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Feedback regarding the quality and nature of the resources
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debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From people across the world!

Quote:
I came across your site by accident and find the advice invaluable. Will distribute amongst other teachers.


Quote:
Your videos are superb !!!!
thank you so much.


Quote:
Thanks a million times !!!! (re the video clips)


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It was wonderful to watch you teach this morning. You are really inspirational. You are the kind of teacher who has a presence that makes people want to listen - I guess its because it shows that you are excited about it yourself!


Quote:
Excellent Debbie, I just watched it. I will use this with my students and mute the sound to test them.. it makes a change from the index cards that I drill them with (they draw pictures on the front of the index cards which also has the sound on it to remember the keywords).
A big Thank you for making this resource freely available! I am also forwarding it to parents and teachers....


Quote:
Thank you for letting me get the first unit and for your interest in helping to teach reading. I am a teacher in Puerto Rico where English is taught as a second language. I believe this material will help me alot.


Quote:
I think the new video clips are just great.

It’s one thing to know the phonemes and all the underlying principles, but I, for one, will always benefit from ‘refreshers’ like this.

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Debbie Hepplewhite


Last edited by debbie on Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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debbie



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have just finished a Btec in supporting teaching and learning, level 3. The teacher introduced us to your phonics programme and it has proved to be inspirational. I now realize that the school that I work in uses all of the other methods you describe eg, guessing from picture clues etc, I work in Year 2 and can see that these strategies are not working for all children. I have a 5 year old daughter and I had already taught her the sounds of letters and the sound for /sh/ etc befor she started Rec and I was struggling to be able to help her any further. I feel your ideas are a revelation and am trying to teach them to her already, I wish I had been given them earlier because a school year has been wasted with regards to her reading. My problem is how do I tackle the subject with the school. I know synthetic phonics would be hugely beneficial.

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debbie



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
My name is Andy Robson and I have been teaching in England for 11 years. In May of this year, I went out to Mumbai, India to work on an educational project to help children in the slums and on the streets. The organisation I am working for, Vision Rescue, have two buses that they drive to different areas of Mumbai and teach over 700 children a day who do not go to school. They are taught for an hour a day and are then given food, which for some is the only meal they get.

My main role has been training the teachers, as many of them are just volunteers and not qualified. On watching the two English lessons that are taught each week on the bus, I noticed that the teachers were only teaching them the letter names to help then read and write and not phonics. They were also using capital letters rather than lower case letter. In one of my training sessions I used your alphabet code to introduce phonics to the teachers. As Hindi is their main language and some of the teachers don't speak English very well, some have had to practice alot of the sounds. I am currently re-writing their syllabus to focus on phonics and I would like to give them some more training. The big problem is that the they do not have any resources out in India so all the teaching and the activities are simple speaking and writing activiites (They use chalk and chalk boards not books).

I have been scanning the internet for phonics ideas and resource to use when training the teachers, and for resources for them to use on the buses. Your phonics international scheme has been the most useful but unfortunately there is not the money to buy all the units. Therefore, I am writing to ask if you could email me any resources or activities that you thing might help when teaching these children how to speak English. Over 4 years, Vision rescue have managed to get approx 100 children into full time education and the vision is to try and double this over the next four years and to provide the best education that can be given in the circumstances.

I would really appreciate any help you can give me and I have attached a couple of phots for you to see some of the children.

Many Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.


I have offered Andy advice and further support regarding his work in Mumbai. Perhaps the most important issue for Andy and his colleagues is the training aspect and this is, indeed, Andy's main role. I have also put Andy in touch with 'A Ray of Hope' and you can read about the work of the people involved with these organisations via the following 'Fancy a chat?' forum link:

http://phonicsinternational.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=149

Please contact these organisations directly if you can offer any help and support of any description.

http://www.visionrescue.org.in/

http://www.unesco.co.uk/
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debbie



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I am thrilled for all of the future students, teachers. parents and researchers who will be able to see the sense in what you have created.


Reading instructor in America
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debbie



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Thank you for a GREAT - at long last - phonics program. After 40 years of teaching just this sort of approach to reading and phonics - I have been finding it increasingly difficult to 'teach/persuade" younger teachers and other colleagues about just this type of program.

