What is involved in delivering the intervention?
RLI is delivered in daily one-to-one teaching sessions. In addition, the intervention requires regular planning and preparation time. It is designed to be delivered by teaching assistants supported by the class teacher and the school's special educational needs team.
Staffing and support
RLI is delivered in daily one-to-one teaching sessions. The evaluation study confirmed that teaching assistants can successfully plan, prepare and provide the daily teaching sessions. Our experience suggests that people with a variety of educational experience should be able to learn how to deliver the intervention successfully.
If more than one educator is working with a child during the week and therefore also delivering intervention sessions, they too should be familiar with the program. The two educators will need to liaise closely to maintain continuity.
Ideally, at least two members of staff should be familiar with the intervention to ensure there is cover for any staff absence.
The staff involved in delivering the intervention will need sufficient time available for planning, preparing materials, delivering teaching sessions, and recording/monitoring progress.
In school support
Specialist support will be available in many schools. In UK schools there will typically be a class teacher responsible for the child's education and a Special Educational Needs Coordinator providing specialist guidance and support to the class teacher and teaching assistants. There may also be a reading specialist among the school's teaching team.
Any teacher with experience of teaching early reading skills in the first three years of reading instruction, or with specialist knowledge of helping delayed readers, would also be ideally experienced to offer support.
Class teachers should consider ways to link the individual intervention teaching with general class literacy work. It is also advisable to involve the child's speech and language therapist to support the planning and delivery of the language strand.
" The girl I work with enjoys RLI too, we get a lot of fun out of it as it doesn't always feel like work! She loves to pick her own book to read and Friday consolidation day is always fun! RLI is a routine and has a structure which works well with myself and my pupil. I am looking forward to seeing what more she can do in the coming months." (Teaching Assistant, UK)
" I think the RLI program is brilliant. I wish I could have started it sooner with the girl I work with. She has come on in her reading in particular and we have only been on the program for several weeks now, she is able to read 6 words already! There is a lot of planning and resources to make/acquire for the sessions to run smoothly and enable the child to reach her full potential in her work she does. I enjoy the resource making and activity building." (Teaching Assistant, UK)
Resources and organization
The intervention sessions should be delivered somewhere quiet and free from potential distractions.
A variety of teaching resources are required - some of which should be readily available in many classrooms, while others will need to be purchased or made.
It is important to have all the materials ready for a session and to plan each activity and the order of activities in advance. A lack of organization can have a significant impact on the child's ability to sustain attention and motivation, can lead to behavior issues and make the difference between a useful, effective session and a failed or abandoned session.
The reading and language strands can be delivered together as a single 40-minute session or separately as two 20-minute sessions. The choice of schedule depends on what works best for the individual child, how it fits into the school day, and the availability and routine of the person delivering the intervention.
Before starting the intervention, the pupil's current abilities must be assessed to select vocabulary, books and teaching materials that are appropriate for their stage of language and reading development.
" The intervention helps so much to structure the day, makes you feel as if you have achieved something every day and the benefits to the child makes it all worthwhile." (Teaching Assistant, UK)
" The RLI program has been a very beneficial program for us to follow with one of our pupils in school. She has gone from having no interest in reading words only looking at pictures to reading shorter stories well and with enjoyment. I took part in the training program and found it clear, easy to follow and maintainable in a busy working school. I would advise you get a good amount of time to prep books and resources and do not assume you can start it properly the next day after the training, ensure you have everything you need before you start." (Special Educational Needs Coordinator, UK)