To examine how perceptual learning can replace ritual phonics teaching for children who have not responded positively to phonics tuition and who may otherwise fail to learn to read and write confidently before they leave school.
I am wholly supportive of the use of synthetic phonics for the initial teaching of reading and believe that every child should complete a structured phonics course in the Early Years. I also believe that if it becomes apparent that a child is not responding well to a conventional phonics course, a proven alternative strategy such as perceptual learning should be tried. I invite anyone to either support, challenge or question this belief,
Hello, I've just joined this group and thought I would help to get the ball rolling! To me, what you have stated makes absolute sense and I am keen to learn more about perceptual learning. I have read your posts in the past and would be very interested to find out more.
Jane Gaudie who is head of Chiltern Tutorial School for Dyslexics has posted a summary of her experience of using perceptual learning. Her actual results will be posted next month when her one-term project is over.
Her summary report is well worth reading. See
That is an excellent overview. Are there any other schools trialling your method and is this something that you aim to market nationwide? I would certainly be interested in seeing it in action. Looking forward to seeing the results.
Sorry, I've just re-read the report and and realised it's being piloted in 60 schools.
I've just read through the whole blog and feel really excited by this approach. I can certainly think of a few children who are not responding well to conventional phonics learning. They are children who I think have trouble retaining information. The ability to read unlocks the door to learning; I therefore believe that we need to try different approaches until we find one that finally meets the child's needs.
'Trouble retaining information'
When 'memory' appears to be a factor in a child's failure to develop age-appropriate literacy skills, the problem is usually a short term memory deficit. This means that new information remains in his/her working memory for too short a period of time for it to have a chance of being absorbed into longer term memory. In general terms, a child with an 'average' short term memory period may remember a word after say, five or six encounters. A child with a more efficient, longer period working memory might remember a word after only one or two encounters. The child with a very limited short term memory might require ten or more encounters but the very nature of the disability works against this because reading for such children can be an anxiety-producing, fragmented decoding exercise and not the exciting journey into the unknown that it should be.
Perceptual learning is particularly appropriate for children with seeming 'trouble in retaining information' If you contact me with a school address, I will send you a free trial copy of the same resources used by the Charleston Academy and the Chiltern Tutorial School for Dyslexics. The email contact is
This offer is available to any teacher and there are no costs involved.
Thanks, e-mail sent.
We trialed this in a special school and were impressed with the conidence it gave the pupils. Are you hinking of marketing this any time soon? we would be interested.
A number of significant changes have been made to the Literacy Toolbox including a facility which children can use to set the read-back speed to one of their own choosing. New courses have also been added and some more are planned.
A local authority is introducing The Literacy Toolbox into all of its schools in January 2014 and expects in future to be able to guarantee that ALL children will be able to read and write with confidence before transferring to secondary school. We are hoping to arrange that a university department will monitor its introduction and implementation.
We are also hopeful that a freely downloadable iPad version will become available at the end of February. This will be aimed at home rather than school users.
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