Authors: van Staden, A; A. Tolmie; MG Badenhorst.
Publication: Africa Education Review (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group). Volume 6, Issue 2, pages 295-307 (October) 2009 | DOI: DOI 10.1080/18146620903274605
Control Group Study – South Africa, 2009: Researchers at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa, implemented a program based on Davis methods at a school for intermediate level dyslexic students (ages 10-14) for a period of nine months, with a group of 18 students. They compared reading outcomes with a matched control group of students from the same school who were not exposed to the intervention program, but received phonological-based tutoring instead. The researchers reported that the Davis group showed significant improvement in word recognition and spelling; such improvement was not seen in the control group.
In collaboration with eight postgraduate students in support teaching, this study developed a literacy intervention programme for intermediate dyslexic learners and implemented this programme for a period of nine months, at a special school for learning-impaired learners in the Free State province of South Africa. The literacy intervention programme was based on Ron Davis’ learning strategies, a multi-sensory programme focusing on visual, kinaesthetic and cognitive development strategies by using dyslexic learners’ creativity.
It was hypothesised that the reading and spelling performance of intermediate dyslexic learners in the experimental group (N=18) would be significantly better than that of intermediate dyslexic learners in the control group (N=18) who were not exposed to the literacy intervention programme. Positive outcome goals of this community-based service learning project included the development of positive attitudes towards community engagement, students realising their social responsibility, the gaining of insights into and understanding of social and educational issues, and finally the opportunity to develop lifelong learning and problem-solving skills.