Rotorua Sunrise Rotary made contact with me and between us we decided that I would write an oral language programme to capture students arriving at school with levels of oral language competency, not developed sufficiently to support formal literacy development (reading, writing, numeracy) Many tamariki arrive at school having not had much/any pre school facility experience or robust early childhood language development, to easily enter school and make gains with formal literacy learning. Talking, reading storybooks, learning nursery rhymes and playing educational literacy games have often not been included in many children’s crucial years 0-5yrs, when developmentally oral language milestones prepare children for pre literacy skills to develop on which literacy develops.
I wrote the programme, TKT (Talking with Tamariki) and for the last 3 years have been training and working alongside volunteer tutors, who spend half an hour, 3 times per week, per student. The students are identified by the school and tutors work with them, until they are confidently on their way with formal literacy progress.
Here are some of the comments made by teachers about the programme:
Individual time with a supportive adult is priceless. That 1:1 is vital for our Tamariki
The programme helps ignite the literacy fire.
TKT helps keep “struggling” students motivated
The tutors develop an excellent rapport with the students. Working with the tutors is a highlight for many of our students.
Some student comments:
I like her reading to me, it is fun.
Whaea always talks to me and asks me about me!
Now I like to share my ideas with the class.
He is kind to me, we have fun.
I like playing games with her and listening to stories.