I am a paediatric speech pathologist, but I don't work with children any longer. After 40 years of working directly with children with speech, language, hearing, reading and spelling difficulties, I now give workshops and talks to groups of parents, carers and early educators.
When parents know how to support their children's development and learning at home, then the children almost always make better progress. Many parents want some practical guidance to know how best to help their children, especially if their children have speech, language, hearing, reading or spelling difficulties.
Early educators such as childcare workers and teachers' aides can also benefit from coaching to know how best to support children with speech, language, hearing, reading or spelling difficulties in preschool and school.
I have developed these workshops and talks to guide and coach parents, carers and early educators. The aim of the workshops is to give participants practical knowledge and practical skills that they can use immediately.
Literacy Skills Workshop: How to help children learn to read and spell
This evidence-based, practical workshop was developed primarily for parents of children in years K, 1 and 2, and also for parents of older children with learning difficulties including dyslexia. It is also for teachers, teachers' aides and other educators who want more information about explicit, systematic phonics instruction - and how to put theory into practice.
For details about the next workshop click here.
Why I developed this workshop:
We know that children (and adults) learn in many different ways. We also know that:
Phonics is the system that explains how the alphabet works and the relationship between written letters and speech sounds. Starting in the 1980s, many trainee teachers went through their courses without learning how to teach children to read and spell using phonics. Children were expected to work out the ‘code’ of the alphabet without any explicit instruction, just through immersion in stories and print.
At that time, speech pathologists started noticing that children who had had speech therapy when they were 3 and 4 years old, were returning to the speech pathology clinic when they were in primary school, with reading and spelling difficulties. Remedial programs that included explicit, systematic phonics instruction were very effective in helping the vast majority of these children.
More than a generation of children were taught to read with just the 'whole language' approach. Many parents and also teachers today went through school themselves without ever being taught phonics. They may want to help their children who are learning to read and spell now, but may not be sure the best way to go about it.
This workshop has been developed so that participants can understand how phonics works, the role of sight words, some early spelling / reading rules, how to work with spelling lists, and tips to develop reading fluency, vocabulary and reading comprehension. In addition, participants will learn some simple and effective teaching strategies and tips.
For information on the next workshop click here