READING SPECIALISTS’ ASSOCIATION SINGAPORE (RSAS)
RSAS CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCE MODULES
(Updated 2015 for next 5 years)
A Brief Introduction to RSAS
The Reading Specialists’ Association Singapore (RSAS) on 28 August 2008 began as a special interest group of the Society for Reading and Literacy (Singapore). It offered a training program (known as READi program) for parents, teachers and librarians interested in promoting good reading habit among children. In 2008, the group decided to break off to form an independent professional body registered with the Singapore Registry of Societies. It offers several categories of memberships to those interested to join the organization.
Who is a Reading Professional?
According to the Standards for Reading Professionals (1998) developed by the Professional Standards and Ethics Committee of the International Reading Association (now known as International Literacy Association), there are three categories of reading professionals: the classroom professional, the specialized reading professional, and the allied professional. The RSAS aims to train and equip reading professionals through proper professional training and credentialization program. Hence, this program has been created to serve the goal, especially for those who have always wanted to become a trained reading specialist and be recognized as a professional.
The RSAS CoC-CoPP Program
The RSAS offers the Certificate of Competence (CoC) for each module successfully completed with a submitted written assignment. Once, the participant has completed all the five modules, s/he can proceed to present his/her respective case study at the end of the training program for examination. A pass is compulsory for in order to be qualified for the RSAS Certificate of Professional Practice (CoPP). The participant can now call him/herself a reading specialist. The CoC-CoPP program consists of the following five modules:
Module 1: The Synergetic Process of Literacy
Synopsis: This module introduces the various theories and models of literacy, which consists of reading process (including letter naming/sounding/blending, word recognition/identification/discrimination, oral/silent reading, listening/reading comprehension) and writing process (including handwriting, spelling and written expression/composition) linked by a third cognitive process known as fantasizing (or imagining). More importantly, participants will to be introduced to the theory and model of rauding (reading + auding), which involves lexical access sound-meaning connection semantic encoding sentence integration sentence comprehension. They will also learn about sub-creating and imagining in the process of fantasizing that brings a reader/writer into the suspension of disbelief into the immersion of disbelief.
Module 2: Literacy Difficulties, Disabilities and Disorders
This module covers varied challenges faced by children as they learn to read and write. Using the CCAS (cognition, conation, affect and sensation) model, participants are introduced to different literacy and/or language difficulties, disabilities and disorders they will encounter when working with children struggling to read and/or write (spell). Participants will be introduced to dyslexia and its subtypes, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia (especially mathematics comprehension). The Educator’s Diagnostic Manual (EDM) of Learning Disabilities and Disorders will be used in this module.
Module 3: Measurement and Evaluation of Literacy Competence and Performance
This module looks into measurement of literacy competence and performance. Informal screening tools (e.g., Informal Reading Inventories, Questionnaires, Checklists, Rating Scales) will be introduced to the participants and these tools are either grade-based or criterion-based assessments. The participants will learn about the RSAS screening/assessment protocol. In addition, they will learn about the three formal assessment categories: (1) Formal Assessment Category A (e.g., Schonell, St Lucia, Holborn); (2) Formal Assessment Category B (e.g., Aston, Bangor, Jordan, Rosner); and (c) Formal Assessment Category C (e.g., Neale, Slosson, OWLS, TOWL-2). They will also be introduced to the case management system which consists of (1) Case Assessment, (2) Case Consultation, (3) Case Development, (4) Intervention Planning, and (5) Intervention Evaluation.
Module 4: Literacy Intervention Strategies
In this fourth module, participants will learn about the treatment approach: (1) Intervention as Treatment; (2) Rehabilitation as Treatment; and (3) Management as Treatment. They will also learn about complementary and alternative treatments that are so widely and rigorously promoted in the market. Participants will learn about the different levels of treatment. Scientifically based or research-based evidence is used to classify treatments as follows: (a) Practice that is scientifically based; (b) Practice that is promising; (c) Practice with limited supporting evidence; and (d) Practice that is not recommended. In addition, different categories of treatment will be introduced: (a) Interpersonal Relationship Treatments; (b) Skill-based treatments; (c) Cognitive treatments; (d) Physiological, biological and/or neurological treatments; (e) Interactive and digital media-based treatments; and (f) Other treatments and related agents.
Module 5: Case Studies in Literacy Competence and Performance
Selected case studies will be introduced to the participants to apply what they have acquired from the four modules to review different cases and to evaluate and profile the learner (as a reader/writer) in terms of his/her competence/performance in the language and/or literacy skills. Examples of selected case studies cover the following learning disabilities/disorders taken from EDM Level 2 LD1.00 Auditory Processing Disorders, EDM Level 2 LD3.00 Dysgraphia, EDM Level 2 LD4.00 Dyslexia, EDM Level 2 LD5.00 Dysorthographia, EDM Level 2 LD6.00 Gerstmann Syndrome, EDM Level 2 LD7.00 Gifted with Learning Disabilities (Literacy), EDM Level 2 LD8.00 Nonverbal Learning Disabilities, EDM Level 2 LD9.00 Organizational Learning Disorders, EDM Level 2 LD10.00 Sensory Integration Disorders, EDM Level 2 LD12.00 Visual Processing Disorders, and EDM Level 2 LD13.00 Other Types of Specific Learning Disabilities. Participants are encouraged to provide their own real cases that they are currently working on. Participants have to present their respective case studies at the end of this module. A pass is compulsory for this final module in order to proceed for the qualifying RSAS Certificate of Professional Practice
Passing Criteria for RSAS CoC and CoPP Qualifications
To qualify for the Certificate of Competence (CoC) for each of the above five modules, trainees/participants are expected to complete the modular assignments and attain a score of 80% and above.
To qualify for the Certificate of Professional Practice (CoPP), all trainees/participants must obtain a pass grade for their Supervised Remedial Intervention Observation (not more than 1 hour with the Examiner asking the Examinee not more than 3 questions based on that observation) and Final Case Study Presentation (a case of the Examinee’s choice to present orally).