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Feedback related to learning English as a second language
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debbie



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:38 pm    Post subject: Feedback related to learning English as a second language Reply with quote

Please provide your feedback on this thread if the learner, or learners, have English as an additional, second or foreign language:
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Debbie Hepplewhite
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debbie



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I am an early years teacher from Turkey...

I love teaching synthetic phonics to early years and the results are outstanding even though their mother tongue is Turkish they are learning and adapting so well to English sounds to code the letters to read. I also teach year2 and use readers with my students. It would be lovely if you could see an outstanding results we have achieved here...

Maybe you will come and see our school and share your knowledge to us. I only teach basic but determined to teach more.

Just wanted to share my wonderful experience thanks to your programme but I still would like to take it further to learn more and more with year 3 and 4...


Please note: This is Sibel's original message and this is a lovely story because Sibel has gone on to become an independent Phonics International trainer in Turkey with full support from her school where she is a practising teacher!

See www.phonicsinturkey.com
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debbie



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have started getting low first language literate adult ESOL learners to sound out sounds in words in response to the unit 1 pictures! They had to learn what some of the pictures were in the first place, whereas L2 native speaking children would probably know them all and more besides. I learned the Urdu word for 'sound'!
We also sounded out their own names although I think they were seeing the letters in their heads.
Next week, street names too, and B-R-A-D-F-OR-D! and W-E-S-T Y-OR-K-SH-IRE!
Many adult ESOL learners who speak south Asian languages are very keen on learning the alphabet and tend to use the alphabetical names to help reading and writing so it was an achievement to have them all sounding out what they could hear.

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debbie



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have now started working with ______. I will have another session with her later this evening and will write you a full report on what I have been doing with her tomorrow evening. Suffice it to say that she is so happy with your system that she has decided to abandon her daily free English class which was hardly helping her at all.

You mention two programmes in your letter that you say are of value. Neither of them are for sale on Amazon.

I did a long and frustrating search for suitable material some months ago and was unable to find anything appropriate for ________.

So the objective of this mail is to ask you a simple question: have you considered publishing your material as a book for adults??? If only I could have bought your book "Reading and Writing English for Adults" (I'm sure you can think of a better title) a year ago, _______ would be well on her way to literacy by now.

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debbie



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have to say that my adult ESOL learners are really benefitting from this approach. Thank you.

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coral george



Joined: 25 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:33 pm    Post subject: SYNTHETIC PHONICS IN SPAIN Reply with quote

I am a classroom teacher and that is where I love to be the most.

I started teaching Synthetic Phonics in the Spanish Ministry of Education- British Council Biligual Project four years ago; the children I taught were as young as 3 years of age and I used "Jolly Phonics".

These children only hear 23 sounds in their mother tongue so they found speaking English very difficult.

The results after using Synthetic Phonics were amazing, when they became 5 they were able to read and comprehend books with more than 100 words, this had never been achieved before, even their pronunciation improved; therefore I was asked to become a teacher trainer in order to help teachers all over Spain.

Many teachers wish to continue and even extend the potential of Jolly Phonics. Phonics International helps teachers and students of any age with pronunciation, reading and writing skills.

One of the most useful and unique features of Phonics International is how complete "the sounds activity sheets" are; the student has to learn a new sound, blend and segment in one worksheet. Itīs so complete!!!

We have just started "Piloting Phonics International" in some schools in Spain and we can already see the results.

We hope to share them with all of you soon.

[Dear Coral, Thank you for this contribution. I hope you don't mind me editing your message, Coral, but I thought I'd add your website address. Our 'trainers' page is still in need of uploading again after a change to new computers. I know that we have had quite a lot of interest in synthetic phonics teaching from Spain and I so look forward to hearing about the Pilot Schools' initial findings perhaps later on in the academic year! I believe that you are a real trailblazer in Spain and have been for several years - well done! It can be a hard job persuading very busy teachers to take up new methods - but learning about the work of others goes some way to making the need for these changes more apparent. Wink See www.phonicsinspain.com To learn more about Coral, see: http://www.phonicsinspain.com/about.html ]
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debbie



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update from Andy Robson - volunteer for 'Vision Rescue' in India:

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

Quote:
Hi Debbie,

Hope you are well and that you had a good Christmas! I am still in Mumbai and the phonics is taking shape. It has been extremely hard to follow your scheme exactly how you have set it up because of the sheer lack of resources, new children, different ages, language problems, inexperience of teachers and many other reasons.

However, I have worked hard with the teachers to get them to understand how the basics of scheme work and the children on the bus are starting to read English. They are really starting to pick up the sounds. Thanks for your support with this.

I have also set up a link with a partner project in Goa. When Vision Rescue find abandoned, abused or ophaned kids they send them to Rescue Homes that they have set up in Goa. There are 120 children in these homes and the children come from all areas of India. They have just started a brand new school and have qualified teachers teaching there. All subjects are taught in English and it is a prime school to launch your phonics international scheme. I will be returning there in April and the teachers would like me to spend time introducing them to new english ideas. Some of the children are older so I will be looking out for a suitable scheme for them.

