Phonics International Forum Index Phonics International
an International Online Synthetic Phonics Programme
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Feedback related to learning English as a second language
Goto page Previous  1, 2
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Phonics International Forum Index -> Feedback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2434
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you registered to receive your free eNewsletters everyone? See the online form on our homepage.

In my last eNewsletter, I was really encouraging people to 'want' to assess their teaching effectiveness by assessing how well their pupils were doing.

One way of doing this for children who have been receiving reading instruction in the English language is to take advantage of the statutory Year One Phonics Screening Check in England - which the Department for Education provides (free) once the official date for conducting the check in schools in England has past.

This means that not only do you get to use a very simple, ready-to-use word-level reading check, you can compare your results with results in England itself.

One of my international friends and associates working in a school in Costa Rica where English is the second language of the children did precisely this.

Mercedes sent me an email with the results in the school which are so impressive, they are actually better than the average result in England for 2013! How encouraging is that for all the hardworking teachers and children in this bilingual scenario!!!!

I was so thrilled to hear from Mercedes - and did not realise that the Year One Phonics Screening Check was used in her school, and then I received the following email and asked her permission to copy and paste it into the 'feedback' forum!

Mercedes wrote:


Quote:
Hi Debbie, how is everything? I imagine as busy and enthusiastic as always. Even if we do not write to each other very often, I follow all of your post through face book and read your newsletters. Thanks for all the valuable information you send to us ​​isolated educators around the world.


I have noticed that lately there has been quite a debate about the phonics screening which encourages me to share some of our experience with you.

In November 2013, we decided to try the phonics screening with our Early Years 2 students (end of year 1). For this purpose we hired a UK teacher who was not working at the school. We thought an outsider will be more objective when administering the test.

It took her a week to assess all of the 69 students and we were very pleased with the results ( I am attaching an excel worksheet with them). The results helped us determine students who needed help. Those students are being helped by a special teacher and would be reevaluated at the end of the first semester 2014 (June).

As you probably remember, in Early Years 1 we do Jolly Phonics. In the second semester of Early Years 2, we start unit 1 of PI and continue progressing through all the PI units throughout the primary school.

By the end of Primary 5, our students will have covered all the PI units. We continue revising the Jolly Phonics list of tricky words in primary as we feel as learners of a second language our students need that bank of words to enhance both their reading and spelling. We do not do nonsense words. Our students have enough with making sense of a new language.

As part of our ongoing training, we are making videos of phonics lessons which teachers watch together as starting points for discussions on effective phonics teaching. I am sending you links to the videos I prepared for our next discussion meeting. I thought you will find it interesting to watch them. I will really appreciate any corrections, comments, suggestions or ideas that could lead to improvement of the phonics lessons.

Thanks a lot,
Mercedes


As you can see, Mercedes attached a spread sheet with their fantastic results and so I wrote back to Mercedes to check out the details of the situation and to confirm how many of the 69 children reached or exceeded the benchmark of the Year One Phonics Screening Check - that is correctly decoding at least 32 out of 40 of the words (20 real words and 20 pseudo words).

This is the reply:

Quote:
Out of the 69 children only 8 did not get the 32 points. We were extremely proud of both our teachers and students. Teachers are very motivated at the moment and I am taking advantage of their motivation to review and reflect on effective phonics teaching.

Thanks again Debbie for your sincere feedback - all of us at The British School of Costa Rica appreciate your time and effort towards improving literacy around the world.


To put that in context, 88% of the children reached or exceeded the government's 'benchmark' compared to an average of 69% in England.

I think that is pretty amazing. Very Happy

It is fantastic that teachers in The British School of Costa Rica have conducted their own exploration of the best reading instruction methods and materials, that they have worked hard and achieved such high results, that they have had the professional curiosity to 'want to know' the effectiveness of their teaching - and furthermore they are still on the quest of becoming better still by taking very seriously their Continuing Professional Development - agreeing to their practice being filmed and reviewed.

This is the attitude and conduct that we need in every school and I must commend it very highly indeed.

