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T.C.C. ARTICLES / Selections from Members Section

Articles written by teachers who have completed the SPELD NSW Teachers’ Certificate Course and other articles.  – These are selections from the Members Section of Our Website.

General Articles

Why Jaydon Can’t Read (PDF – 2.69MB) Full article by Jennifer Buckingham. Article was reviewed in the October 2013 E-News

UPDATE May 2014

There is now a collection of three youtube videos entitled “Why Jaydon can’t read. Fixing Literacy” and includes a Q & A with Jennifer Buckingham. CLICK HERE to go to our playlist with these three videos.

Why Jaydon Can’t Read Analysis: A Forum on Fixing Literacy (PDF – 684KB Companion Article for the videos, by Jennifer Buckingham, Justine Ferrari, and Tom Alegounarias.

Between the Lines: Karen Thomson. (PDF – 100KB) Dyslexia is a complex and much misunderstood condition, writes Karen Thomson. Originally Printed in the Jan-Feb 2014 E-News.


T.C.C. Articles (Spelling Strategies)

Jackie Anderson – Best Strategies for Spelling Instruction (PDF – 96KB) Originally printed in the August 2012 E-News

Magda Trzeciakiewicz, Literacy Instruction Approaches – Research Paper (PDF – 100KB) Originally printed in the February 2013 E-News

Melinda Matthews, Strategies for Spelling Instruction (PDF – 112KB) Originally printed in the June 2013 E-News

Tanya Townsend, Spelling Case Study** (PDF – 244KB) Originally printed in the August – September 2013 E-News **This article is a companion article to the one appearing in the E-News and contains more information than the E-News excerpt

Kylie Jarrett, Spelling and Strategies for Spelling Instruction (PDF – 90KB) Originally printed in the December 2013 E-News

Isolde Basner, Research Paper on Spelling Strategies (PDF – 120KB) Originally printed in the April-May 2014 E-News




SPELD Learning Difficulties Q&A

#1. What are the important components to an early literacy program? As a parent, it is useful to understand ‘how’ children learn to read and what the research tells us about successful reading instruction.

#2. Should we use a different font for children with reading difficulties? Macquarie University in Sydney recently conducted an objective evaluation of the effectiveness of the Dyslexie font to better understand why this type of font appears to be beneficial for children with reading difficulties.

#3. What factors contribute to strong reading comprehension? Reading comprehension involves making meaning from written text using our knowledge of words, concepts, and ideas. There are a number of factors that contribute to a child’s ability to comprehend text.

#4. Reading Comprehension Strategies.  While some students may naturally develop the use of comprehension strategies as they read, many will require explicit instruction in the most successful methods of gaining meaning from text. These strategies will not compensate for poor vocabulary or inadequate prior knowledge but they will assist students to focus on the most important elements of a text.

#5. The Role of Vision in Reading.  Historically, it was widely believed that reading difficulties were the direct result of defects in the visual system. We now know that these theories are largely untrue.

#6. Using the FREE learning tools in Microsoft Word. A new feature now found in Microsoft Word as well as One Note (online /desktop version) is Learning Tools, designed to support diverse learners in reading, spelling and written expression. What are Learning Tools?, Tips and Tricks, Other MS apps, links to more information.


Approaches to Reading Instruction Supported by LDA. Education Departments, teachers and parents are faced with a bewildering number of programs, interventions and treatments which claim to help students who struggle with reading and related skills. The following Position Statement on Reading Instruction has been developed by LDA to provide a guide to schools, teachers and parents to identify programs that adopt an explicit structured approach to the teaching of reading and are therefore likely to be effective both in the teaching of initial reading and in assisting students with reading difficulties.

Position Paper on Evidence-Based Practice. Australian Association of Special Education (AASE). AASE advocates for the use of evidence-based practices in all classrooms and believes that the evidence provided by scientific research should underpin policies and practices in both regular and special education.

How to make evidence based decisions about literacy interventions – Link to PowerPoint Presentation (6MB). Systematic steps to assess if a literacy approach is evidence based. From ARC Centre for Cognition and its Disorders, Macquarie University.

Efficient Ways to Check for Student Understanding using Formative Assessment. Great article with good info and resources, and a printable PDF “53 Ways To Check for Understanding”. From

Disability Provisions in the HSC for Students with L.D.s (PDF), Published July 14.  Information on applying and appeals, with examples.

HSC Disability Provisions, Published May 2013

Nomanis Notes – Nomanis Notes comprise a series of single page briefings on relevant educational topics likely to be of interest to parents, teachers and other professionals, with particular reference to learning difficulties. Our aim is to succinctly summarise the state of knowledge on the topic, offer a considered opinion, and to provide starter references for those wishing to find out more.

Choosing the right intervention for your child Questions to ask before signing up

Specific Learning Difficulties A definition

Recognising the Strengths of ‘LD’ individuals A list of characteristics found to be characteristic of many individuals labelled as ‘learning disabled’

The Role of a Speech Pathologist Lauren Reinhardt discusses the role of a Speech Pathologist.