If it is possible I would really like to meet up with you before I go back to Goa. I am back in England in March when I will be working at a school in Surrey. Could I come and visit you one weekend?

I have attached some photos of the school in Goa and some of the rescued children in the homes.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Take Care,

Andy


The full Phonics International programme will provide plenty of 'content' for the older pupils for basic skills teaching in reading and spelling - with the need for additional 'literature' for enrichment.

Further:

Quote:
Hi Debbie,

Please feel free to update the phonics international thread! Also, I forgot to give you the web address for the school in Goa (The Rising Star). It is part of the Bethesda Life Centre:- www.blcgoa.com

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debbie



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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the good fortune to spend a few days with the lovely Grace Vilar (Argentina) and Coral George (Spain) earlier in the year. We posted a 'news item' about this on the homepage:

http://www.phonicsinternational.com/visitors.html

I've only just found the link below to Grace's blog which includes some photos of her Year Four and Year Five students in the process of trialling the PI programme. What a lovely surprise! I can't wait to hear more details from Grace as the trial progresses.

Well done to Grace, the students and the students' teachers!

http://gracevilarphonics.blogspot.com/2010/04/year-4-and-5-working-with-phonics.html

Here is a video clip of Grace working with Year 6 pupils:

http://teachingsyntheticphonics.blogspot.com.au/2010/08/videos-csa-year-6-phonics-session.html

I look forward to receiving information and photos/video clips from people in other scenarios trialling the PI programme. Please do send them to me at debbie@phonicsinternational.com .

Thank you! Wink
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Last edited by debbie on Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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debbie



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've posted this because it's good to hear specific feedback about the Phonics International cumulative texts - I think they are a really powerful learning resource for the core skills for all ages. Wink


Quote:
You'll be happy to know that my Preps who couldn't read a word at the start of the year are taking an interest in the Alphabetic Code Chart.

Most of them are zooming along, reading everything in sight, but of course, as is common at our school, there are 2 or 3 with speech or learning issues who are still having trouble blending the sounds. But we're not giving up and we're giving them as much extra support as we can manage.

My Grade 1's are really enjoying the PI cumulative texts. They've been so good for every facet of their reading.


Teacher in Australia.
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debbie



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just received this lovely, enthusiastic email:


Quote:
Hi from sunny Costa Rica. At this time of the year the rain is giving up and we start moving towards our dry season which starts by cool sunny days that we really enjoy after six months of persistent rain.

Let me tell you that this yearīs hard work is starting to produce positive results. Our Primary 1 studentsī written and spoken English has improved a lot and as a result our teachers became very motivated and optimistic.

To keep up their enthusiasm, I am building a blog with samples of the stories they wrote as part of a language experience involving Flat Stanley. I was wondering if you or your daughter could contact me with schools in UK that will be willing to be part of our project.

Let me tell you a bit more about the project. Our 7 and 8 years old Primary 1 students are working on a Flat Stanley Project as a motivation for writing stories. They received their Flat Stanley, who was supposedly coming from UK, before their mid semester holidays. Their teachers read the first two chapters of the book to them and asked the children to take Flat Stanley on holidays with them and to take pictures of him in different places in Costa Rica.

At the moment our students are working on their stories about the adventures of Flat Stanley in Costa Rica. To create a real purpose for their writing, I decided to build an online blog for each of our 4 -18 students Primary 1 classes. This blog will have information about our school and our country, the photos of each student in the class, the stories created by the students and a space where visitors will be able to leave their comments. We are in the process of building these blogs and we think it will take from 3 to 4 more weeks for them to be ready.

My plan is to send the blogīs address and password to you so that you can send it to teachers you know. These teachers could show the blog to their students and hopefully get them to write a response for our students. Please let me know if any teachers you know will be willing to participate with us in this project.

If nobody shows interest, do not worry, I know how busy teachers can be nowadays. When I send it, please have a look yourself, though simple because they are all EAL students, their writing reflects the positive effect of 3 years of PI.


I'll post further details when I get them! Wink
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debbie



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I note that not all teachers teaching English as a foreign language agree whether the teacher should use the new language ONLY to speak to the children or should use some of the mother tongue for explanations. This is one response I received from a school where Spanish is the mother tongue and English is the new language:

Quote:
Yes, at least during the very first year when children start school, it is necessary to speak in Spanish.

After that first year, the teachers stop speaking Spanish but the Spanish teacher, who comes to the class for an hour a day, will reinforce rules and some of the topics studied in English.

We are really trying hard to include some blending and segmenting in Early years 1 and it is coming slowly as the teachers become more confident. What is interesting here is that even if the teachers are reluctant to do it, the children start doing it themselves.

They start by using their phonics knowledge to write words in Spanish!


There is a very big difference between contexts where very young children are steeped in a second language - including, perhaps, at school (e.g. bilingual) and contexts where children are taught a new language with little time devoted to it in school - or bilingual schools where maybe half the time of school is spent teaching in the second language.