Meanwhile, back in England, a survey of teachers' views of the Year One Phonics Screening Check and their views of early reading instruction was commissioned by the DfE and conducted by the National Foundation for Educational Research.

The results are shocking in my opinion although they come as no surprise considering the history of reading instruction in England and throughout other English-speaking countries.

I wrote about this NFER review and compared it to two further papers which were published in May 2014 - and my article was published online by SEN Magazine at the end of May and will be available in the hard copy magazine in July 2014.

You can read my commentary about the NFER survey findings and various issues which are current in England here:

https://www.senmagazine.co.uk/articles/articles/senarticles/where-next-for-phonics

I continue to encourage schools overseas to take advantage of using the freely available Year One Phonics Screening Check. The 2013 check is available here and I shall add the 2014 check to this link below when it becomes available:

http://www.phonicsinternational.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=424

Also published online and provided as free access is the most excellent 'Learning Difficulties Australia' bulletin for May 2014.

Every single article in the bulletin is well worth reading - and I am very grateful to have been invited by the LDA to submit an article with the subject of the Year One Phonics Screening Check as portrayed in the British media (as it gets such negative press unjustifiably in my opinion).

So, see this excellent bulletin which includes my views on the scenario in England (half way through the magazine)!

https://www.ldaustralia.org/client/documents/Bulletin-APR14-WEB.pdf
_________________
Debbie Hepplewhite
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2434
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovely to receive this positive feedback in response to our eTutorials for the Series of 8 eBooks:


Quote:
Good afternoon Debbie,

Iíve been working with your fantastic Phonics method for one year already. Iím the Granny, my pupil is my grandaughter, aged 7.

Both of us have been doing great!. I had already started working with the oral language 3 years before, mostly playing and developing an astounding relationship with this liitle girl, who was only three years old by then.

We live in Argentina, Buenos Aires and our mother tongue is Spanish.

Debbie, I stumbled upon Phonics doing a CAE listening practice for one of my students , later I attended one of Graciela Vilarís lectures, and that was enough to make the miracle come true.

With my grandaughter we work only twice a week, for as long as two hours, and she never wants to leave our class, as the activities are so varied. Iím proud of having realised Phonics would be the tool I was in need of.

I taught English to 5 of my 6 children, but Phonics didnít exist in those remote days.

Thanks a lot to you and tour team.


Very Happy
_________________
Debbie Hepplewhite
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2434
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovely to receive this:


Quote:
Dear Debbie.

I thought I should drop you a line to let you know how your phonics scheme is doing here in my school in Bulgaria.

I have been using the Early Years Starter pack and have been amazed by the progress that the children have made. Some of the younger ones are reading cvc words and beyond - better even than their native Bulgarian and Russian. Parents can't believe it. It's been very popular indeed.

My husband and I decided we would open our own English school. With overwhelming support from the parents, our company is being registered this week! We have suitable premises in the old part of the city (called the Greek Quarter) and the interest in our courses looks like we will we pretty busy come September. My husband is busy with our website.

I am still learning myself how to best present the phonics resources from your scheme - but, I must be doing something right as the kids love it when I proclaim "To the Phonics Corner!" Even some of the boys, who were very reluctant learners prior to your scheme, are jumping up and shouting "Yako" (Bulgarian for 'cool' !) when I say it's phonics time.

I was wondering whether I could mention on our website that we have been using your scheme. I'm trying to raise awareness of the benefits of systematic phonics teaching.

Many thanks indeed for your wonderful teaching resources!

