The AaZ – Ler Melhor, Saber Mais helps children with early reading and writing learning difficulties. The programme detects these difficulties early on and is aimed at year 1 and 2 primary school students (ages 5 to 8 in Portugal).
AaZ – Ler Melhor, Saber Mais helps year 1 and 2 primary school children struggling with basic literacy. The goal of the programme is to help these children develop their basic reading and writing skills (decoding, speed and expression) with an intervention model based on regular, systematic and individual tutoring. AaZ was developed in partnership with the University of Minho, and is supported by specialists and experts who assist a team of teachers/tutors in more than 30 schools in the country.
- Prevent initial reading and writing difficulties from becoming chronic difficulties;
- Help students perceive reading as means to attain knowledge and know-how and not as a laborious chore;
- Help students who are experiencing reading and writing difficulties come closer to the average reading and writing level of their class;
- Help students read with a speed, accuracy and expression that is appropriate to their age;
- Gradually help students develop self-motivation to read.
- Reading and writing are fundamental skills for all school learning and for life in society.
- Reading is not a natural act; it is a social act. It is a complex and hard-to-learn skill.
- Interventions in this area must be timely, intensive, systematic and structured.
- Implement an assessment process to identify the students who are experiencing difficulties. Assess students' performance in reading and writing letters, syllables, words and text.
- Structure the individual support to be provided by the teacher/tutour. Each student has three to five weekly sessions, with a maximum of two students and approximately 45 minutes long.
- Assess the progress of each student's basic reading and writing skills (decoding, speed and expression) every three weeks. Assess the student's class three times per year for comparison purposes.
The extent of the support varies according to the student's progress and ends when the student's performance is close to the average of their class.