speed reading

Word Fluency

Fluent reading requires you to be able to automatically and correctly recognise and understand the meaning of an ever-growing bank of words, effortlessly and with speed. How long does it take for a child to be able to learn to read a word automatically (i.e., without spending time decoding the word because it has become […]

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Look Cover

The Problem with Look-Cover-Write as a Spelling Strategy

Look-Cover-Write (or for many students GUESS) is a spelling strategy commonly used to teach spelling. However, research recently published by Dymock and Nicholson (2017) showed that students who were taught spelling using a rule-based approach had greater transference to spelling new words compared to students who were taught using look-cover-write-check, and this was true for […]

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Do we say ‘t’ in witch?

I often have a discussion with people as to whether or not particular letters are pronounced in a word (e.g., the ‘t’ in witch). I have always argued that we only think we hear the ‘t’ because we know how the word is spelled.  So, for example, if I was to record you saying, “I […]

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with dad

Increasing Reading Speed

Fluent reading depends on knowledge acquired from reading. Every time you read, you become more familiar with the vocabulary, the structures of sentences and the informational content. The greater your familiarity with this knowledge, the less time that is required to process this information and consequently you can comprehend text with greater speed and efficiency. […]

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Back to school

Should Children be Held Back?

There is a growing trend to not enrol students who are very close to the ‘cut-off’ age until the following year. The general argument is that if they are enrolled as per the ‘cut-off’ criteria they will be the youngest child in the class and this will impede their educational progress.  In contrast, if they […]

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