Your Phonics International is a great mix of the good old fashioned 'stuff'
along with updated good teaching practice! There is no doubt that following this structure WILL teach any child to write and read with confidence!! I will be insisting that our teachers start to follow this program. I would love to share some of my multi-sensory tips that would fit so well with this program.

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debbie



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re my teacher-training and a large primary school setting up PI as its core programme:

Quote:
It was a really good day and people were interested throughout. I think that you certainly said some refreshingly honest things that made everyone breath a collective sigh of relief and certainly were in-keeping with [our headteacher's] ethos.

The time we've allocated on Mondays to plan effectively was welcomed and I have already seen the displays being laminated and put up !
I'm sure we'll have a few questions along the way so we'll stay in touch, but you are more than welcome to pop in whenever you like.


Deputy Head - UK school
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Debbie Hepplewhite
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debbie



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an interesting part of a group email exchange:

Quote:
Hia all.

I know most of my students are younger than the age group you are talking about, but my 2 eldest students are 11 and I have no qualms about using the resources with them. I dont think they are babyish, I find the style of the drawings quite "grown up" in many ways. The odd teddy bear thrown in doesn't seem to upset my students too much, as they are all so thrilled to finally be learning how to do this reading thing that they've never quite been able to understand before.

I particularly think the vocabulary is rich enough to suit older learners, and certainly extends my 11 year olds (who started PI at Unit 1, they are both diagnosed as having dyslexia).

I have every intention of using PI with adult learners because I feel that it is so versatile and flexible. I am of course also using a few of the resources with my Little Readers group (flashcards and picture cards mostly) some of whom are only 2.

How's that for a multi-age-appropriate programme!

Just my opinion!!

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debbie



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Debbie

Thank you so much for the email tutorials and for the free online Unit One materials. I have very much enjoyed learning about your system of teaching phonics. These free resources are particularly generous and above all, they have given me the confidence I need to implement your Phonics International course in school.

[UK School Principal]

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debbie



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Hi Debbie!
I have recently bought the Single Users Licence and it is absolutely wonderful! Of course I need time to get acquainted with the programme but I find it it really useful, practical and clear!

I am receiving your tutorials as well (Part 9 was the last one) As I'm on holidays now I'm catching up with the reading. They are excellent too!! The problem is that I have realized that I'm missing Part 5 I wonder why! I have checked everywhere but I haven't found it which is a real pity! Would you mind sending it to me again so that I have the complete set of tutorials?

Thank you very much indeed!!!


Part 5 duly sent!

Satisfied user! Wink
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debbie



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I first got to know about the existence of the teaching of phonics 3 years ago in my school thanks to Viri that is always providing us with the latest and since then we have tried to implement it in our school.

I read about letters and sounds and then browsed some of the commercial programmes. Because it was the easiest to implement and more accesible to us we started with jolly phonics.

Now we paid for your online programme which offers a more complex and complete chart and materials to be taught. And last, but not least, I had yesterday the chance to see the new oxford material and found it just perfect!! Appealing, complete, organized, cute!!!

Now I have two questions. Why do we have a different organization of the sounds in oxford and in phonics international?


Part of an email from a teacher in South America Smile

Regarding the 'order' of the new Oxford Reading Tree Floppy's Phonics Sounds and Letters programme which I have helped to develop - this is different from the Phonics International order of introducing letter/s-sound correspondences as Oxford University Press wished the order to reflect the order of the UK government's Letters and Sounds programme.

http://www.oup.com/oxed/primary/oxfordreadingtree/teachphonics/

Phonics International, however, has built on the order of introducing letter/s-sound correspondences of Jolly Phonics although there are slight differences. Phonics International introduces more than one spelling alternative for some of the sounds in its basic code. For example, PI introduces 'ai' followed immediately by 'ay', 'ie' followed by 'igh', 'oa' followed by 'ow' and so on. This is because it makes great teaching sense to have done so.
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debbie



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It has been so great to hear staff discussing in corridors and debating the best way to use various resources and it has overwhelmingly raised the profile of phonics and spelling etc through the school. Not only that but LSA's have been discussing the online tutorials and assisting one another to sign up!

I have downloaded various youtube videos of yourself and put onto a DVD for each year group, approx 44 mins, in length, to help those without internet access or wanting to watch at school, in snippets of time away from the children, as we don't have youtube access due to filtering at school.

