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 Lorraine Hammond, Edith Cowan University. Education Minister Simon Birmingham has announced that all Australian six-year-olds will soon be required to do a phonics test.Researchers, parents and others concerned about our system’s failure to identify children who initially struggle to learn to read – and can go on to have a reading disability – have pushed Read more

 Pamela Snow, La Trobe University; Anne Castles, Macquarie University; Kevin Wheldall, Macquarie University, and Max Coltheart, Macquarie UniversityIn the face of unacceptably low literacy standards in Australian schools, the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) recently advocated a trial of the UK Phonics Screening Check (PSC) as one part of the Read more

Hua-Chen Wang, Macquarie University.The efficacy of phonics as a method of teaching has been debated for several decades, and has recently come back to the forefront of public debate.This time, the focus is on the phonics check – a screening tool designed to identify early readers who may be in need of intervention, and provide some indication of how successful current phonics Read more

It may feel hard to find 20 minutes each day to read with your child, but the cost of not doing this is far too great. Children who read for just 20 minutes per day see 1.8 million words each year and have scores on standardised tests in the 90th percentile (because they have experienced so many words!). Compare this with the child who is reading for just 1 minute per day, they only see 8000 Read more

Kevin Wheldall, Macquarie UniversityChildren who do not learn to read in the first few years of schooling are typically destined to a school career of educational failure, because reading underpins almost all Read more

by Serje RobidouxAs researchers who study dyslexia, we often read articles or overhear conversations that completely misunderstand what dyslexia is – or how it can be treated.Dyslexia is the term used to describe someone with reading difficulties – and it affects up to 10% of Australians.A reader with dyslexia may have difficulty in reading unusual words like Read more

by Eva Marinus and Kevin WheldallIn 2008, a new font designed called “Dyslexie” was labelled “a breakthrough” by the media for reportedly being about to help increase the reading speed of those with dyslexia. It received media attention worldwide. Publishers even announced they were going to publish books in the font.This is despite there being hardly any empirical evidence for Read more

Learning to read is a complex task, and takes lots of time and practice. Here are some ideas to make reading with your child at home fun and rewarding.Giving your child undivided attention to hear him read is ideal. Short, regular sessions of about 10-15 minutes are better than having a long session once a week.There are different types of books. Some are fiction, or made up stories, such Read more