About Sounds-Write Training
Sounds-Write is a linguistic phonics program that uses an evidence-based and highly effective approach to teach reading and spelling. Training in the program is an intensive and practical experience. Anyone who is interested in teaching students to read and spell can attend the training- teachers, principals, tutors, speech pathologists and parents.
Sounds-Write is developmentally appropriate for beginning readers in the first three years of schooling within a classroom and offers highly effective intervention for children at all year levels who have fallen behind in their reading and spelling. The approach is also valuable for upper primary and high school teachers within the context of teaching reading and spelling of subject specific terminology. Lessons can be delivered as a whole class, in small groups or individual sessions.
Sounds-Write Practitioner Training is available through a four-day face-to-face course, or a six-week online course. All participants receive a Sounds-Write manual and gain access to hundreds of online materials.
Attention NSW Teachers
Completing Sounds-Write Phonics Training will contribute 22 hours of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered PD addressing 1.1.2, 1.2.2, 1.6.2, 2.1.2, 2.5.2, 3.2.2 and 5.1.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.
What do Sounds-Write
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Frequently Asked Questions
- You will learn to deliver scripted, multisensory lessons for explicitly teaching students to read and spell. These lessons can be used for mainstream classroom instruction and for students with learning support needs
- You will develop a solid understanding of the science of learning to read and spell (to understand why we do it the way we do)
- You will have a clear scope and sequence for teaching phonics over the first three years of schooling, or with older students for intervention. You’ll be confident to teach students to read and spell simple words like ‘in’ right through to more complex, polysyllabic words like ‘procrastination! (What are you waiting for? Register now 😉!)
- You will learn exactly what to do and say when a student makes and error (so they can learn from it). One trainee wrote, “I found it very useful to be given the language of correction; to identify errors and know how to scaffold the student to achieve a correct response.”
- You will learn how to differentiate your instruction to meet the needs of all students in your class
- You will have access to a highly active and supportive online network of other Sounds-Write practitioners, whose common goals is to #knowbetterdobetter
- Sounds-Write training doesn’t just tell you WHAT to teach. You learn exactly WHY and HOW to do it in the most effective ways!
- Beyond the costs of the training course, there are no or very few ongoing costs in implementing the program from year to year.
- What makes Sounds-Write different from most other phonics programs is that it starts with what all children learn naturally: the sounds of their own spoken language. This approach (known as linguistic phonics, or speech-to-print) can be used effectively across all age groups and with students who have extra challenges such as English as an additional language, language difficulties, speech sound disorders and more.
- Sounds-Write leaves nothing to chance and provides a clear scope and sequence for teaching phonics, from simple, one-syllable words to more complex words including those with more than one syllable. The Sounds-Write lessons teach students the key elements of conceptual understanding, factual knowledge, and the essential phonemic awareness skills of blending, segmenting, and phoneme manipulation; all of which are necessary for any student to learn to read and spell.
- Trainees say that they love how Sounds-Write is suitable for all students, of any age. There are no childish illustrations, songs, or actions to learn. No complicated language or spelling rules (which always have so many exceptions!). That said, there is still plenty of opportunities for an educator’s style and personality to shine!
Pretty much everything you need to teach the Sounds-Write lessons is included in your manual and the training. As John Walker (co-author of the program) once told me, “You can teach a kid to read with a stick in the sand!”. It’s true- that is how I taught my son when we were travelling around Australia in 2018!
You and your students will need a whiteboard, markers and some sticky notes, magnetic letters and/or letter tiles, and some paper and pencils. That’s it really! The Sounds-Write authors were mindful of keeping the costs of resourcing to a minimum. After all, it is the teacher themselves that is the best resource!
That said, ideally, your instruction should be supplemented with decodable readers which will allow your students to apply their skills and knowledge when reading texts. These should be in every educators’ classroom/clinic/room regardless of whether you are using Sounds-Write!
Sounds-Write decodable readers (Initial Code and Extended Code fiction stories and NEW non-fiction texts on animals) are available, and the readers from Phonic Books also match the Sounds-Write sequence (you may know the ‘Dandelion Series’ and ‘Catch-Up Series’, see www.phonicbooks.co.uk).
Photocopiable Sounds-Write activity books are also available to support classroom or home practice. These are just $60 each and available here.
There is also an App by Sounds-Write designed for young children: ‘Initial Code’.
We recommend that all students participate in the daily Sounds-Write lesson. You will learn practical ways to differentiate for your struggling and more-skilled students during these lessons in the training course. This includes reducing cognitive load, teaching through errors, scaffolding, word choice, peer modelling and more. As with any lessons, we expect that some students require revision of what was covered in the whole-class lesson. Sounds-Write can be delivered effectively in small groups. Practise and rehearsal will help students to transfer new skills and knowledge into long-term memory. Practice makes permanent! Furthermore, a smaller number of students may need targeted intervention, which is where Sounds-Write can be used in small groups or one-on-one.
You are encouraged to discuss what you have learned informally with your colleagues (word of mouth often leads people to complete the training in the first place!), but successful completion of the course does not carry training rights. You are not allowed to train others in Sounds-Write or share the resources in the manual. Training in Sounds-Write is limited only to Sounds-Write licensed trainers. Sounds-Write is highly effective when delivered with fidelity, and this is only possible when the full training has been completed.
All trainees are invited to join a private support group (on Facebook). This is an active and very supportive group with nearly 3,000 members, including ‘Mr Sounds-Write’ himself, John Walker. I also offer personal coaching for parents and speech patholgoists, and coaching for schools who have trained their staff. Coaching packages can be tailored to meet the needs of each situation. Providing follow-up consultations for schools who are implementing Sounds-Write is an important role of the Sounds-Write trainers.