Gin and phonics with John Walker

5 Replies

John Walker of Sounds-Write in the UK and I had a lovely time chatting about phonics at the pub last night. He is such an enthusiast for getting kids off to a great reading and writing start by helping them get words on and off the page quickly and automatically.

In the interests of flattening the COVID19 curve, most registrants for this free session watched online, not in person. I didn’t know Facebook Live was portrait format only, not landscape, so the Facebook video was sideways (oops, sorry). The other camera was right-way-up, so here’s its video, if you missed it and would like to watch.


5 responses to “Gin and phonics with John Walker”

  1. Meredith says:

    Well, that was just wonderful!! Thank you for putting up the references to literature. I will keenly look for the morphology scope and sequence he spoke about as this is seriously lacking in schools. My best take-away was “What’s the part of the word you’re having trouble with?” Great teaching technique. The students still have to think!!!!! Also, adjacent consonants. I teach year one and it is assumed that if they know single consonants, they’ll naturally put the two or three together. Not at all, in my experience. What a brilliant chat. Thank you to you both.

    • Meredith says:

      I also loved how he acknowledged that it shouldn’t be up to the teachers to develop these scope and sequences etc. As a teacher, I believe it is most important to ‘know your stuff’ but teachers are put under so much pressure to develop ‘programs’ and ‘sequences’ amongst the mountain of other things needed to run a classroom. I think a lot of teachers are doing their best but end up just drowning in info. It’s extremely unfair of admin and above to do that but I think it just screams of a complete lack of expertise in the subject areas of literacy amongst admin staff. I can’t even express my dismay at the lack of graduate teacher preparation for teaching literacy. How very cruel and ultimately costly to a student’s education.

      • alison says:

        Yes, I agree, the system really lets teachers down. Happily there are a lot of people with linguistics expertise trying to fill the gaps and I guess sooner or later the system will have to start doing that too. Thanks for the lovely feedback! Alison

  2. Hazel Lekkas says:

    Thank you to both Alison and John for your time, passion, kindness, intelligence and commitment to assist us who want to better our skills as teachers and therapists of reading and spelling.

    The crusade to improve literacy instruction has been a long and tiresome one but with leaders like you, I vow to keep fighting in the trenches. It’s a fight worth fighting for. Instructional casualties must end. I truly and whole-heartedly appreciate you giving me ammunition that’s logical, precise and empowering.

    Thank you.

    • alison says:

      Hazel, when you work out how to bottle what you’ve got, so positive and encouraging, it will sell like hot cakes and I will take ten dozen. Thanks so much for your own leadership in this crusade to help teachers teach even the trickiest kids to read and spell, it’s very inspiring. Alison

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