Ultimately, teachers need to decide what is the most appropriate approach in their context. There is such a wide variety across the world in the time allocated to teach the new language.
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debbie



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And what a lovely surprise to receive this email since we have updated both www.phonicsinternational.com and www.syntheticphonics.com ! Very Happy


Quote:
Dear Debbie,

WOW! We are thrilled with the daily updating of your website !!!

At the moment we are studying your paper: "The two- pronged..." and will combine it with systematic phonics class observation at school as our academic year is ending in a monthīs time and so observing plus being observed in action among Teachers will throw a lot of light onto what we have been able to achieve so far.

Being the first Argentinian school implementing your programme, I think, let us thank you and David once again for giving us the means for a joyful, serious, Teacher and Student-friendly way of teaching and learning how to pronounce, read and spell English as a foreign language.

All our gratitude and admiration,


Here is the 'two-pronged' paper referred to above! Wink

http://www.phonicsinternational.com/Debbie_RRF_Two_pronged_handout.pdf
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debbie



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From a teacher of students who have English as an additional language:


Quote:
Hi Debbie

I want to buy the very large synthetic phonics chart and depending on the cost I will ask my small centre to purchase a large chart for each of us (6 classes of ESL chn).

Please email me the link to purchase.

Please note I think very highly of your program and all it has to offer and I intend on sharing what I have found with other staff members and incorporating your ideas to suit our children who have English as an additional language

Kind Regards


As always, thank you so much for sending us kind comments and feedback. Very Happy

Please note that we have recently started to provide both the giant 'Pull-up' Alphabetic Code Charts and also giant 'Hang-down' Alphabetic Code Charts because for years teachers have requested that we provide them as an option.

We had the original 'Pull-up' banner made to enhance our exhibition and training events and from our earliest days teachers were asking where they could 'get one'!

We shall always provide the exact equivalent to these plasticised giant charts free of charge to print off. This gives teachers, tutors and parents plenty of choices! Very Happy
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debbie



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
To whom it may concern,
I bought the subscription to Phonics International in September and have been hugely impressed with your resources and programmes of learning, and have felt that they have contributed to the success that I have had in improving the reading and writing of EFL and EAL children.

I live abroad but will be in the UK in the summer and was wondering if there are any training courses that I could register for. I have been a literacy coordinator for 7 years and feel that this phonics programme is so well-suited to the different international schools that I have worked in and I would be keen to be trained in it by your company if such a facility exists?

I am moving to a new school in August as Literacy Coordinator and am very keen to push for the use of Phonics International in my new setting as the school have already asked for my recommendations for Phonics input in KS2.


This is from a Literacy Coordinator in Mexico City who works in International schools. Thank you! Very Happy

I've notified this person of our two-day training event in Newbury this forthcoming August which is designed for individuals both in the UK and from overseas.

http://phonicsinternational.com/newbury/newbury_2013.html

In our two-day May event (2013) designed primarily for individuals requesting training (for those who are unable to attend whole school events), we had infant and primary school teachers from the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain, literacy and special needs coordinators, a principal from Australia, a deputy head teacher, a university lecturer, a secondary school teacher, a further education teacher for young adults (ESOL - English as a second language students), an early years teacher from Singapore - it was so heartwarming and we all worked very hard of course!
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debbie



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovely feedback from a teacher in a school in Spain:

Quote:
Hi Debbie,

I would just like to say that I have had a fantastic year with my two classes of 5 year olds teaching synthetic phonics and the results have been great.

In the infants we started with Jolly phonics which I found a great way of attracting the children's attention at the beginning with the catchy music but I later found that I did not need to use the music as they began progressing.

Once the penny dropped and they were reading in English with words like cat, mat, sit, sat, pan, I found that they wanted to learn all the other sounds so as to read more words.

By the end of the last term they were on alternative spellings such as 'ai' and 'ay' for the sound /ai/ which we ended up doing through incidental teaching.

During the last month some children were taking a book home everyday to read.

The weakest children with learning problems ended up reading the first level of "Dandelion Readers" which was a great success as they were not yet reading in Spanish (their mother tongue).

Quite a few of the parents mentioned that they had improved with their Spanish reading as previously they were being taught by the method similar to "Look and Remember", which does not work for all chidren, especially for the ones with a poor memory.

In primary (children aged 6 to 12) we worked on the sound sheets from units 1 to 3 from the Phonics International programme and it worked really well. This new term we will do units 4 to 6 depending on their progress.

The parents at our school are really happy with the method.
I must say it was well worth doing the course last year and I have taken full advantage of it by applying all what I learnt at our school. I have even been given hours to go into the classes to help the other teachers with the blending and tweaking e.t.c. They all said that it is really good and know the level of the children's reading will go up more everyday.

Thanks for all the e-mails you have been sending keeping me up to date!
Best Regards
Beverley


This is also lovely feedback regarding our occasional two-day training events which we provide for individual people internationally who require training in the synthetic phonics teaching principles using the Oxford Reading Tree Floppy's Phonics Sounds and Letters and the Phonics International programmes as examples.


http://www.phonicsinternational.com/newbury/newbury_2013.html
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