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How decodable texts contribute to reading fluency and comprehension
Reading fluency is a precondition for reading comprehension. If the reader is not fluent he/she will struggle to put the words together in a sentence and make meaning of it. When short term memory is taken up by working out […]
Whole word reading vs decoding – why does it matter?
Many schools are moving away from teaching children to recognise whole words to teaching them how to decode. It is important for anyone reading with children, or teaching them to read to understand why this is so significant. The approach […]
Why and how to Boost Tier 2 words
Many of our students will need a boost to their vocabulary. This may be because they have missed out on learning, or that remote learning is not as effective as in-school learning (especially for children with a learning disability). As […]
‘Merry Christmas!’ and ‘Incidental Phonics’
It is that time of year and although, in this COVID year everything seems subdued, we have the Christmas messages, wishes and advertising everywhere. Children will be busy writing lists for Santa and decorating Christmas cards. You just can’t […]
Invention of the Alphabet – the internet of the second millennium BCE
I have been listening to the History of English Podcast (recommended!) and I have had a serious light bulb moment! I have just realised that the invention of the alphabet, which took place around 2000 BCE had a huge impact […]
Why do older, struggling readers need age-appropriate books?
Older, struggling readers often have gaps in the their phonics knowledge and skills. They find alternative spellings particularly confusing. Many suffer from low self esteem so offering them decodable materials that are age-appropriate is vital. Vital because if the reading […]
The reversible code
There is nothing as rewarding as seeing the grin on a young reader’s face when then have just written a word that he/she can read and what more – you can read! The discovery that the squiggles on the white […]
Parent shines a light on the science of reading
It is so sad to hear when a young child says he wants to kill himself because he can’t read as described in the interview at the end of this piece. It is uplifting to hear how a parent turned […]
Phonics vs morphology? Why we need both!
Phonics VS morphology? Why we need both! Some time ago, I attended a course on morphology. I was using an excellent phonics programme (Sounds-Write) and felt I needed to develop my understanding of morphology and its role in teaching kids […]
Girls can be dyslexic too
In the past, most of the students referred to the Learning Center where I work were boys. It was thought that dyslexia was a disability that mostly boys had. Girls were very good at disguising their reading disability with neat […]
Do decodable books need to be boring and silly?
Do decodable books need to boring and silly? ‘Cat sat on mat….’ Critics of decodable books claim that they are boring and often don’t make sense. They quote examples like ‘Cat sat on mat. Pam sat on cat…etc.’ They have […]
Why ‘structured’ reading instruction is not enough
Why we need to teach ‘structured and cumulative’ reading instruction In the bad old days before I learned how to teach kids to read, I taught kids to read in a structured way. That is, what I thought was structure: […]