Total Reading Approach for Children Plus (TRAC+)

The Total Reading Approach for Children Plus (TRAC+) project builds on the success of the innovative Total Reading Approach for Children (TRAC) project (2012- 2014), which was funded under the All Children Reading Grand Challenge, a consortium of donors including USAID, World Vision, and Australian Aid. Under the TRAC project, WEI worked closely with the MoEYS to
improve reading outcomes of Grade 1 and 2 students in Cambodia using an integrated approach comprised of various innovative interventions, including:
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  • Reading Benchmarks

World Education collaborated with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) to create a reading benchmark system for the new national reading curriculum. The first early-grade reading benchmark system in Cambodia, it includes specific tasks and skills that students should master at designated intervals. The benchmarks include regular interval assessments, which allow teachers to identify struggling students and provide timely, targeted support.

Each interval assessment includes statements of reading abilities, associated reading skills, content summaries, and indicative tasks that illustrate the stated competencies. This approach of unbundling the composite score enables teachers to consider basic literacy skills in isolation and ensure student proficiency across several indicators. These benchmarks have been fully endorsed by the MoEYS.

  • Literacy Coaches

TRAC selected and trained school-based literacy coaches, the first time such a position has been created in Cambodian schools. These coaches help teachers administer the benchmark assessments and the Rapid Response System interventions. They also act as the liaison between schools and parents.

  • Rapid Response System
Literacy coaches implement the project’s Rapid Response System (RRS) after identifying struggling students through the benchmark assessments. The RRS includes parental engagement, peer tutoring, a reading toolkit, and an mLearning application. The toolkit and mLearning application are aligned with the national curriculum and TRAC reading benchmark system. The mLearning application is the first Khmer language education app for primary grades.

TRAC was highly successful in its aim of implementing an innovative and holistic approach to the instruction of early-grade reading in Cambodia.

  • 94% of TRAC-participant teachers and 100% of TRAC literacy coaches utilized the Rapid Response System to provide targeted reading interventions to struggling students.
  • 73.3% of parents reported improved engagement in their children’s education due to TRAC.
  • 160 tablets and 1,908 textbooks and learning materials were provided to the eight TRAC pilot schools.
  • On average, TRAC-participant first graders scored 6.4% higher than control participants on an early-grade reading assessment administered at the end of year 1 of the project, and 13.6% higher at the end of year 2.

Through TRAC+, World Education is expanding the reach of TRAC programming to include Grade 3 reading benchmarks and assessments, and considerably scaling up the interventions from the eight pilot schools to 170 schools in five provinces. TRAC+ also includes pilot reading interventions for Grade 4-6 students in select target schools, and capacity development for key World Vision Cambodia staff over the course of the project. Overall, TRAC Plus is projected to benefit over 30,000 children in Grades 1-3 and 4,500 children in Grades 4-5, 50% of whom will be girls, and around 680 teachers. By focusing on the total learning environment, TRAC + is enhancing the ability of children to acquire essential early reading skills while encouraging a culture of reading both in school and at home.

Learning to Read: World Education’s innovative, holistic approach to early grade reading in Cambodia

VIDEO – Total Reading Approach for Children

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