The Long and Short of Vowels

Alison Clarke of Spelfabet wrote this great post about vowels. If you read it, I don’t have to explain my 20 different vowels to you. They sound different from Alison’s but I have them – and so do you, give or take. I wanted to give my own brief rationale for not using the terms “long” and “short” in remedial setting of That Reading Thing. Our learners are all older and the only ones who might actually need the terminology … Read More

Why the Changes at That Reading Thing?

That Reading Thing is now global and online. That means anyone in the English speaking world can deliver this proven effective literacy method to teens and adults who are struggling readers and spellers. They can access the full TRT training and all the materials for a fraction of the previous cost. As is often the case, this change was inspired by a difficulty that needed surmounting – in this situation, drastic funding cuts to both education and youth work. I … Read More

Books for Struggling Readers: 3 – lowest ability

It can be quite difficult to find “real reading” material for those who are working hard through the Foundation Levels of TRT. They can read the decodable sentences but, if they’re not flying towards the Advanced Levels, it’s important that they have something to read that is all of: possible, challenging and age-appropriate. Here are my two favourite solutions for two very different age groups. Star Quest Several years ago, the local youth offending team asked me to work with … Read More

Books for Struggling Readers 2 – mid level strugglers

Here’s the second in a series of posts about a few books I’ve loved working with over the years – starting at those for readers with the highest ability and working down. The first post is here. Older struggling readers have very low expectations of what they can achieve and I’ve generally found those same low expectations are echoed by their teachers and support workers. When I was volunteering in a small school for boys with behavioural and emotional difficulties, … Read More

Books for Struggling Readers 1 – most able strugglers

When I read Dr Bethan Marshall’s comment that:many teenagers will think that being made to read Dickens aged 16 is just tedious…I felt incredibly deflated by the thought that we’ve created a world where people will miss out on the colour, characters, truths and entertainment of reading Dickens. John Walker writes more about the whys of the matter on his blog and comments:Too often the velleities of secondary school expectation are to blame.After looking up “valleity” (a wish or inclination … Read More

It’s Not Magic – It’s Reading

I once had a call from a TRT trained teacher who told me it was going well, but the boys were getting through all of the TRT Levels without making much improvement in their reading. That’s not the most thrilling news I’d ever heard so thought I’d see if the problem was with TRT or with the way it was being delivered. Me: How much time are you spending reading in each session? Teacher: Oh I’m just going through the … Read More

1 2