MQ Reading Clinic: Reading development and teaching – It all starts with words

  • 09:00 AM
  • Eden Gardens North Ryde, Macquarie Park

Macquarie University Reading Clinic Professional Development Workshops

The Macquarie University Reading Clinic is very excited to host a one-day workshop presented by international guest speaker Rhona Stainthorp.

The workshop is inspired by the book ‘Reading Development and Teaching’ by Morag Stuart and Rhona Stainthorp, and is intended for mainstream primary teachers, teachers of pupils with language and literacy issues, literacy coordinators, school psychologists, and speech and language pathologists. The workshop will include topics such as ‘the simple view of reading’, reading and spelling words, and assessing children’s reading ability.

Time, Date and Location:
9:00 am – 4 pm (4:00pm – 5:00pm evening drinks and mingle)
Friday, 29th September 20017
Eden Gardens North ryde, Macquarie Park

About the speaker:
Rhona Stainthorp is a research professor at the University of Reading, Institute of Education. She began her professional career teaching in an all- boys secondary school in the UK where many pupils could not read. She had to find a way to help those young men, so she went to study psychology at Birkbeck College London. Since that time she has worked as an academic psychologist training teachers and speech and language therapists about the development of literacy and literacy difficulties. Her research relates to reading, spelling and writing development in typical and atypically developing children. She has been advising successive UK governments for the last 25 years on various aspects of the teaching of literacy. In 1986/7 she spent a year in Australia as a visitor to Monash University and since that time has collaborated in various capacities with the Special Education Centre at Macquarie University.

About the workshop:
The day is divided into four sessions with each session involving activities designed to enable participants to gain insights about reading development and teaching. The workshop is intended to be interactive and collaborative with everyone sharing ideas, knowledge and experiences.

Session 1: The Simple View of Reading: A framework for teachers
In this first session we will consider how complex reading is. By using the Simple View as a framework teachers can begin to make sense of the task of teaching young children to read. This includes word reading and language comprehension.

Session 2: Reading words
In this session we will focus on the processes involved in reading words. Because English spelling is based on the alphabet we need to understand about mapping letters to sounds and sounds to letters as the basis of learning and teaching. However, because English has an “interesting” orthography we have to have to recognise this poses additional challenges: reading SHIP is not the same as reading YACHT.

Session 3: Spelling words
Spelling words is just as important as reading them – but even more complex. In this session we will consider the basis of English spelling and what knowledge children need to begin to spell efficiently. This session will draw on the Simple View of Writing.

Session 4: Assessing children’s reading ability
The premise of this session is that teachers and other professionals need to be able to use effective theoretically sound tools for assessing children’s ability in order that they can plan for progress and possible interventions.
Workshop Outcomes:
By the end of this workshop, attendees should:

  • Have gained a clear understanding the Simple View of Reading framework and how it can be used to inform the teaching of reading
  • Recognize the importance of teaching both word reading and language comprehension
  • Have enhanced their own personal phonemic awareness and understand why this is important for effective teaching of early word reading and spelling
  • Understand that there are two routes to successful word reading and that this impacts on effective teaching – particularly in a language like English
  • Understand why it is important to teach phonics as the first approach to early word reading
  • Learn how spelling fits into the overall model of writing development and how there are also two routes to successful word spelling
  • Learn about the use of effective assessments for teachers to identify children’s strengths and weaknesses.

Who should attend?
This workshop will be useful for mainstream primary teachers, teachers of pupils with language and literacy issues, literacy coordinators, school psychologists, and speech and language pathologists.

Course Materials:
A course workbook including all materials will be provided on the day.


For more information and registration see website:

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