Consulting

Based in Clifton Hill, Melbourne, I can provide:

  • Assessments: to identify phonemic awareness skills and difficulties, phoneme-grapheme correspondences knowledge and gaps, and/or broader language-related difficulties which are related to reading and/or spelling difficulties.
  • Goal-setting and programming: if you need help with interpreting assessment reports, devising a program and locating relevant resources to build  a learner’s phonemic awareness and spelling pattern knowledge and skills, or their language skills generally.
  • Workshops: about the sounds and spellings of English, or the Spelfabet materials.

Whole day school visits combining the above activities are available during school term.

My background information is here and contact details are here.

Assessments

If your learner is struggling with literacy but hasn’t yet had an assessment of their underlying language skills, it’s essential to clarify what their main difficulties are before devising goals and a program to achieve them.

As a Speech Pathologist I can assess a wide range of language and literacy skills, including phonemic awareness, phoneme-grapheme correspondences, articulation, listening, expressive language, rapid automatic naming, short-term auditory memory and reading comprehension. Tests I use include the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals, the York Assessment of Language Comprehension, the Martin and Pratt Non-word Reading Test and the MOTIF tests.

To keep the assessment phase focussed and affordable, I don’t routinely assess skills in areas in which no difficulties have been reported or observed, unless you request a comprehensive assessment covering all language areas. Formal, typed reports kept succinct and affordable, unless you need something more comprehensive. The aim of the assessment is to quickly identify the most likely cause or causes of your learner’s difficulties, so that you can focus your time and resources on helping them.

Goal-setting and programming

Many school-aged children, teenagers and adults with reading and spelling difficulties have already had quite comprehensive, recent assessments, but their teams are struggling to interpret very long and detailed reports. These reports often say the learner is struggling with phonemic awareness and spelling pattern knowledge/decoding, as well as related memory and naming skills, but this information is often buried among multiple recommendations and options, and it’s a little overwhelming and difficult to know where to start.

I am available to help with setting achievable goals and timelines from such reports, and showing you a range of teaching materials, aiming to help you find resources and strategies which meet your learner’s needs, are practical to use in your setting, and which fit your budget.

The aim of one of these sessions is to send you away confident and able to immediately start work, with a clear idea of what you’re aiming to achieve, how, and by when.

Workshops

Understanding English spelling well enough to explain demonstrate it to kids

This 90-minute workshop is for anyone who thinks English spelling is baffling and highly irregular, wants an overview of what the sounds of spoken English are, how each one is spelt, and how syllable structure, grammar and vocabulary influence spelling.

The emphasis is on being able to demonstrate and provide organised practice with spelling patterns, rather than giving learners a lot of rules and exceptions framed in complicated language, which young and/or language-impaired children often can’t understand anyway.

Using Spelfabet materials with slow-progress readers/spellers

This 90-minute workshop is for anyone who wants affordable resources to teach a learner with weak phonemic awareness and/or poor decoding how to “hear” the sounds in words, blend and segment them, and learn their spelling patterns.

The Spelfabet materials work in very small, phonetically accurate steps, from easy to hard spellings, and from short to long words. They help learners manage tricky things like the unstressed vowel, special spellings for grammatical morphemes, and identifying syllable boundaries. They incorporate pictures to assist with learning vocabulary and games for a change of pace.

There are videos about all the Spelfabet resources on Youtube – workbooks, games and the movable alphabet. You can watch an initially-reluctant reader tackling the first workbook here.

This workshop includes a soft copy of the Whole Kit of Spelfabet resources.

6 thoughts on “Consulting

  1. Martina Bernard

    Dear Alison,

    we have a 5.5 year old son. Can you please let me know if you could see him for individual assessment for dyslexia and early intervention guidence. A complex medical history. Thanks you. Martina

     

    Reply
    1. alisonalison Post author

      Yes, of course, I will email you re details. He’s too young to get a dyslexia diagnosis and anyway it probably wouldn’t be very informative, but I can take a look at his basic skills and needs and suggest how to help him get going with reading and spelling.

      Reply
    2. alisonalison Post author

      Martina, I replied to your inquiry on my website via email months ago but didn’t hear back from you. Perhaps you missed the email? I am very happy to see your son if he still needs help. Alison

      Reply
  2. Lucas

    I’m a phonics fan too but now teaching numeracy to adults for a change. Phonics always worked wonders when we taught literacy. So exciting when adults begin to read at last.

    Reply

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