Frequently Asked Questions
MultiLit Pty Ltd is a research initiative of Macquarie University. MultiLit’s Reading Tutor Program has its origins at Macquarie University Special Education Centre (MUSEC), where the first edition of the Reading Tutor Program was developed and tested over many years.
No. MultiLit’s programs have been used by mainstream teachers, learning support teachers, teacher aides, parents at home and trained volunteers. It is, however, required that you attend a Professional Development workshop/s for many of our programs to ensure you are able to implement and deliver the program/s you are using effectively.
The new edition of the Reading Tutor Program represents a thoroughly revised version of our individual instruction program that was originally published in 1998. It also incorporates all of the recommendations for effective reading instruction from the Australian Federal Government’s 2005 report of the National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy.
The Reading Tutor Program is the product of ongoing research and development by Professor Kevin Wheldall and his specialist team of academic researchers and special educators at Macquarie University into more effective ways of teaching students who are experiencing difficulties in learning how to read.
Students working half an hour a day on the program can make up to 15 months’ gain in just 2 terms. For example, the students who attend the Exodus Tutorial Centre in Ashfield over a five month period make overall gains, on average, of 16 months in reading accuracy, 12 months in reading comprehension and 19 months in single word recognition. They also gain 11 months in spelling. On average, they are able to read nearly 50% more words correctly per minute than they could when they first entered the program. 74% of students left the program reading books at a level approximating functional literacy.
In Cape York, the older students at the MultiLit Tutorial at Coen School made gains of about 20 months in reading accuracy, single word recognition, phonic recoding and spelling and eleven months in reading comprehension over the course of the year (from mid 2005 to mid 2006).
In addition, we receive ongoing feedback from schools using MultiLit’s programs who find that the students make rapid improvements in their literacy skills. Results will, of course, depend on how diligently the programs are followed.
MultiLit teachers and tutors praise at over 150 ‘smiles per hour’. Positive teaching, a model of positive reinforcement based on the principles of applied behaviour analysis, utilises high rates of teacher praise and dramatically decreases teacher reprimands. By focusing on appropriate behaviour and ignoring inappropriate behaviour (i.e. “catching them being good”), we allow maximum learning to take place. Classrooms that employ the principles of Positive Teaching have much higher rates of on-task behaviour. MultiLit offers a Positive Teaching Professional Development Workshop via self-paced eLearning modules – find out more here.
The third component of the Reading Tutor Program, Reinforced Reading, deals with comprehension in real text. In addition, the increase in fluency and accuracy through working through the Word Attack Skills and Sight Words components leads to improved comprehension as the student is no longer using all of his or her mental energy just trying to work out the words.
Many schools use parent volunteers to do the Reinforced Reading component of the Reading Tutor Program and the Word Attack Skills – Extension Program. This can be done at home or at school.
All of our programs include comprehensive manuals and teacher’s guides to ensure you can effectively implement the program/s, however it is highly recommended that you attend a Professional Development workshop/s to ensure you are able to implement and deliver the program/s effectively.
Attending a Professional Development (PD) workshop is not mandatory when purchasing the PreLit Program, the Reading Tutor Program, the Word Attack Skills – Extension Program, Wheldall Assessment of Reading Lists (WARL), or the WARP (Wheldall Assessment of Reading Passages). However, when purchasing InitiaLit, MiniLit, MacqLit or Spell-It, it is a requirement for at least one teacher from your school to attend the associated Professional Development workshop.
To view our current Professional Development Calendar for all training opportunities throughout Australia, click here.
Discounts apply for multiple registrations for our InitiaLit and MacqLit PD Workshops.
MultiLit’s Professional Development workshops run across Australia – in capital cities and selected regional locations. Refer to the Professional Development Workshop Calendar for locations and dates.
On-site training is available. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a quote. On-site training is a convenient and cost-effective option should you wish to provide Professional Development for a group of 10 or more staff. There is no minimum number of staff required for on-site training in InitiaLit–F/1/2.
MultiLit’s Professional Development workshops are delivered either in-person or via videoconferencing (using Zoom technology) over one or two days. Participants are required to register for each day of attendance. Attendance certificates are provided.
Please contact us on 1300 55 99 19 or email PDteam@multilit.com
All children can learn to read when instructed effectively. In fact, there is no evidence to show that separating or categorising students into subgroups, such as dyslexia or ADHD for example, provides educators with any useful information in terms of instruction. A non-categorical approach focuses instead on the student’s current level of functioning and assesses the needs of the individual student. For more information on our approach, click here.
Low-progress readers are generally those students who have failed to “crack the alphabetic code” in reading, leading to consequent failure in reading and related skills. These students have failed to make any real progress in reading, usually due to deficits in phonological processing skills, relying instead on compensatory visual and contextual strategies. When we speak of low-progress readers, we are referring to those who typically do not make the average progress of one month for every month’s attendance at school.
Our research and clinical experience has shown that high school students who are low-progress readers can and do make major gains as a result of MultiLit programs. It is, however, preferable to catch students as early as possible so that they do not experience the stressful experience of starting high school with inadequate reading and related skills.
MultiLit’s programs are now accessible across Australia. Assessments can be conducted either online via live interactive sessions or in person at the Literacy Centre (Macquarie Park or Bella Vista) at various times from Monday to Saturday. MultiLit Literacy Centres are closed on Sundays and NSW Public Holidays. Student sessions are available from 7.15 am until 6.35 pm Monday to Friday and from 8.00 am to 3.30 pm on a Saturday. Note all times displayed are for Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).
