Introduction to 20 Lessons

Help Yourself to Read and Spell,
or Find Out Where You Got Stuck

An overview of the English writing system


Using your brains to learn to read and enjoy it too

These lessons can be particularly helpful for adults, teenagers and learners who have 'got stuck somewhere', and may have gaps and confusions no-one has realised. You may need 'a little help from your friends' at first, if you have stuck near the beginning.

Beginners also need to know what is ahead, as 'advance organizers', even if they only glimpse the ideas ahead and do not understand them yet. When they do meet them later, they will recognise them, and find them easier to learn.

And see Literacy for Home-Learning comic book series of 24 lessons, with checklist

See also the check-list for the DVD/video/CD that you can download to print out and fotocopy, in black-and-white without pictures

Latest details about the DVD/video/CD 'ABC GO! Help yourself to read and spell, or find out where you got stuck. See also introduction on Ozideas Home Page

Contact Literacy Innovations


You can download all these lessons, and print them out, with big enough print for the songs, stories, letters and words so that learners can read them more easily. Use a serif font which has 'little clues' on the letters to make them more distinctive from each other, like that on this page, and in the Dr Seuss books, of similar size and with plenty of spacing between the words and lines, and no letters cramming each other.

It is important that b d p and q look different quite apart from the ways they face. Too many learners become confused if those letters look like b d p q

Below is

1) A list of the lessons and materials. These will be added to from time to time.
2) Notes on ways to use the lessons for best results.

And I would like feedback, please!

Index and explanation of lessons.

1. Hearing sounds in words 2. Learning letters 3. Letters and sounds 4. Letters and sounds in words 5. First five vowels a e i o u 6. First 3-letter words 7. Five Long vowel sounds A E I O U 8. All the other vowel sounds 9. The commonest words. - You will like this lesson. 10. Silly spellings - how to cope. 11. Why English spelling is silly 12. Old English spellings 13. French spellings 14. Old Greek spellings 15. Latin spellings from the ancient Romans 16. Taking long words to bits 17. Bits of Latin words 18. The last 8 vowel sounds 19. Learning silly spelling - a tip 20. Reading using all clues



B1. Silent reading test B2. Reading with children B3. Reading new vocabulary B4. Turnabout reading story  B5. Classroom barriers to Literacy B6. Literacy materials you can make yourself - a list and description B7. vy's literacy video B8 Some Best Books children like (and you can add to these) B9 Checklist for learners B 10 Avoiding classroom barriers to litereacy B 11 Practical comprehension test B 12 Holidays and fluency

Notes on how to use the lessons.

Put them in a folder or make a book or put them on the wall, so that the Learner can look at all the previous lessons and all the ones to come, at any time. Like a bed-time book.

Charts and stories can go up on the wall or the frig.

A birds'eye view of the task is morale raising. It shows the task is nogoing to be too much after all.

You can have a alphabet frieze on the wall with pictures matching the letter shapes and when a Learner thinks she knows a letter, she can colour it in or put a sticker on it or another picture with the initial sound. In this way all the frieze gets coloured in, and the Learner can see what she knows and what there is still to know.

They can skip through the first lessons like lightning, but it is a security check. It is amazing how often failing learners have become confused or forgotten or not known something very simple, such as singing slowly to hear sounds in words.

I have known adults who did not realise there were 'Only 26 letters! I thought there were thousands!'

And it cheers up many Learners to find how much they know already.

Learners do not have to know each part before going on to the next,


i. Every lesson-time there can be a quick revision for a minute or so of the parts before, and the Learner can ask questions and

ii. The lesson-book stays there, and there are parts of it up on the wall, so it is always there for reference.

That means you can move quite fast thru the whole series and it gradually jells. Some bright young learners may want to whip through the whole 20 lessons in the first lesson, and then later go back to where they are not sure.

In this series of lessons there are no Activities except reading and singing, and playing with plastic letters, and the Learner asking the questions, not the teacher, and having books that the Learner likes , where he can find letters and words and start reading parts of it - IF HE WANTS TO.

iii. Learners can tick each section when they think they understand it. They need not know it perfectly yet. You don't have to test them.

No heat, no hassle, no worrying, no tests except the Silent Reading Test.

It does not matter if you or your child has all 95+ symptoms of dyslexia - there are many such 'failing learners' who have still learnt to read once they find they can enjoy it.


Stop each lesson the second BEFORE you sense a Learner is starting to get bored or anxious. Be alert. It might only take a few minutes or even seconds for the first lessons to stop. Stop at once. Happily. Then next time the Learner will remember the fun, but not any experience of being bored. That way it may soon be you that the Learner is pleading to, to keep going.

NOTE 6. The cat-on-the-hot-stove syndrome.

Most of the problem when learners keep on failing is that they develop the Hot-Stove syndrome.You can easily diagnose this: when they can start to read one line fairly well,then on the next line they start stumbling, and soon they are completely bogged down.

The anxiety they have learnt too well has caught up with them again.

You can also diagnose this anxiety with a galvanometer to measure galvanic skin response, a little electric gadget that fits on a wrist, and shows when anxiety rises. Show some people a book - and whoosh!

Anxiety level shoots up! So you know, the first thing is to reduce the anxiety or nothing will be learnt.

If you suspect that a young Learner is getting pretty anxious about their reading (and if Parent or Teacher is anxious about them, you can bet that the child will be even more so - it's highly infectious)then the immediate solution is STOP THE HASSLE. Take a week off for nothing except songs and story-telling and goodnight reading and re-reading books that they want to listen to.

Then bring on VY's lessons - but ASK THEM NO QUESTIONS. NO TESTING AT ALL. Let them ask all the questions they want. Be happy. If you like, you can have a dish of nuts, raisins or tiny sweets or bits of Lego or fischertechnik or tokens, andduring a lesson, whenever the Learner does anything showing they are catching on, say NOTHING, just quietly slip them one of these token rewards to a dish of their own. The items must be tiny things.

The Learners quickly catch on to what you are doing. NO criticism, no reassurances, no praise. Just you being happy, and the rewards making a little clicky noise as they go into the dish.

Soon at the end you can say, "Well, I enjoyed that!" because it will be true.

Please contact with any questions or requests.

Eventually these Web-site materials will be brightened up properly, and available on DVD, video and CD

Anyone may use and develop VY's Literacy Materials for DVD, video and CD Rom, on condition that permission is asked, recognition is made of original authorship, and royalty awarded on any sales, to be used to further develop Literacy Innovations.