Even our 'Reading Rescue Teacher" who is solidly entrenched in the searchlight model of teaching reading is starting to gain interest as others are enthusing all around!!!!!!!


LOL! Wink
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debbie



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are in the process of conducting a survey of the usefulness of the 'Alphabetic Code Chart' and have had a wonderful response from across the world! I myself think the use of an alphabetic code chart is fundamentally important and many of you clearly have a similar view.

We are collating all the comments received via the survey but in the meantime, we just received these wonderful comments as further evidence of the usefulness of Alphabetic Code Charts which show the sounds of English and their many spelling alternatives:

Quote:
I have a Diploma in Child Psychology and Early Education. I came across Debbie Hepplewhite through a lecturer and I find the program to be flawless. It covers every single pronunciation which other methods of phonics might have omitted. I have used it with my kids and ever since then, they have never asked me "why does a certain letter sound this way and not the same in a different word". They just refer to the alphabetical code chart and start sounding off the letters and "ta-da", they got it!. It is amazing how phonics becomes less complicated though it may seem intimidating initially.


Very Happy
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debbie



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just sent out an e-newsletter with information about my review of the Department for Education's phonemic transcription chart (with the International Phonetic Alphabet IPA) and my latest alphabetic code charts with the IPA symbols shown alongside the easy-to-use symbols and this is one of the comments I have received about 'accents':


Quote:
That would be South-East England's prejudices about phonics, then!

I despair of the English of the area around London (whose speech often does not represent what is written) being presented as some kind of standard for the rest of us, whether in the South-West (including the great city of Bristol), Wales, Scotland, or America (all areas with which I have a close connection). I'm not clear about the sounds of the great north of England, but again I suspect certain sounds would be pronounced more closely to what is written, instead of the slovenly uncouth speech of the south east which is loud and imprecise (perhaps because it has had to flourish in a very noisy environment).

Kind regards


I am always pleased to hear your thoughts about the issues raised and here was my response to the observations above:

Quote:
Dear ......,

I appreciate your comments and agree with your sentiments.

However, you should hear me in my talks and training events talking about accents (my own being somewhat Yorkshire) and the need for people to put on their own accents [to the code] and teach children all about different accents.

I suggest to teachers that they don’t accept any snobbery or lambasting about their accents and how they teach ‘the sounds’ in their context!

Also, if you look at my charts, I’m saying that we must take regional and national accents into account – and I’ve tried to reflect on at least some of the charts that there are variations such as the list of words for /or/ which might be /aw/ dependent upon accent.

Further, if you scroll down to the bottom of my free charts, you’ll see I’ve attempted to make some charts for the North American/Canadian accents and spellings.

No Alphabetic Code Chart can be definitive – and I say that too!

But what we must avoid is not organising and explaining our phonics teaching and the tallying of printed code to the sounds of speech – whatever variation of ‘sounds’ that may be!!!!

Warmest regards,

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debbie



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had to add this message because I think it's hilarious - and not the first time that I've heard such a tale! Very Happy

Quote:
I had a meeting last week with the school psychologist today about my 'wee man' and the best way to support him. She was advocating 'Letters and Sounds' and going on and on and I told her to go and look at PI.

Well, she came back to a meeting today with a whole lot of other teachers from my school who also have 'low' children in their classes. Well, what do you think...she produced a folder of your resources and started to tell us about them as if she had just found the best kept secret.

I could honestly have choked her lol! Well, out came my super-sized folder of resources and I plonked it in front of her and said, "Yes, I told you you should look into PI". The rest of the staff have heard me going on and on about it for sooooo long! I also told her about the new ebooks and she is very keen to get them too as she has a daughter with dyslexia.


And here is a link to information about the new eBooks mentioned in the message:

http://www.teachyourchildtoread.co.uk/eBooks_overview.pdf

And here is a link to the website itself:

http://www.teachyourchildtoread.co.uk/
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debbie



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Comment from a 'mumsnet' subscriber:

Quote:
Phonics International is a seemingly endless resource. I bought it when it first came out after reading lots of Debbie's posts on TES. There's more stuff there than I will ever use, but whatever you do actually need is there. I've used it to plug some of the gaps my niece had and I've never had to create something to deal with an issue. Whatever I've needed I've just had to look it up and it's there.


I confess that I haven't sought permission to post this comment but it was on a public forum about phonics and I was very pleased to come across it of course! Wink
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