Author Archives: Tami Reis-Frankfort

Why the Phonics Check is not just for Year 1

I recently had a Zoom meeting with a Year 6 teacher who discussed how a number of his pupils were struggling with reading and he said he was using the Year 1 phonics check to assess them.  This may seem […]

Read More

What is a schwa sound?

What is a schwa sound? And – did you know it is the most common sound in the English language? A schwa sound is a weak vowel sound in an unstressed syllable.  Here is an explanation: Most multi-syllabic words in […]

Read More

Decodable Books – What’s the Point?

I read this post and thought it was really worth reposting.  It explains in simple and sympathetic language why decodable books have an important role to play in learning to read.  New Zealand has been slow in adopting Systematic Synthetic […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

‘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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More