Frequently Asked Questions

How does Angus Lloyd Associates and Direct Instruction differ from other tutoring options?

ALA Inc. uses Direct Instruction programs, developed at the University of Oregon.  These programs are rooted in six basic principles:

1. Know what you want to teach and why. 
All of our programs are backed by +35 years of research. Because we use prepared programming, no instructional time is wasted on unnecessary exercises.

2. Find a safe starting place for the learner. 
At Angus Lloyd Associates, we make every effort to gather as much information as possible pertaining to our students. Our intake process ensures that we collect all relevant academic and developmental information. If prospective clients do not have a recent psycho-educational assessment completed, we will complete an academic-skills assessment for them.

3. Make sure the language of instruction is clear. 
Direct Instruction programs are scripted programs. Our tutors use predetermined language to instruct; this minimizes potential for confusion on the part of the learner and ensures that all of our instructors teach in a uniform manner. These programs employ a wide and complex variety of strategies that are carefully integrated to accomplish specific results.

4. Design a sequence of instruction that includes all the skills and subskills needed by the learner.
Direct Instruction programs are based on a "bottom-up" approach. To wit, all of the subskills required to perform desired tasks are taught one at a time and to mastery.

5. Design teaching so that you can test what the student knows and when. 
All of our programs include regular testing to ensure that the student has learned what the teacher has presented.

6. Use information gained through student errors. 
Our method of instruction uses student errors to inform further instruction. When a student is not able to demonstrate mastery of a previously presented concept, we know that the concept or skill needs to be re-taught.


How quickly will my child's skills improve?

At Angus Lloyd Associates Inc., we do not make guarantees about our students' progress. Progress depends on several factors, including: regular and consistent instruction;;   individual student learning profiles; and effort and motivation on the part of the student. We will objectively assess your child's progress on a regular basis, through standardized testing and informal measures. We will provide you with comparative data analysis to chart your child's academic progress (when the appropriate data is available). Although ALA Inc. does not make guarantees regarding student progress, we can make responsible projections about how your child will progress, once we get to know them.

Does all tutoring happen at the offices of Angus Lloyd Associates Inc?

We find that on-site tutoring is important for several reasons. It allows us to carefully monitor our teachers’ presentation of Direct Instruction programs. On-site tutoring also allows us to control the instructional environment. Furthermore, a senior staff member is always available to provide support to tutors and students.


My child has been diagnosed with a specific learning disability. How can I be sure that you can meet his/her specific needs?

We work with a wide array of learners. Many of our students have been identified as exceptional learners based on psycho-educational testing. Because Direct Instruction programs address all academic subskills, they are the most effective method of instruction for high-need learners. The specific instructional techniques, as well as the programs as a whole, have proven superior in extensive research involving students of all ability levels.

Research indicates that children with disabilities become higher level thinkers with Direct Instruction, sometimes outperforming their general education peers ( Higher Order Thinking , eds. Carnine and Kameenui, 1992).

How will I be kept aware of my child's progress?

At ALA Inc., your child's tutor will write regular progress reports. These progress reports are overseen by Johanna Preston (M.A.Ed., O.C.T.), our director, in order to ensure that each student's progress is satisfactory. We are available to you for phone and email consultation on an on-going basis at no extra cost. We are also available for phone and email consultation with teachers and other interested parties at your request. We complete yearly academic skills assessments, using both standardized and informal measures, with each of our students. This enables us to measure progress over time; adjust program placement and instructional priorities as needed; and, when appropriate, to communicate academic skills development to the student.