2020 Margaret Mahy Illustration Prize Winner


The link below is to an article reporting on the 2020 winner of the Margaret Mahy Illustration Prize, Lily Emo.

For more visit:
https://www.booksandpublishing.com.au/articles/2020/09/18/156784/nz-margaret-mahy-illustration-prize-winner-announced/

2020 New Zealand Book Industry Awards Winners


The link below is to an article that reports on the winners of the 2020 New Zealand Book Industry Awards.

For more visit:
https://www.booksandpublishing.com.au/articles/2020/09/17/156751/nz-book-industry-awards-2020-winners-announced/

2020 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults Winners


The link below is to an article reporting on the winners of the 2020 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

For more visit:
https://www.booksandpublishing.com.au/articles/2020/08/13/155169/nz-book-awards-for-children-and-young-adults-2020-winners-announced/

2020 Ngaio Marsh Award Shortlists


The link below is to an article reporting on the shortlists for this year’s Ngaio Marsh Award for New Zealand crime fiction.

For more visit:
https://www.booksandpublishing.com.au/articles/2020/08/11/154974/ngaio-marsh-award-2020-shortlists-announced/

Young New Zealanders are turning off reading in record numbers – we need a new approach to teaching literacy



http://www.shutterstock.com

Christine Braid, Massey University

Meet Otis. He’s eight years old and until recently he didn’t want to read or write. Then his teacher changed the way she taught and things began to improve.

After a few weeks, Otis (not his real name, but he’s a real child) wanted to read and write at every opportunity. With this new-found knowledge and motivation his skill increased too. And his confidence.

So what was different? Technically, Otis’s teacher had begun using what is known as a structured approach to teaching literacy. Essential for children with a literacy learning difficulty such as dyslexia, it has been shown to be beneficial for all children.

The structured approach is a departure from what is known as the “implicit” teaching approach most teachers have used in the classroom. There are now calls for “explicit” instruction to be adopted more generally, including a petition recently presented to the New Zealand Parliament.

New data suggest this is an urgent problem, with growing numbers of young people turning off reading. According to a recent report from the Education Ministry’s chief education science adviser, 52% of 15-year-olds now say they read only if they have to – up from 38% in 2009.

The report made a number of recommendations, including that the ability to “decode” words become a focus in the first years of school. The importance of decoding to literacy success was reiterated by learning disability and dyslexia advocacy group SPELD NZ. It called for a change in teacher training and urgent professional development in structured literacy teaching.




Read more:
Why every child needs explicit phonics instruction to learn to read


How does a structured approach work?

Structured literacy teaching means the knowledge and skills for reading and writing are explicitly taught in a sequence, from simple to more complex. Children learn to decode simple words such as tap, hit, red and fun before they read words with more complex spelling patterns such as down, found or walked.

Learning correct letter formation is a priority. Mastery of these skills builds a strong foundation for reading and writing, without which progress is slow, motivation stalls and achievement suffers.

children's books with words and pictures
The simple spelling in structured literacy texts helps children decode the words and build confidence.
Author provided

The books children first read in a structured approach employ these restricted spelling patterns. Reading these with his teacher’s help, Otis built on his skills with simple words and progressed to decoding words with advanced spelling patterns.

These structured lessons also allowed him to master letter and sentence formation, so he made progress in writing too.

Old approaches aren’t working

By contrast, an implicit approach to teaching reading essentially means children have lots of opportunities to read and write, and learn along the way with teacher guidance.

Unfortunately, children like Otis can get lost along the way, too.

Implicit reading books use words with a variety of spelling patterns – for example: Mum found a sandal. “Look at the sandal,” said Mum.




Read more:
Explainer: what’s the difference between decodable and predictable books, and when should they be used?


When Otis tried to read these books, he looked at the pictures or tried to remember the teacher’s introduction before attempting the words. But he was not building his skills and was getting left behind.

Otis is not alone, and New Zealand’s literacy results support the calls for change. Despite many interventions and the daily hard work of teachers, it is common for schools to report 30% of children with low reading results and 40% with low writing results.

However, a Massey University study in 2019 found reading outcomes improved when teachers were trained in a structured approach. The results were particularly good for children with the lowest results prior to intervention.

Overall, the findings suggest the change in teaching had a positive effect on children’s learning.

An example of how structured literacy is taught in the US; methods vary depending on the country.

Change is already happening

Fortunately for children like Otis, more teachers are now seeking training in a structured approach. One project based on the Massey research involved more than 100 teachers in over 40 schools. Teacher comments suggest the knowledge and training support has helped them change their teaching for the benefit of the whole class.




Read more:
The top ranking education systems in the world aren’t there by accident. Here’s how Australia can climb up


Further signs of hope include recent Ministry of Education efforts to develop structured approach teaching materials, and the resources now available for teachers on the ministry’s Te Kete Ipurangi support site.

No one pretends change is easy in a complex area such as literacy teaching. But every child like Otis has the right succeed, and every teacher has the right to be supported in their approach to helping Otis and his peers learn.

With courage and effort at every level of the system – not just from classroom teachers – a structured approach to literacy teaching can improve outcomes and have a positive impact that will stay with children for the rest of their lives.The Conversation

Christine Braid, Professional Learning and Development Facilitator in Literacy Education, Massey University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

2020 Sir Julius Vogel Awards Winners


The link below is to an article reporting on the 2020 winners of the Sir Julius Vogel Awards for New Zealand Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.

For more visit:
https://www.booksandpublishing.com.au/articles/2020/08/03/154572/nz-sir-julius-vogel-awards-2020-winners-announced/

2020 Ngaio Marsh Award Longlist


The link below is to an article that reports on the longlist for this year’s Ngaio Marsh Award for New Zealand crime fiction.