Results from the MultiLit Monitoring Program show that students who attended a two-term program (20 weeks) made average gains of 15 months in reading accuracy and 11 months in comprehension. Of course, every student is different, so we cannot predict exactly what gains your child would make. For more information on Literacy Centre results, click here.
Parents initially enrol their children for one (10-week) term. Students are continually monitored on progress on a weekly basis, and at the end of the term they are assessed on spelling, oral reading fluency and single word recognition. The results of these tests assist in determining whether further intervention is required. Regardless of how long your child has attended the Literacy Centre, we encourage all children to continue to read natural language texts out loud to a parent or supportive reading partner every day.
Reinforced Reading has been shown to be extremely effective in helping children improve their reading accuracy, fluency and comprehension. Reinforced Reading uses the Pause, Prompt and Praise strategy, which facilitates the generalisation of component skills such as phonic word attack skills and sight words. Reinforced Reading supports a contemporary, scientifically ‘balanced’ approach to reading where the emphasis on phonics is reinforced through the reading of real, meaningful text. Parents, teachers, teacher’s aides and peer tutors can all support Reinforced Reading, making it a very accessible and cost-effective program to access.
MultiLit offers programs online, delivered by our tutors in a similar way to attending the Literacy Centre. Sessions are fully interactive with two-way feedback between tutor and student.
MultiLit offers tailored programs for low-progress readers of different ages and reading levels. MiniLit is suitable for students who are in late Kindergarten, Year 1 and early Year 2. The Reading Tutor Program is suitable for students who are in Year 2 and above. The Word Attack Skills Extension Program is suitable for students who are in Year 4 and above. The Spell-It Program is suitable for students in Year 4 and above. The MacqLit Program for children in year 3 and above, including secondary years, is also available. Learn more.
Yes, children with poor working memory benefit from MultiLit’s programs because the instruction is systematic, presented in small chunks and plenty of revision is built into each session.
Sessions at the Literacy Centre last for 50 minutes, which is generally longer than the intervention a child will receive at school. Programs at the Literacy Centre also tend to be more intensive, as students attend the Literacy Centre or online program 2-4 times each week. In addition, tutoring at the Literacy Centre is delivered by an extensively trained specialist MultiLit instructor. Student progress through each program is also closely monitored by senior tutors and, when necessary, supported by the MultiLit Research Unit.
A MultiLit literacy assessment is necessary to evaluate your child’s literacy skills and to determine which of our literacy programs would benefit them the most.
MultiLit uses a combination of age appropriate standardised and MultiLit specific tests to place the student within the appropriate MultiLit program and level. The tests measure spelling, decoding skills, verbal ability, reading age, reading accuracy and comprehension.
MultiLit administers specialised tests to provide very specific information about your child’s reading skills. Placement in our programs is dependent on these results. These tests will also be used to evaluate your child’s progress at the end of the program.
MultiLit does not make a diagnosis, nor do we treat any disabilities. We “treat” the reading difficulties associated with such disabilities.
Of course. The MultiLit approach is non-categorical and treats only your child’s reading difficulties. Children diagnosed with Aspergers/Autism/ADHD have progressed successfully through our programs.
MultiLit’s Reading Tutor Program and Word Attack Skills – Extension Program are both available to students in an online format delivered by tutors at the Literacy Centre.
Our programs are delivered on a term by term basis (10 week term). On average, students attend for two terms. Intensive holiday programs are also available (aligned to NSW School Holidays).
The Literacy Centre accepts enrolments at any time within the school term. School holiday programs, in an individual or group format, are also offered.
Generally each session at the Literacy Centre runs for 50 minutes.
All sessions are comprised of ‘Word Attack Skills’ (decoding or sounding out words) and ‘Reinforced Reading’ (reading real texts to put newly acquired reading skills into practice). Many sessions also contain a spelling component. Other components are added depending on your child’s assessment results and may include sight word recognition, phonological and phonemic awareness tasks and reading comprehension activities.
Parents/carers should read with their child at least four times a week for 20 minutes each time, using MultiLit’s Reinforced Reading strategies. This applies equally whether a child is doing a MultiLit program at their school or attending sessions at the Literacy Centre.
All Literacy Centre tutors have undergone extensive training in each of MultiLit’s programs. Tutors are kept up to date with the latest techniques and research in literacy through seminars, mentoring and monitoring in their delivery of MultiLit’s programs. Student progress through our programs is also closely monitored by senior tutors and, when necessary, supported by the MultiLit Research Unit.
The Literacy Centre is open on Saturdays for both both assessments and program sessions.
Yes. Parents/caregivers don’t usually sit in on sessions, but can occasionally observe and learn how each part of the program is delivered with prior permission from the Literacy Centre Manager.
Our aim is to bring a student’s reading age as close to their chronological age as possible.
The Literacy Centre offers a reading comprehension program that is separate from the Reading Tutor Program and the Word Attack Extension Program. As each program is tailored to each students needs, reading comprehension has always been available for the tutors to use as an element of the students learning.
Writing and spelling are both closely linked to reading. The aim of MultiLit’s programs is to improve reading skills, but the type of intervention provided often also leads to improvements in spelling and writing. We also offer the Spell-It Program specifically to address issues with students’ spelling. Handwriting is not an area that MultiLit focuses on.