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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

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

During the year your child has learnt many important skills. School holidays are a great time to relax and have fun, but it can also be enough time for this important learning to be forgotten. To avoid this we have compiled a list of suggested activities, games and excursions to keep your child thinking during the holidays. You can use these ideas anytime as they are fun and help your child Read more

Telling stories is not always easy.To tell a story you need to:tell who the story is about, where and when it happened; put the story in the right order - beginning, middle, end; give details about what happened first, next, at the end; suggest why the events happened; tell how the characters felt and why (more difficult for young children); use Read more

Apple’s iPad is one of the growing number of touch screen based electronic devices hitting our stores. With an appearance like laptop computers without a keyboard, the devices offer wonderful opportunities for entertainment and learning and have captured the imaginations of children and adults worldwide. The iPad can certainly entertain; you can watch movies, read books and magazines, share Read more