destructive and undisciplined behaviour.
  • Lost of interest in school work resulting in underperformance.
  • Trying to find ways to compensate for their inadequate reading skills.
  • Emotional problems, resulting in socialising problems.
  • Losing hope to pass a school year, finishing their school career and joining a tertiary institution.
  • Losing hope of being employed after school.
  • Losing hope to fulfill their specific passion in life and many more.

An improvement in reading skills can address and rectify the cause of most of the above-mentioned symptoms often within a very short period.

Once learners have experienced the benefits and advantages of achieving adequate reading skills and their required reading age, they usually continue to thrive academically at school and university or professionally in their chosen careers.

2018: The Year for Education par Excellence

The following opinion piece was contibuted by Minda Marshall, co-director and co-owner of Lectorsa, a leading research and development company (based in Mokopane, Limpopo) that supplies solutions internationally to the education and training market.

We are already full speed into 2018 and at Lectorsa we believe that this is the year of bigger, better, more.  2018 is going to be the year where we should see an important change in our education system.

Last year South Africa was presented with hard facts:  A staggering 78% of gr 4’s in the country cannot read for meaning and according to Dr. Nick Spaull, “the ‘real’ gr 12 pass rate for 2017 is around 57% meaning that 43% of the youth in SA still get no qualification whatsoever”.

It is also important to realise that quality education is currently a big challenge, not only in SA but also globally.

At Lectorsa we are up to that challenge. The World Economic Forum recently predicted that robots could replace 800 million jobs by 2030. These facts and predictions can bring us to a rather gloomy view of the future, however, I strongly believe that we should be very excited about the sweeping changes that are ahead of us.

Jack Ma (business magnate, investor, and philanthropist) recently indicated at the recent WEF Conference that as humans we should not try to compete with machines, to clarify, even Usain Bolt won’t be able to outrun a speed train. The changes ahead of us should inspire us to find invigorating new ways of living beneficial and fulfilled lives in the future – and as educators, we should prepare our students for these exciting times.

After attending EduTech Africa in October 2017, I was inspired to see thousands of educators from across the country pursuing the latest in teaching strategies, cutting-edge technology and solutions so that they can shape an educational environment that will be more relevant in the 21st-century and beyond.

This has just proven once again that there are many people that share our passion for improved cutting-edge education – educators who have a heart for children and who want to stay abreast of times.  They want to empower the next generation to look ahead with confidence, knowing they are competent to excel in the workplace.

We were in the midst of drafting our 2017 report when the news of the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) results broke and made numerous headlines: ‘78% of grade 4 pupils can’t read for meaning.’  “This suggests that the majority of learners cannot read well enough to succeed in subjects across the curriculum in Gr 4 and higher grades,” Prof Sarah Howie, National Research Coordinator (NRC) for PIRLS 2016 South Africa, stated.

We are already busy changing this by bridging this gap and we have the results to prove it: In 2017 alone, we had more than a 1000 gr 4’s from schools across SA enrolled in our on-line solution, LAB-on-line. Their Cognitive Development Factor (measured in % comprehension) improved by 17% and their Visual Processing Factor (measured in words per minute) increased from 83 to 185 words per minute. Their Action-Interpret and Understand skill levels (combined VPF and CDF multiplied leads to an AIU Factor) improved with five years.  This means that when these

Gr 4’s did the placement test, their skill level was below the expected Grade 1 level, but after completing LAB-on-line, their skill level had increased with 5 years – a year above the expected level.

I believe that these results are a powerful testimony to what can be achieved through accurate intervention and development.

Thomas Marshall, Co-Director of Lectorsa, recently said, “There will never be a more powerful and opportune time than NOW.” 2018 truly is the year of bigger, better – MORE!

Let us create a synergy in 2018 and build a bright future NOW through effective education

REFERENCES

[i] http://www.up.ac.za/media/shared/164/ZP_Files/pirls-literacy-2016-hl-report-3.zp136320.pdf

[ii] https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times/opinion-and-analysis/2018-01-13-the-real-matric-rate-and-the-real-site-of-failure-in-education/

[iii] https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6344575666863824896

 

Why it’s so important to make time for reading

Based on the experience of Stimulus Maksima! over the past twenty years, less than 5% of learners in many top South African schools can currently read relevant graded material on the required comprehension and speed levels for their respective age and grade.

