Evidence 1 ~ Anecdotes & Data

Memories from years past – but these are the stories I continue to hear. Behaviour and literacy often go hand in hand and young people who have made little literacy progress in all their years at school can take off with That Reading Thing. They both tell their stories in different ways. I especially love how the anecdote acknowledges the importance of a tutor who won’t give up in the face of resistance. I would like numbers so much more … Read More

Decodable text for teens and adults

We’re often asked what decodable readers we recommend and the answer is ‘none’. 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 words from the first lesson. That Reading Thing is structured … Read More

Phonics for Adults

This post was written in response to the first viewing of the DfE’s subject content document for Functional Skills English reforms published in 2017. I wrote it with no idea that I’d be involved in the creation of the ETF’s Post-16 Phonics Approaches. It’s a joy to look back at my “ideal world of phonics for adults” and see that we managed to fit quite a lot of it into the toolkit. ******************************** My biggest fear about formalising phonics with … Read More

Poverty, Culture & Education

posted in: Thoughts on Education

Edited February 2020 Eugenics has shown up on my Twitter feed again, this time due to Andrew Sabisky’s appointment as a Downing Street advisor. When I wrote the original blog post, the idea that intelligence and class are related came up in the context of a Guardian article about whether or not ‘talking more to your baby’ will boost the child’s intelligence. Professor Dorothy Bishop wrote a critical response from her researcher’s perspective which included the possibility that a child’s … Read More

Functional Skills – Phonics at Entry Levels

As I travel around the FE world I’m hearing that people have looked at the Post-16 Phonics Toolkit but haven’t necessarily read it. If that’s you, here’s a quick tour based around the chapter people are most concerned about. Chapter 11 is called “Turning the FSE word lists into a learning tool” It encourages FS teachers not to teach lists but to develop vocabulary for both reading and spelling. The chapter is a bit of a beast, but these six … Read More

Post-16 Phonics Toolkit

The Post-16 Phonics Toolkit It’s been a wonderful experience working with a team of authors with such expertise – both writing the toolkit and creating trainings for professionals in the world of post-16 literacy. There are so many unique settings in the field and the toolkit can flex to work in any of them. It is based on the linguistic phonics principals which underpin both That Reading Thing and That Spelling Thing but it also includes much of the TRT … Read More

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