Fogarty Learning Centre, Edith Cowan University.
Place of Publication
Joondalup, Western Australia
Fogarty Learning Centre
Department for Education and Child Development, Yorke and Mid North Region, Aboriginal Literacy Strategy
This project aimed to develop the capacity of primary teachers and School Support Officers (SSOs) to deliver a synthetic phonics program to beginning and struggling readers in 12 primary schools in the Yorke and Mid North region of South Australia. It was designed to ‘value-add’ to the Principals as Literacy Leaders (PALL) project which had been implemented in the region over the previous three years, and to build a critical mass of skilled teachers in a region that usually scored below average in reading on NAPLAN assessments.
A synthetic phonics program refers to one that teaches the alphabetic code or phonics - the lettersound relationships that underpin the English language – explicitly and systematically, and in an order that promotes blending, as recommended by all major reports into literacy development over the past 15 years (DEST, 2005; Johnson & Watson, 2003; Johnson & Watson, 2005; NICHHD, 2000; Rose, 2006). While most primary schools now teach phonics as part of their reading program, many do it in an embedded or analytic manner. In a synthetic phonics approach, the letter-sounds are systematically and explicitly taught in an order that promotes blending or synthesising, and there is a very early emphasis on this important component of the reading process...