About the Spelfabet website
Australian Speech Pathologist Alison Clarke set up this website in 2012, with the following goals:
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.
Independent researchers who’d like to subject Spelfabet materials to the blowtorch of scientifically rigorous testing would have our full and enthusiastic support.