For more visit:
https://www.booksandpublishing.com.au/articles/2020/06/30/152746/ngaio-marsh-award-2020-longlist-announced/

2020 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults Shortlists


The link below is to an article reporting on the shortlists for the 2020 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

For more visit:
https://www.booksandpublishing.com.au/articles/2020/06/05/151609/nz-book-awards-for-children-and-young-adults-2020-finalists-announced/

2019 Winners of the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement


The link below is to an article reporting on the 2019 Winners of the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement.

https://www.booksandpublishing.com.au/articles/2019/10/09/140500/nz-prime-ministers-awards-for-literary-achievement-2019-announced/

NZ considers changes to copyright law as part of promise to help end global ‘book famine’



Most written works are not available in accessible formats, and this barrier affects about 168,000 New Zealanders.
from http://www.shutterstock.com, CC BY-NC-SA

Lida Ayoubi, Auckland University of Technology and Melanie Johnson, University of Auckland

The New Zealand parliament seems closer to adopting a bill to amend copyright legislation to make it easier for visually impaired people to access published works.

An estimated 90% of all written works published worldwide are not available in formats accessible to people with a print disability. This barrier affects an estimated 168,000 New Zealanders.

The 2013 Marrakesh Treaty, which New Zealand joined in 2017, would help end the “global book famine” by allowing access to more written works in formats such as Braille, large print or audio. Bringing the treaty into effect in New Zealand requires changes to the Copyright Act 1994, and the amendment bill is due to go through its final reading this week.




Read more:
Australia’s copyright reform could bring millions of books and other reads to the blind


Copyright law and the right to read

Currently, creating accessible formats from existing works is only possible with the permission of the copyright owner or if there are exceptions limiting the copyright owner’s rights. Combined with a lack of infrastructure and the high cost of producing accessible works, this has created a global “book famine” for visually impaired people.

This affects not only those who read for leisure but also students and researchers, especially in developing and least developed countries. This lack of access to books and other copyright material is a hurdle to the realisation of several human rights, including the right to education, access to information, the right to participate in culture and to enjoy scientific progress, as well as the rights to health and employment. This is reflected in the Marrakesh Treaty’s focus on human rights and equality for the visually impaired.

The treaty’s provisions are designed to address problems such as long waits for authorisation or accessible format copies from a copyright owner, unreasonable restrictions imposed on accessible formats, and barriers to cross-border exchange of available accessible works that often result in duplication of production efforts.

Access to copyright works and higher education

Australian research found that when universities provided their visually impaired students with access to essential or prescribed texts, students generally obtained readings late. For instance, only 50% of print disabled first-year students had access to prescribed textbooks before the semester started.

Some universities reported far more substantial delays. In such cases, students would receive their essential readings only very late in the semester or after the semester is over. The reasons for delays vary, with some students not notifying the university that they require assistance. Additionally, reading lists are often not finalised until the first week of semester and publishers fail to respond to requests to provide accessible texts in a timely manner.

Publishers generally require students to buy a print copy of the work before they will provide access to an electronic version. Some are willing to provide download links, while others, particularly in the United States, often prefer to mail disc copies. Sometimes works are only available as preprint versions, which require a considerable amount of editing before they can be provided to students. This is a drain on university resources.

Consequently, not all students who would benefit from accessible formats currently obtain them. This means their chances of demonstrating their full potential are often compromised.




Read more:
It’s designers who can make gaming more accessible for people living with disabilities


New Zealand’s Marrakesh Treaty implementation bill

The bill is part of a broader review of New Zealand’s copyright legislation to ensure “the copyright regime keeps pace with technological and market developments” since its last significant amendment in 2008. It expands the reach of section 69 of the Copyright Act 1994 that addresses the reproduction and distribution of accessible works.

One of the main changes is to broaden the scope of current exceptions and improve access for visually impaired New Zealanders. The bill also introduces measures to facilitate international sharing of accessible works. These changes help realise visually impaired people’s “right to read”.

A contentious issue for the implementation of the treaty in New Zealand and elsewhere is the so called “commercial availability test”. The test is currently a requirement in New Zealand for an “authorised entity” to make reasonable efforts to obtain an accessible copy at an ordinary commercial price. By far the cheapest, fastest and most convenient means of obtaining accessible format works is if they are available for sale through the normal channels.

But in the absence of easily available accessible copies, the test creates uncertainty and imposes an administrative burden on institutions that provide the visually impaired with accessible copies. This is why after hearing submissions on the bill, a select committee recommended the removal of the test.

The proposed changes to copyright legislation would allow people with a print disability to make accessible format copies or to receive those made by an authorised entity in New Zealand or elsewhere, without infringing copyright. While broadening the scope of the current exceptions, the bill has checks and balances in place that protect reproduced accessible formats, contrary to a misconception of allowing free-riding on copyright works.

This is of significance to university students as some may self-declare disabilities while others are reluctant to disclose an impairment. Universities emphasise that they provide a safe place for disclosure, but speedy provision of services remains an issue.

The increase in the availability of electronic texts has helped to meet needs, but it is not keeping pace with student demand and expectation. As part of an increasingly technology savvy student population, students with impairments now request electronic versions of texts and use technology to adapt them to their needs. Students no longer want enlarged or scanned material as this is much harder to manipulate. The amendments in the bill would enable them to create their own accessible formats, or source them without having to identify as print disabled.

Overall, the proposed law change is a positive step towards improving access to copyright works for visually impaired New Zealanders. It also helps New Zealand maintain its good global citizen status by allowing an exchange of accessible works with other Marrakesh Treaty members.The Conversation

Lida Ayoubi, Lecturer, Auckland University of Technology and Melanie Johnson, , University of Auckland

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.