Professor Rhona Stainthorp and Associate Professor Daisy Powell from the University of Reading will be presenting at the inaugural conference of Massey University’s Language and Literacy Research Group. The conference is intended for all teachers, literacy leaders, RTLBs (Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour), RTLits (Resource Teachers of Literacy), literacy intervention professionals and anyone who works with children who are learning to read.

Phonics at its most basic level is the practice of demonstrating the relationship between letters and sounds in the English language.

In the UK, students are tested against their understanding of phonics in their first year of schooling, to identify students who might be struggling, and deficits in teaching practice.

Conference co-organiser Dr Alison Arrow says the UK focus on phonics has led to positive outcomes, and is applicable in New Zealand.

“The national mandate for teaching phonics has led to positive outcomes, particularly for children who start school most at risk of having difficulty in learning to read,” she says.

“In New Zealand, the achievement gap in literacy is already evident at school entry and so the teaching ‘why’ and ‘how’ that Daisy and Rhona will be presenting will provide some examples of how to address those needs in the first year or two of schooling.”

The conferences will be at Massey’s Auckland campus in Albany on October 10 and repeated at the Manawatū campus in Palmerston North on October 12.


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