Reading development and teaching: It all starts with words.

Reading development and teaching: It all starts with words.

International guest presenter: Professor Rhona Stainthorp (UK)


Time: 9.00am - 4.00pm (4.00pm-5.00pm evening drinks and mingle)

Date: Friday 29th September 2017

Location: Eden Gardens North Ryde, Macquarie Park

Cost: $500

Catering: Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided. 

Attendees are also invited to stay for evening drinks after the workshop to mingle with Professor Stainthorp, the MQ University Reading Clinic staff members, and other workshop attendees.

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

Description of Workshop: 

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.

About Presenter: 

Rhona Stainthorp is a research professor in 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 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. 
  • They will recognize the importance of teaching both word reading and language comprehension.
  • They should have enhanced their own personal phonemic awareness and understand why this is important for effective teaching of early word reading and spelling
  • They should understand that there are two routes to successful word reading and that this impacts on effective teaching – particularly in a  language like English
  • They should understand why it is important to teach phonics as the first approach to early word reading.
  • They will learn how spelling fits into the overall model of writing development and how there are also two routes to successful word spelling.
  • They will learn about the use of effective assessments for teachers to identify children’s strengths and weaknesses.

Who should/should not attend? Any prerequisites, assumed/required knowledge: 

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.

Getting There: 

Eden Gardens North Ryde, Macquarie Park 

307 Lane Cove Road (cnr Fontenoy Road) 

Macquarie Park 

 NSW 2113

Eden Gardens is located in the heart of the Macquarie Business Park in Sydney and is the flagship Eden Gardens store. The centre opened in November 2004 and has won numerous awards for its outstanding modern architecture and display gardens.

Drive: Eden Gardens is approximately 25 mins drive from Sydney CBD on the M2 motorway. From the CBD: Take the Talavera Rd Exit off the M2 and enter from Fontenoy Rd. From North: Entrance on Lane Cove Rd. There is ample parking on site, with over 200 parking spaces and full disabled access including lifts and elevators.

Bus: Buses 545 from Chatswood Bus Station and 292 from Town Hall stop at the top of Fontenoy Road and are also available from Macquarie Centre with only a short walk to Eden Gardens.  

Train: Trains run from both the CBD and Epping to Macquarie Park Station on the North Shore & Northern Line T1. Eden Gardens is a short walk from the station uphill towards the M2 Motorway. Check the city rail website for times.

Cancellation Policy: 

1. If a registrant cancels before the registration deadline of 2 weeks before the workshop, 80% of the fee will be refunded. The remaining 20% will be kept as an administration fee.
2. No refund is available after the registration deadline. However, another person may attend in your absence. At the discretion of the Macquarie University Reading Clinic, an 80% refund may be offered on production of a medical certificate.

Registration deadline: 2 weeks before workshop.

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