News & Information

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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: […]

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How to make comprehension fun

How to make comprehension fun Most teachers will agree that the purpose of reading is comprehension.   But many children, especially kids who struggle with reading and spelling, hate comprehension activities.  It’s not because they hate comprehending or answering questions.  […]

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How to help your child read a decodable book

Decodable books are books that a child can read once she/he has been taught the phonics in the book.  It is really important to see decodable books as an experience that will be successful if enough preparation is made beforehand.  […]

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