Post-16 Phonics

I’ll be reposting some relevant blog items in light of the launch of post-16 phonics for functional skills in England. Phonics in this context often involves a lot of “unlocking” knowledge the learner already possesses but doesn’t know how to use. Sometimes they need to get past their anger and shame over past school experiences. Here’s one such young person. **************** Why would you work on reading with a young offender? There are plenty of reasons not to. Being in … Read More

Do you have ‘Literacy Conversations’?

This is the start of a short series about the language/terminology/jargon of phonics – but first a little news! When I started That Reading Thing I worked in the overlapping sectors of alternative education and youth offending and I wrote the programme for teens who were almost all from the North End of Birkenhead. Since then, both the geography and the sectors have expanded beyond all hope and expectation. With the launch of That Spelling Thing, we’ve got tutors and … Read More

Decodable text for teens and adults

People (wonderful and supportive people) often ask us to recommend their decodable readers, even some written for teens and adults, but we decline. This is because the vast majority of TRT learners, even those who are working slowly through the *Foundation levels, are not beginning readers. They all come with some sight words so there’s no reason to limit those in text. They usually know all the basic alphabet sounds for both reading and writing and can work with multisyllabic … Read More

Phonics for Adults

There’s currently a buzz around the inclusion of phonics in the Entry Levels of the English Functional Skills qualification. I wrote this post when the original proposed content document was released. ******************************** My biggest fear about formalising phonics with adults is that people aren’t convinced it’s a good, helpful or even right thing to do so here’s a vision for age-appropriate phonics for adult literacy delivered with enthusiasm and understanding – a vision of lessons which are fresh, challenging, satisfying … Read More

Improved literacy is life-changing

Our strapline is “for people who don’t think they can”. Here’s what we mean. In Ireland and was told he was dyslexic; in England he was told he had a learning disability; teachers found him difficult; college tutors treated him as stupid. Look what That Reading Thing can do. This is from Stef Boyle, our TRT Wonder Woman from Worth Unlimited in Ellesmere Port. Nineteen year old N was referred to me by a training agency saying that he could … Read More

Never give up

Is anyone really unteachable? CK is a young man, 25 years old, who came to us because his Grandmother heard one of our LMG members talking about That Reading Thing. She said that C had never been able to read, he had dyslexia and had gone to a special school. He was holding down a job but wanted to go in the army and couldn’t pass the English test. He had gone to the local college for group lessons and … Read More

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