Ann Fazackerley

"I have found Everyone Can Read to be the most effective intervention programme for students with basic literacy difficulties that I have ever come across..."

Ann Fazackerley, SEN Co-ordinator, Witchford Village College, Cambridgeshire

The Programme

Structure of Everyone Can Read

The programme is divided into three sections – the first and main section is a three stage sequential phonics programme (Phonics Phases 1, 2 and 3). Phonics Phase 1 covers short vowel sounds, single consonants, initial and final consonant blends and simple prefixes and suffixes. Phonics Phase 2 is used when Phonics Phase 1 has been successfully completed and covers long vowel sounds and simple prefixes and suffixes. Phonics Phase 3 is used once Phonics Phase 2 has been successfully completed and covers difficult long vowel sounds and syllable work. Teacher’s manuals and pupil workbooks are supported by a selection of carefully targeted reinforcement activities.

The second section is a sight vocabulary programme (400 Words). Basic sight vocabulary is taught thoroughly and concurrently with Phonics Phases 1 and 2. The primary aim is to teach pupils to recognise by sight the 400 most common words found in children’s literature.

The third section involves more advanced activities and covers syllables (Syllable Success) and word meanings (Wordwise).

Reasons for Everyone Can Read’s success

  • Structure – it is a carefully structured, very logical, intensive programme.
  • Reinforcement – each new step builds on, and reinforces, earlier learning.
  • Variety – it provides a wide range of tried and tested, relevant and effective material.
  • Involvement – it is a lively approach in which everyone is actively involved.
  • Motivation – pupils are highly motivated because of their obvious success.
  • Preparation – it requires minimal teacher preparation.
  • Age Group – it is suitable for all age groups.

Distinguishing features

  • Sound Board Drill – the teacher guides pupils in the building up of whole words through the blending of individual sounds written on the board. Prefixes and suffixes are taught with the base words.
  • Fast-paced lessons – a large number of short tasks is included in each lesson, mostly aimed at teaching the same skill in a variety of ways. Pupils move quickly from one activity to the next and don’t have time to be bored.
  • Teaching in groups – up to six pupils can be taught in a lesson, making the programme a very efficient way of using teacher time.
  • A fresh start – the programme is quite different from other strategies and improvement is rapid.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does Everyone Can Read work with dyslexics? – Yes, it is particularly suited to dyslexic sufferers because it is very carefully structured and the steps in the progression are small. Also, there is plenty of opportunity to go over work that has been taught at an earlier stage, so pupils are not allowed to forget!
  • What age is Everyone Can Read best suited for? – Everyone Can Read is not age specific. The assessment sheets give a very clear indication of any individual’s appropriate starting point on the programme. Older pupils tend to move through the programme at a faster rate, but the pace is dictated by the pupil’s ability. The programme has been used very successfully with upper primary and secondary pupils and with adults.
  • Could Everyone Can Read be used by parents to teach their children? – Yes. The instructions are very clear and jargon-free. The only difficulty some parents have is remaining cool. The best results come from a stress-free environment. There must be liberal praise for genuine progress, not just for the sake of it.
  • How long does the programme take to complete? – This depends on the age and ability of pupil and on the number of lessons that are given each week. Secondary pupils may well cover a Sound Board per lesson. Younger pupils may need two or three lessons per Sound Board.
  • Don’t pupils become bored with all the repetition? – No. The whole secret of success is that no one activity lasts for more than a few minutes. Although most of the activities in a lesson are aiming to teach the same skill, the material is presented in lots of different ways. For example, in any one lesson all of the following activities could be carried out – the Sound Board Drill, Exercises, Word Lists, Card Games, and Dictation. Pupils move on to the next activity before they have a chance to get bored with the last one.
  • What about pupils who see themselves as failures? How do you motivate them? – These pupils are motivated by their own success. The programme starts just below their level of competence and builds up their skills as fast as their ability will allow. They are very aware of the fact that they are improving. Motivation comes through knowledge of their own progress.
  • How easy is it for a teacher to learn the technique? – It is really very straightforward – the teacher’s instructions are very explicit. All the material is there, so preparation is minimal.
  • How helpful is the programme for teaching spelling? – Everyone Can Read helps good spellers to become very good and poor spellers to improve. The secret is that the programme is constantly highlighting the common elements in English spelling. It provides a framework for remembering – particularly through prefixes and suffixes and through other syllable work. However, spelling skills almost always lag behind reading skills.
  • Do pupils enjoy the programme? – Yes. For two main reasons. First, every lesson is very varied and the pace is fast. No activity lasts more than a few minutes. Second, pupils are very aware of how well they are doing – rapid progress is a great motivator. All of us enjoy being successful.
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