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Welcome to My Educational International Leadership Journey

Updated: Oct 2, 2023


Making reading and writing easy for international students who speak more than one language


Let me jump right into the importance of building a strong reading writing, speaking and listening program for founding schools. This is especially important for students who are learning a second or third language. Many founding schools use the lure of learning English as one of the dual or mono languages in their school. As a director for Early Years programs, I reviewed many phonemic programs from Jolly Phonic, Song of Sounds to Bug Club phonics. I came across THRASS (Teaching Handwriting Reading and Spelling Skills) from a colleague. It is an Australian literacy program designed to help learners, including second language learners, develop their reading, spelling, and writing skills.



Here's how the THRASS program can be beneficial for second language learners:

  1. Phonemic Awareness: THRASS emphasizes phonemic awareness, which is crucial for second language learners. It teaches learners to recognize and manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken words. This skill is essential for understanding the sound-to-letter correspondence in English, which can be particularly challenging for second language learners.

  2. Systematic Phonics Instruction: THRASS provides systematic instruction in phonics, helping learners understand the relationship between letters and sounds. For second language learners, this systematic approach can be especially helpful in bridging the gap between their native language and English.

  3. Visual Representation: THRASS uses a visual approach with charts, symbols, and color-coding to represent phonemes and graphemes (letters and letter combinations). This visual representation can assist second language learners in making connections between the sounds they hear and the letters they see, helping them decode words more effectively.

  4. Multisensory Learning: THRASS incorporates multisensory strategies, including auditory, visual, and kinesthetic elements. Second language learners can benefit from this approach as it engages multiple senses in the learning process, making it easier for them to remember and apply what they've learned.

  5. Vocabulary Expansion: THRASS helps learners build their vocabulary by teaching them to decode and spell words based on phonemic patterns. For second language learners, this can be particularly beneficial in expanding their English vocabulary and improving their overall language proficiency.

  6. Spelling Improvement: THRASS focuses on spelling skills, which is vital for second language learners who often struggle with English spelling rules and irregularities. By learning spelling patterns and rules systematically, learners can become more confident and accurate spellers.

  7. Self-Paced Learning: The THRASS program can be adapted to suit individual learning needs, allowing second language learners to progress at their own pace. This flexibility can be especially valuable for learners who may need additional time to grasp certain concepts.

  8. Teacher Support: THRASS provides training and resources for teachers, enabling them to effectively implement the program with their students. Second language learners benefit from well-trained teachers who can provide guidance and support tailored to their unique needs.

  9. Improved Reading Fluency: Through its focus on phonemic awareness and decoding skills, THRASS can help second language learners become more fluent readers, enabling them to comprehend and enjoy English texts more effectively.

The program can be a valuable tool for second language learners by providing systematic instruction in phonics, improving their phonemic awareness, enhancing vocabulary, and fostering better reading and spelling skills. Its visual and multisensory approach, combined with teacher support and adaptability, can make English language learning more accessible and effective for second language learners of all ages.

I was an honor to have the pleasure of founder Dr. Denyse Ritchie and her colleague give a whole school inservice training to our staff. They offer certificate training from foundational to mastery and lead level. Information for this program can be found at https://www.thrass.com.au/pages/courses.


I hope this blog was helpful for founding schools who are looking to have a strong English Language base for their students. Please feel free to write a comment below.









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wow you are highly experienced, will definitely teach kids to be successful.

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love your dedication to teach!

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