Can personalised approach to literacy improve outcomes
for children with speech, language and communication difficulties?   
 This research focused on children with speech, language and communication difficulties and questioned whether personalised approach for literacy intervention can improve outcomes for those pupils. In this research, outcomes meant higher results in literacy assessment raised at least one sub-level as well as personal targets met. The second indicator pointed at the development of expressive language. For the purpose of this research the increase of expressive language was measured by difference how children expressed themselves  ( whether speaking or in writing) before, during and after the intervention. 

The intervention was delivered in an infant school, where almost all pupils came from minority ethnic background.

Problem identification - Language development

If children have weak language skills while starting school they may have difficulty understanding what is required from them and that will impact on the attainment in all areas of the curriculum as well as on their personal and social development. Borwick (as cited in Townend and Turner, p.31) states that" the relationship between early speech and language difficulties and ensuring literacy difficulties are well documented."

Five children were supported by intervention and made a quick progress. For the purpose of this case study, the focus was on one pupil, who was identified as a child A with social and emotional problems, and already received number of different interventions (including PAL and SLC). Despite ongoing intervention, no progress on the social or academic level has been recorded. A child A presented social and emotional difficulties as well as limited expressive language. Vygotsky emphasized significant role of the language in the abstract thought and highlighted that social and cognitive language work together. 
During my research, individual approach to literacy directed my planning towards the difficulties hidden behind the general name for speech and language problems.
" Speech refers to the sound system of language as well as how sounds are made in the mouth to form spoken words (...)
 Language is the structure in which words are used. The language system is made up of several components: grammar (...), vocabulary, semantics (...) and pragmatics. ( DCSF, 2008)
" Personalised learning and teaching mean taking a highly structured and responsive approach to each child's and young person's learning, in order that all are able to progress, achieve and participate."( Macleod-Brudenell, Kay, 2008, p.310 )

While planning an intervention I focused on personal targets and outcomes expected by national assessments at the end of KS2 however, the intervention was delivered keeping in mind individual needs of every child. At the beginning, children had difficulties to express themselves verbally as well as in writing. A drawing was the preferred method of communication. "It is impossible to know how much language children understand because comprehension is difficult to measure, however, the comprehension is usually more developed than expressive language".       ( Martin, 2000) Expressive language is the use of words and sentences in agreed structure and forms ( DCSF, 2008, p.13) The intervention also focused on the improvement of children's vocabulary. Children learn how to develop content vocabulary by learning to "label" aspects of their own environment. ( Martin, 2000, P.7)  However some children are mostly using nouns and they label things while others use expressive language and concentrate on social relationships ( Vasta, Haith and Miller, 1999, p.417 ) Some cultures prefer to teach their children to follow instructions, therefore, children give more attention to verbs and their descriptive language is rather poor. For the purpose of this case study, the approach for teaching phonics was researched. Analytic and synthetic method of teaching phonics was introduced. 

After 6 weeks of intervention with a personalised approach, all children presented improvement in speaking and listening, reading and writing. A child A was able to evaluate the learning process, made appropriate comments about self-assessment, presented great decoding and comprehension skills.  A child A who in the beginning of the intervention was not able to write a single word was now able to sequence a story, write simple sentences and do self-assessment independently ( verbally and in writing) 
Personal approach to literacy intervention did not move automatically children's assessment one level up but pointed at the areas which are difficult, and encouraged to do self - reflection about learning.
My own assumption is:  a child A, as a child with English as an additional language, withdraws from the environment which was too difficult to understand. Lack of language influences personal, social and emotional development. Unexpectedly, at the end of the intervention, it was recorded that a child A is a very bright child, with great observation and comprehension skills. 

In this particular case study, the personalised teaching approach improved outcomes for all the children.  Significant progress was recorded in all areas across the curriculum for a child A, who did not benefit from any previous intervention. 


  Can personalised approach to Numeracy / Maths improve outcomes?

  All pupils who received personalised tuition from us made a significant progress, and until now there was no need for further research.