Role of the Educational Psychologist Ernst Meyer discusses the role of an Educational Psychologist

Study Skills for Students Tips for Students – adapted, with kind permission, from the Dyslexia Institute, England.

ADHD in schools ADHD in schools “Supporting strategies for Teachers”.



Top 10 tips for parents of dyscalculic children – From Also lots of good maths teaching resources. Also see Games section in Games and Resources for free maths games with instructions and printables.

Times Tables Tricks – Recalling times tables quickly is an essential skill for success in school mathematics. These small “tricks” help reduce the times tables to just 24 to learn by rote

Board Games Using commercial board games for practising basic counting, addition and subtraction strategies.

Teaching addition facts – Using ‘Double-Up’ Strategy Students with specific learning difficulties, who often have trouble memorising the basic facts, can be helped by being introduced to two strategies based on identifying and using the addition doubles to help them calculate some of the harder facts quickly.

Trading Games Trading games are very valuable games in helping students understand our numeration system.



Why it is so difficult to bridge the research to practice gap in teaching reading. Video presentation from Dr Jennifer Buckingham at Research.ED July 2017.

Phonics Check for teachers and schools from Pamela Snow.  “A rubric that primary schools can use to self-assess the extent to which they are “already doing phonics”…rough do-it-yourself checklist that you might find useful as a starting point for discussion in your school or region.”

Read About It: Scientific Evidence for Effective Teaching of Reading. 2016 Full Research Report by Dr Kerry Hempenstall. Also available: 2 page Snapshot Summary.

SPELD SA Intensive Literacy Program.  This free intensive literacy program includes the phonics, grammar and punctuation skills included in a standard R-3 syllabus, with texts selected for older students, aged 8 to adult. It can be used on a one-to-one basis or with a group for wave 2 and 3 intervention.

A placement test has been designed to help instructors determine a student’s starting module. You will need to print a record sheet for each student undertaking the program.

Each module has two booklets, an instructor handbook and a student workbook. The Instructor Handbook includes step-by-step instructions.


Understanding the reading process – Research into practice (Links to PDF series)


Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary: What’s the Connection? – Article by Kate Nayton, University of Oxford. “It is very clear that reading comprehension and vocabulary knowledge are closely associated. What is less clear is how this association is best interpreted.” Also see Oxford Education YouTube Videos on Learning to Read

The Big Six Key Skills for Learning to Read – Collection of youtube videos on Intro to Reading, Oral Language, Phonological Awareness, Phonics, Vocabulary, Fluency and Comprehension

How Spelling Supports Reading (Link to PDF) – And Why It Is More Regular and Predictable Than You May Think. By Louisa Moats.

Whole Language High Jinks (Link to PDF booklet) – How to Tell When “Scientifically-Based Reading Instruction” Isn’t. By Louisa Moats.

Ideas To Add To Your Teaching Toolkit  – Slides by Jan Roberts, covering Teaching Spelling, Reading, Writing and Comprehension.

Put Reading First – Kindergarten Through Grade 3 (Link to PDF booklet)
The Research Building Blocks For Teaching Children to Read by the National Institute for Literacy (U.S.). “This guide, designed by teachers for teachers, summarizes what researchers have discovered about how to successfully teach children to read. It describes the findings of the National Reading Panel Report and provides analysis and discussion in five areas of reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension. Each section defines the skill, reviews the evidence from research, suggests implications for classroom instruction, describes proven strategies for teaching reading skills, and addresses frequently raised questions.

Developing Phonemic Awareness Educational research in the past twenty years has identified that one of the principal barriers to learning to read and spell effectively is lack of phonemic awareness

An Alternative way to teach adults An Alternative way to teach adults with non-functioning literacy.




ADD and ADHD – Characteristics and Diagnosis. Updated 2014.

ADHD in schools  – ADHD in schools “Supporting strategies for Teachers”.

ADHD Parents Medication Guide  – Prepared by the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and American Psychiatric Association (July 2013). Please note that while this document provides valuable general information, it is an American article and some things, such as the names of medications, may not apply to Australian medications.




Also see our Dyslexia Awareness Page for more Dyslexia Specific Links.

Study strategies for students with Dyslexia. Compiled from ideas provided by students with dyslexia and other students from Macquarie University in a research study conducted in 2013 and 2014.  The study was supported by the School of Education, ARC Centre for Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders and the Macquarie University Disability Service.

Identification of Dyslexia in the early years. How is dyslexia diagnosed and at what age can a diagnosis be made? More information about the identification of dyslexia in the early years.

8 Things Every Teacher Should Know About Dyslexia. From

How Can I Help The Dyslexic Pupils While I Teach Everyone? Adapted, with kind permission, from the Dyslexia Institute, England.

I.D.A. (AUSPELD Global Partner) Fact Sheets on Dyslexia and Related Language Based Learning Difficulties.

“Dyslexia in the Classroom: What Every Teacher Needs to Know”  I.D.A. PDF Booklet (690 KB).




SLD related VIDEO CLIPS on YouTube