Research into adult phonics launched as part of Functional Skills Reform

The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) has commissioned new research from University College London (UCL) to investigate current approaches to the use of phonics in Functional Skills English with adult learners. This will be through focus groups and an online survey.

This research will help inform the ETF’s advice and guidance to practitioners in the run up to the introduction of the Functional Skills Reform Programme. It will take account of the range of contexts in which Functional Skills are currently taught and the profiles of different learner groups, including those within the criminal justice system, learning English as a Second Language and learners with SEND.

The researchers would particularly like to hear from literacy practitioners who are teaching Functional Skills English at entry level and who would be willing to comment on their experience of using phonics approaches with diverse adult learner groups and any barriers and enablers to effective practice that they are aware of.

The project will report after the outcomes of the recent consultations on Functional Skills subject content and qualifications are known.

Imke Djouadj, ETF Head of Maths and English, said:

“This research and its findings will play a key role in giving depth to the forthcoming Functional Skills reform. It is why it is vital that as many practitioners take part in the focus groups and surveys. When the survey is launched we will promote it throughout the sector.”

For further information about the research and to register your interest in taking part in either the focus groups and/or online survey, please contact Gemma Moss at gemma.moss@ucl.ac.uk.

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