The Accelerated Literacy pedagogy is the product of research into successful literacy teaching involving academics, teachers, parents and students working together for the last forty years. Its evolution was based on the understanding that every student can learn to read at a level appropriate for their age. Students without the appropriate literacy skills are marginalised in Australian society, and this is not acceptable.
In 1998 a team of researchers from the University of Canberra were funded by the Indigenous Education Strategic Initiatives Program to introduce the Scaffolding Reading and Writing for Indigenous Children in Schools at two Anangu Schools in South Australia. The success of this project led to further grants from 1999 - 2003 to extend the Scaffolding Reading and Writing methodology to more very remote Indigenous schools in the Northern Territory (initially in 6 pilot schools), Western Australia and to one school in Townsville. During this period the program became widely known as ‘Scaffolding Literacy’.
In 2004 substantial funding extended the program more widely in Northern Territory schools. At this time, due to requirements of the Northern Territory Department of Education, the whole program moved to Charles Darwin University and was then known as the National Accelerated Literacy Program (NALP). The funding originally covered the period from 2004 – 2008 but was in fact continued until 2010. Throughout the period from 1998 – 2010, careful documentation of students’ literacy progress was collected and is held by all jurisdictions involved in the program. It is one of the most carefully documented approaches to teaching literacy in Australia to date; and the thorough research carried out by the people who have worked in the program has helped bring it to this point.
Beyond the funding period the Accelerated Literacy continues to be used by many teachers throughout Australia. The Commonwealth is maintaining the NALP website and you can still obtain some of the NALP resources.