A  Comic-book overview of how to

Help Yourself To Read and Spell

or find out where you got stuck

22  quick  lessons  that  can  be  downloaded  and  printed  out

Index of this first Edition

(Improved editions to follow)

  1. Overview of content in checklists. Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, in color and in black-and-white for printing.
  2. Hearing sounds in words
  3. Letters of the abc. Part 1, A-F, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4
  4. Letter shapes and when letters c, g and y can make more than one sound
  5. Letters in words. Switching letters around to make new words
  6. Consonant sounds and letters. When two letters make one sound
  7. 19 vowel sounds
  8. The easy vowel sounds a e i o u
  9. The 'long' vowels sounds as in A E I O U
  10. The vowel sounds ar er air or aw
  11. The vowel sounds ow oy oo (moon) oo (book)
  12. The 100 common words that are half of everything you read
  13. How to cope with spelling - Looking at words
  14. Where English spelling comes from
  15. Old English and French spellings
  16. Greek spellings in English
  17. Latin spellings in English and taking long words to bits
  18. The game of BABL with Latin roots of words
  19. More clues in reading. The Parlour song.
  20. Tips in spelling. The Princess
  21. A summary of the common vowel spellings
  22. What did you know already, and what did you find out? Color checklist.
  23. Black and-white checklist for fotocopying.

For an account of how to use these lessons, theory and research, see here.

For the text of the songs and sing-songs see Songs and Stories in the Literacy DVD/Video/CD and online.

"If it is in line with current thinking, it is not an innovation"

What's  new  about  this  overview  of 'help yourself to read' in 21 simple pages,

and the concept of the Literacy Video/DVD

with animated text to link speech and print.

'Advance organisers' show what is ahead.

You do not have to understand each page before you go on.
Go right through the lessons as an over-view.

Then go back to check what you did not understand. Ask a friend to read what you cannot read yet on these pages

In the video you can hear what you cannot read yet.

Look at the book or video again and again; as it unpacks it becomes easier and easier. 'One simple way to learn a hundred things' rather than 'a hundred forgettable ways to learn one thing'.


You find out what you need to know and where your confusions are.

You can ask friends or teachers to read the words. You find out where you need their help. You ask the questions. Not the other way around. Watch the video, use the book as you like, in your own way, for your own needs. People who can't go to classes can make a start at home.

Based on how adults learn -

by understanding and direct practice of the task in hand.

The overview gives adults and teenagers 'top-down' understanding and 'bottom-up' learning, with 'chunking' and 'network' that unpacks with re-watching, for faster and easier learning. Beginners and children can also enjoy it and learn from it, to prevent failure.

It starts from scratch.

So many older learners have simple gaps and confusions that no-one has realised - such as 'Only 26 letters! I thought there were thousands!'

Deliberately different

Not 'more of the same thing' for those who reject or have been failed by conventional methods.

It aims to 'make print interesting' with 'practice on print' reading books.

No clerical activities or contrived fun

to divert, diffuse or confuse away from the main teaching points. The learning itself aims to be pleasurable and interesting. Practise how to read and spell by reading print, rather than by games or exercises on computers or work-sheets.

Making print interesting

Designed to draw attention to the detail of words and pictures, and make it easy to remember teaching points. That is, learn to read accurately and fast - and not skim and guess with no means of correcting errors.

About the Web-page lessons, the comic book and the self-help cartoon 'Watch-at-Home' video:

The Web Pages and comic book are also handbooks and prospectuses for the half-finished video 'ABC GO! Help yourself to read and spell - or find out where you got stuck' ©. The video is surprising, entertaining, also emphasises understanding, and can be used as and when the viewer desires. You can sit in an armchair to watch - rather than sitting up at a computer screen. The computer grafics simplify complex material. The aim is to be intrinsically fascinating and to win awards as an art-form of high quality. Literacy learners should have the very best that artists and producers can do.

The 'half-hour' overview of what it helps to know to learn to read and spell.

The comic-book and video show in a simple grafic way: how to hear sounds in words, the alphabet, with letters and their usual sounds, how letters make words, spelling 19 basic English vowel sounds, how to cope with hard spelling and why it is difficult, Old English, French, Greek and Latin spellings in English words, taking long words to bits and working out their meanings, using many strategies in reading for meaning, and becoming skilled readers by practice, and re-reading what you like again and again. A 26-item check-list marks what you knew already and what you find out. Everyone learns something, including learners of spoken English. (Appendix) All the common and less common ways that vowel sounds are spelled.

  • Learners can find out themselves where they need more help from tutors. This can encourage the disaffected to come to courses, as they gain enough baseline confidence about what they do know, and know what they still need to know.
  • Market research with the experimental video showed the potential market for it in local libraries, video-libraries, bookshops, and adult literacy courses.
  • A half-hour video is 'low technology' that is more accessible for many low-literacy people than computers. It is re-usable and it is cheap - retail price estimate at $30 + GST for the video, $35 + GST for a kit with manuals.
  • Everyone completing the checklist with or without aid has learnt something. (Findings available)
  • It is entertaining and enjoyable, to watch for pleasure. All the entertainment is intrinsic to the learning, not added like jam. The format is lively, humorous and direct. It looks very simple - as it is intended to look, - because it makes the most of the value of cartoons. Adults enjoy Asterix and the Simpsons as well as children - there are some universals in these types of simple but not childish cartoons.
  • It is only half-an-hour, which is not 'too long', and can be watched piecemeal. Unlike 'one-off' TV, it is an overview that is to be watched several times, to unpack and take in the detail and become familiar with it all.
  • Its cognitive approach means that the content is for understanding, not rote learning. This makes it extremely useful as a preliminary for classes. Its manuals are for use in closer study.
  • It is an Australian innovation, and has export potential - as indicated by the export successes of the UK and NZ children's videoinnovations.
  • A major aim is first class quality - able to 'win an award at Cannes' as a valid work of art in its own right.
  • It seeks to encourage others to investigate and produce half-hour video overviews targeted to the many possible potential specialised markets, so that the most effective can be promoted.
Anyone can download, use, and improve upon the material here, but not to sell, privatise or turn into their own intellectual property any of the innovatory concepts, ideas , illustrations or ideas for illustrations. Creative Commons copyright vy

This creation is put up on the web for the benefit of the community of scholars everywhere.