Alison Clarke, Speech Pathologist
Alison has been a Speech Pathologist since 1988, and also holds a Masters in Applied Linguistics and an ESL teaching certificate. She has worked for the Victorian Education Department, Yooralla, SCOPE, a University in Mexico, a hospital in London, RMIT, the Royal Children’s Hospital and Lewis and Lewis. She started her private practice in 2000 in Footscray, moved it to Clifton Hill in 2012, and then to North Fitzroy in 2018.
Alison set up this Spelfabet website in 2012, because she was keen to encourage early literacy teaching and intervention that reflects scientific reading research. She was 2015-16 Vice President of Learning Difficulties Australia (LDA), and has also worked as an administrator, and been a City Councillor and Mayor. She received LDA’s 2018 Mona Tobias Award, and a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2022. Alison works Tuesdays to Saturdays. Her COVID-19 lockdown creative project was a kids’ book called “I Love a Sunblessed Country”, which you can find here.
Tessa Weadman, Speech Pathologist
Tessa holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences and a Master’s degree in Speech Pathology, completed in 2015. She is now studying for a PhD focussed on the oral language and emergent literacy skills of preschool children.
Tessa has previously worked for the Department of Education and Training, in various clinic-based settings, and as a sessional tutor at La Trobe University. Her main clinical interests are reading and spelling difficulties, speech-language disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Tessa is finishing her PhD and has a new research job, so sadly now only works with us on Thursdays from 10.30am to 6.30pm. She is passionate about hummus.
Adrianna Galioto, Speech Pathologist
Adrianna holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences and a Master’s degree in Speech Pathology, completed in 2015.
Adrianna has experience in mainstream education settings and currently works at a high school. Her clinical interests include literacy, speaking and listening and social skills. She also speaks Italian and French.
Adrianna works at Spelfabet on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and at Pavilion School on Tuesdays. When she isn’t in the clinic, you will find Adrianna at dance classes, the theatre or eating yummy food, especially pasta!
Maria Narouz, Speech Pathologist
Maria holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences and Master of Speech Pathology, completed in 2015.
Maria has experience in the mainstream education setting and is passionate about working with children to improve their reading and spelling skills. Maria also loves to work in the areas of speech and language. She tries to incorporate games and activities in all her therapy sessions. Maria has training in Sounds-Write, Read Write inc. and Cued Articulation. She speaks fluent Arabic.
Maria works on Mondays and Thursdays. When not looking after her daughter, at work or at church, Maria loves watching Disney movies and making scrabble frames.
Roshni Kaur, Speech Pathologist
Rosh holds a Bachelor of Speech Pathology, completed in 2016. She also has a Psychology and Criminology degree.
Rosh has experience in mainstream education settings and currently works at a primary and secondary school. She also has experience working in mental health for children and adolescents. Her main clinical interests are speech and language, literacy and Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Rosh works for Spelfabet on Mondays. When she isn’t at work she enjoys hanging out with her dog, watching thrillers and exploring new places to eat.
Tiana Knights, Office Coordinator
Tiana holds a Bachelor of Medicinal Chemistry and has worked with children for over twenty years as a gymnastics coach.
She has also worked in administration for real estate, sporting organisations and not-for-profit gymnastics centres.
General interests include reading, festivals, and multi-species justice. Tiana enjoys exploring parks with Levi, her big and gentle dog friend, who sometimes comes to work.
Tamara Maison, Administrative Assistant
Tamara is studying Speech Pathology at the Australian Catholic University, having previously worked in retail, administration and a call centre.
She is an avid reader, cat lover and Wordle enthusiast.
1. To provide helpful, accessible, Australian information for anyone who wants to help a beginning or struggling reader/speller with:
- Discerning and manipulating sounds in words (phonemic awareness/proficiency), and/or
- Learning the complicated way English sounds are represented by letters/groups of letters (graphemes), and/or
- Learning how longer words are often made up of meaningful word parts spelt in patterned ways (morphemes).
To promote high-quality research and teaching resources aiming to improve accurate word-level reading and spelling.
2. To encourage schools to adopt a Response To Intervention (RTI) approach, so that 95-97% of children learn to read and spell well in their first three years of schooling, allowing intervention resources to be efficiently targeted towards the remaining 3-5% of children with significant learning difficulties.
3. To make the Spelfabet literacy-teaching materials publicly available, and publicise Spelfabet’s assessment, therapy and professional development services. Income from these make it possible to maintain this website.
Many mainstream phonics materials are poorly designed, and show a weak understanding of the sounds and spellings of English, and how we learn. Many of the high-quality synthetic phonics materials available are too “teddy-bearish” for use with older learners, because they’re designed for five and six-year-olds.
Alison first devised the Spelfabet materials because she needed materials to use with older children and teenagers which were affordable, phonetically accurate, easy for aides and parents to use, progressing in tiny, errorless-learning steps and with Australian English grammar, vocabulary and spelling. She also wanted something easy to carry on a USB stick for printing, laminating and binding at school. Most materials are pdf downloads from this website’s shop.
Your feedback and suggestions
We would love to hear your feedback, suggestions or questions on the Spelfabet materials, clinic or website. Any researchers who’d like to subject our materials to the blowtorch of scientifically rigorous testing would have our full and enthusiastic support.