From Bulgaria,

_________________
Debbie Hepplewhite
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2434
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alex is working in multiple languages one way or another, and I asked his tutor, Patricia, if she would kindly describe her provision for Alex after she contacted me to say how well the Phonics International programme was working with him. Here is her description for which I am very grateful that she took the time and trouble to write for this feedback forum - well done to Patricia and to Alex who recently got 100% in his English exam at school:


Quote:
The success story of Alex in Hong Kong using Phonics International ( now on Unit 7)

Alex is a delightful, bright, enthusiastic little boy who attends a local school in Hong Kong. He is taught in Cantonese. He has a Russian mother and a Chinese father who is a fluent English speaker and has developed Alex's oral vocabulary to a very high level. Alex is severely dyslexic, as is his mother. This enabled her to be aware from an early age that Alex would benefit from explicit teaching to reinforce the teaching of English at the local school. The alphabet is taught but thereafter no phonics teaching just weekly dictations to learn by rote. The teaching, unlike the International schools here, is not very creative in its approach. Alex came to me as a bouncy 5 year old in 2014 who barely knew the letter names and sounds.

My approach was to follow the programme from the beginning but peppered with a multi- sensory approach and as much exposure to different stories from the start. For this I used Oxford Owl online which was a lovely interval in a one hour lesson. I also let him experience writing each of the letters in several mediums such as on sandpaper, making the shape in glass pebbles, bubble wrap and using shaving cream, the highlight of every lesson! Also freely bags with objects starting with the sound for that lesson. At this point he was obsessed by dinosaurs so I also found a dinosaur picture to match each sound. We also found out some facts about each one to feed his interest in the subject.

Once the alphabet sounds were secure I introduced the Oxford Reading Tree books. He loved Biff, Chip and Kipper from the stories we listened to. Unfortunately his younger sister was devouring these at school so I needed to find something different so he would not feel he was behind her.

I then introduced Dandelion Launchers which worked so well (enhanced by the wonderful little games at the end of each book ) that we continued to the Dandelion readers levels 1 to 3 followed by the extended code series and finally the split vowels. His mother was extremely supportive and spent a patch of time before school doing some fun reinforcement ( from the teacher's book) every day.

After this Alex was becoming more confident so we moved on to Barrington Stokes Little Gems series and then to the Solo series.

To develop his writing he did some practise every week at home using vocabulary I gave him together with words he thought of, connected with the sound we had learnt. Unfortunately although he has a perfect cursive style it is not taught or encouraged at school. This makes me so sad. As he has become more proficient at writing independently, his writing can deteriorate, especially if tired, as his energy and focus is taken up with thinking of the word within a sentence or if he is totally immersed in developing the story. He can often continue beyond the timer bell. He has also picked up the correct use of punctuation from his reading which he loves to use in his writing.

The attached story is entirely independent work taken from Unit 7 resources which shows his lovely sense of humour which has always been a pleasure to listen to! He also reads his writing aloud to spot errors. In this example Alex wrote independently for 10 minutes with no input from me. Occasionally when writing he asks for a difficult word to be spelt. I get him to break up the sounds and help me to write it. I then record it in his special dictionary of interesting words. At the end of the summer term I began to teach him dictionary skills so that he can use a Thesaurus as well as his alphabetical code chart.

There is also an example here of extension work using riddles or similar to reinforce the spelling pattern for that week. It sometimes includes crosswords, word searches or a snakes and ladders type game with words related to the sound learnt in the lesson.

Alex's mother tells me that he now helps her to spell words correctly if she makes "dyslexic errors."

This summer, just a little over 2 years since Alex started the programme, he scored 100% in his School English exam. His self esteem is high, he loves to write and he is well on the way to being competent reader, writer and speller.

This has been a very successful programme for Alex and and has plenty of resources at every level if you do not have time to insert your own. I highly recommend it.

Patricia

_________________
Debbie Hepplewhite
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2434
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're having a tidy-up in the office (spiders running for their lives everywhere) when I found a review that a phonics trainer and tutor went to some considerable trouble to write 'back in the day' - April 2011 to be exact.

I felt very bad that I did nothing with it at the time as it was intended to support my work for wider benefit.

So, here is what I just found:

Quote:
Dear Debbie,

I just wanted to share with you some of my experiences and thoughts having used Phonics International with many international students and their families over the past three years.

As you know, I work with children from all over the globe both native English speakers and those who are second language learners. Many of my students also have special needs.

