Synthetic phonics is a way of teaching children how to spell and read.  It allows children to learn the code – i.e. that letters represent sounds and that we can blend these to make words.

Sounds-Write is a well regarded published program which systematically teaches children how to read right from the beginning.  Go here for more information

DECODING & UNDERSTANDING

Speech pathologists often have a dual role in helping children with DLD or speech and language difficulties when they are learning to read.

  1.  Learning how to decode (sounding out and blending to make words)
  2. Understanding what the words mean once they have been decoded (comprehension)

Some children have good skills in decoding and not in comprehending.  And vice versa! Or some children have difficulties with both decoding and understanding.

Which words should I target first when working with children with DLD?

I recently attended a Sounds-Write Workshop : Teaching Vocabulary in Years 3-6.  This Workshop was really helpful in providing a framework of tiered vocabulary instruction for children in middle-later primary school.  In fact it provided a list of the most common 3000 word families for students in primary school.  In addition these words were grouped into simple through to complex (A1 , A2, B1, B2) with B2 being the most complex.

If you are working with a child with DLD who has poor oral comprehension, then you need to work on decoding and also understanding what that word means.  This framework helps in identifying frequently occurring (useful) words to work on.

I have made a word list for the initial code which includes all those words in this 3000 word list. They are grouped into Units 1 -11 and there are pictures for each word target.  You can use it for;

  1. Quick oral receptive vocabulary screen (by unit) to see which words are not yet known by the child
  2. A shorter list of words for each Unit to target : helping you to work smarter when there is a lot of ground to cover!
  3. Picture cue for each word provided which can then be added to.

INITIAL CODE DOWNLOADS

These 30-50 page workbooks are especially designed for children with speech and language difficulties.  They follow the Sounds Write timeline but have more visual information and focus on understanding and vocabulary.  Each workbook covers either Units 1-7 or 8-11 of the Initial Code.

EXTENDED CODE DOWNLOADS

These 30-50 page workbooks are especially designed for children with speech and language difficulties.  They follow the Sounds Write timeline but have more visual information and focus on understanding and vocabulary.  Each workbook covers one unit of the Extended code.