This leads one to wonder: how they were able to make it into the qualified job market?

Illiteracy lowers the quality of life and hampers economic growth.This is not only a South African problem. According to figures published in 2015 by the Department of Education in America, 775 million people around the world cannot read. In many countries, more value is placed on the education of boys, leading to a disproportionately high number of females remaining illiterate into adulthood.

Apart from the economic and quality of life benefits, research has shown that reading reduces stress levels, improves memory function and leads to better quality of sleep. Some of the other benefits of reading include: learning new skills; changing perspectives; and enhancing awareness about different subjects.

The younger one starts learning to read, the sooner the benefits can be obtained.  The battle against inadequate reading skills and illiteracy will intensify in the years to come as people increasingly tend to spend less time reading and more time watching television. The only way to counter it is for schools, tertiary institutions and companies to have a specific focus and measuring system in place that empowers their learners, students and employees to overcome the negative and catastrophic impacts of inadequate reading skills and illiteracy.

Stimulus Maksima! offers tools and solutions that can help toddlers to adults to improve their English and Afrikaans reading and learning skills.

Stimulus Maksima joins ADESSA

ADESSA welcomes on board yet another new member, Stimulus Maksima.  When asked what the company is all about, Lotta Engelbrecht, the executive director, said:

We assist our clients, ranging from toddlers to adults, in obtaining their desired reading literacy and numeracy levels.

 “Our computer-aided learning systems are based on auto-remedial principles and monitor progress on a realtime basis.

“A variety of schools, private centers, parents assisting their children at home, as well as students and adults wanting to improve their reading skills, use our philosophy, services and products with great success.”

A Mind Activation System to develop your visual, reading and cognitive skills

The Directors of Lectorsa, Thomas and Minda Marshall, firmly believe that to create a better future we must be able to think clearer, as well as read and comprehend better.

Expectations for students and people in the workplace have increased dramatically, yet our methods of interacting with information have not. With an explosion of data across the globe, a GAP formed between students and the curriculum – placing learners, students and the workforce under a lot of strain. The world we live in has changed a lot and it keeps on changing; so, it is important to develop visual and cognitive skills.

Information is multiplying by the hour and we have less and less time to assimilate and integrate existing and new information.  LAB-on-line was created to bridge this GAP and to supercharge the abilities of students and the leaders of tomorrow.

Lectorsa (a member of ADESSA) is a South African-based company that created a Mind Activation System called LAB-on-line. The programme offers the basis to ensure a strong foundation for future interaction with knowledge and information.  How many times do you find yourself reading a passage and realising that you did not understand what you read?  Or  perhaps you cannot remember what you read. The reason for this is that we learn how to read, but we seldom are taught the value of reading-to-learn.   It has never been more important to activate minds through training and developing accurate ways to facilitate the process of reading; and thereby improving comprehension through cognitive development.

With a proven track record of effective assistance and the development of crucial cognitive skills to more than 68 000 users, LAB-on-line offers the strong foundation that is needed to excel in advanced information processing.

Empowering students to reach their full potential

The following are some interesting observations from Minda Marshall of LectorSA, one of ADESSA’s members:

The world we live in is changing rapidly, all the time.  A young student told me the other day that her final class at university was very insightful: after three years of study the lecturer said that almost everything he taught them is now redundant, so much had changed in the three years they completed their studies.

This emphasizes that life-long learning is the only way to sustain proficient learning today. Knowledge and information is exploding across the globe. Never before has it been more important to train and develop accurate ways to facilitate the process of reading with comprehension. Even more, we need innovative ways to teach students how to use current knowledge as a basis from which to create new knowledge.

Illiteracy is a leading cause of delinquency, poverty, frustration and depression, resulting in a loss in productivity and general reduction in lifestyles and wellness amongst people in all communities. The current economic situation has made this phenomenon even worse. High-performance environments (work, learning and sport) are here to stay and people require effective solutions, which will give them the opportunity to overcome in life and to contribute by creating a healthy society.

We have to face the reality that education is experiencing real challenges: we are training for a future we do not even see and we need to train students for jobs that does not exist in our current framework of mind.

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Contact LectorSA for assistance in finding a solution to bridge the gap effectively. Results of more than 49 000 students proves LAB-on-line is a viable solution in 21st Century Learning.