Phonics International is both comprehensive and structured with clear routines that the children come to know and love. This is so important in order that those with limited communication in English and/or with learning difficulties can feel confident and successful from very early on in the programme.

In addition I have found that the 'no-frills, no-fuss' appearance of the Activity Sheets and booklets really reduces frustration levels for children who have been struggling to master written language. There is no sensory overload and the materials do not appear 'too young' for older learners. The breadth and scope of the materials has also meant that I have been able to use them successfully right through to the end of Secondary school.

In addition the clear 'step by step' instructions included on the Activity Sheets have received much praise from parents using the materials at home as part of their child's homework. One parent recently said, "It is so great to have things clearly and simply written down, I am coming to learn English myself and for each activity you send home, I know exactly what to do and how to help my son."

Whilst it is great to see the publication of 'ORT Floppy's Phonics Sounds and Letters' which retains much of the core elements of Phonics International, I have to profess my ongoing fondness for your original work which I have found to be perfect and complete both as a remediation programme and as a mainstream synthetic phonics teaching programme.

Floppy's Phonics Sounds and Letters is indeed beautifully produced but it is very much geared towards mainstream Reception to Year Two teaching. Phonics International offers so much more for those of us teaching abroad or in other environments where learners are incredibly diverse with many different educational experiences and backgrounds.

I look forward to continuing to work with you and the PI team in developing this essential teaching programme.

Warm regards


Now how could I not add that great feedback albeit SIX YEARS LATER!!! Wink
_________________
Debbie Hepplewhite
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2434
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
We used PI for more than 3 years and i have to say we are very pleased with the programme. I have some others but not by far as good as PI.

I particularly like the sentences and stories as it is exactly what we want to kids to do with the words they read.

We teach to second language learners mainly and I find that we have to supplement the sound sheets with photos of the words for them to understand their meaning.

There are lots of photos on our FB account engage minds learning, i have not taken any recently I'm afraid.

Also I have to admit we did like the old website more, perhaps I was just used to knowing where every section was:)

_________________
Debbie Hepplewhite
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2434
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great to get this feedback from a very dedicated teacher who often contacts me with updates and questions:


Quote:
Hi!

I have an update / question for you.

The former: today I had 12 observers in my English Language Arts class (including the whole-school principal!).

Following the Unit 2 Phonics International guide, my objective was 'Students will blend words inclusive of digraph ss'. And I began the lesson by reviewing / consolidating ck, ff, and ll.

I am in your debt, for the response was incredible. Everyone was pleased at the structure, the activities, the level of student engagement and achievement.

Two of my colleagues are signing up for your course. Wow, post-lesson happiness, haha, you have a real-time update!

Thank you again for all of your hard work. This is great.

_________________
Debbie Hepplewhite
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2434
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great to see this feedback from an international school:

Quote:
Hi Debbie

A parent sent me this letter last week. She says she represents a group of parents who are extremely happy with PI. She tells me it is the first time in four years that she feels she is getting her money's worth from the fees she pays the school.

As for myself, what I have observed in the 12 weeks I have been using PI with my Reception class, is the boost in confidence it has given them when they see new words.

We are doing lots of encoding/decoding words practise and next term, hopefully, we can move onto the sentences.



The parent wrote in a letter to the school:

Quote:
Dear Sirs,

Re: changes in literacy

I would like to take this opportunity to commend .... for the work she has done in terms of introducing Phonics International. She has trained staff very well.

My son is in .... This was the same class which was academically very behind as a result of a teacher changing at the last minute.

When the school commenced I had grave concerns that my son would struggle with reading, writing and spelling. However, the Phonics International introduced by ... has made all the difference. He has begun to read and spell three letter words and even attempts to do the same with four letter words.

I would also like to point out that this tool was not available 3 years ago when my older son was in .... then. I had to do the leg work in terms of teaching him how to read. However, this time round it has been the school.

So, I would like to say to ... thank you for making my job easier as a parent and keep up the good work.


FAB!

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
_________________
Debbie Hepplewhite
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Phonics International Forum Index -> Feedback All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2
Page 2 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group