Fast-track Phonics Workshop

Structured literacy approaches for English Language Learners (ELLs) Years 7-10


 This workshop covers intervention teaching strategies for new arrivals and longer-term immigrants who need extra classroom support. It is designed for ESOL teachers and teacher aides in primary and secondary schools.

‘Needs-based’ teaching for ELLs 

NZ and international research on the Science of Reading shows the advantages of using structured literacy approaches for all learners in the teaching of basic English language skills. However, an extra focus is needed for ELLs, given that they come from a range of language backgrounds and often with limited English vocabulary. Some are not even fluent in their own native language.

How can ESOL teachers better help ELLs to cope when immersed in English language classrooms day after day?

Workshop focus – structured literacy approaches

This workshop explores ways in which structured literacy approaches can be used to assist these learners. For ELLs to progress in language fluency, it is essential that they know the basic 44 sounds of the English language, some of which do not occur in their own native languages. Once learners have mastered these sounds, they need to know the wide range of alternative spellings for these sounds and how to apply them to vocabulary building, reading and listening comprehension, pronunciation, grammar, syntax, and writing skills.

The focus is on intervention for years 7-10 ELLs who do not have basic literacy skills, but also applicable to younger and older learners.

This workshop covers:

  • Sharing of personal teaching situations – roles and responsibilities, challenges
  • Overview of the structured literacy approach
  • the synthetic phonics system – basic 44 sounds and alternative spellings
  • systematic, cumulative, explicit, needs-based and engaging teaching strategies
  • Alternative spellings for basic sounds
  • Diagnostic assessment
  • Lesson planning using multi-sensory strategies in a fun way
  • ‘Fast-track Phonics’ resources

Workshop details





21 June 2024

9.00am – 3.00pm

Kapiti Impact Hub, Tui Room – 6 Tongariro St, Paraparaumu (5 minutes walk from Paraparaumu railway station)


$220  per person + GST.  Registrations close   7th June 2024 (Minimum and maximum numbers apply)

Cost includes a 106-page Teacher Guide, learner workbook, morning tea and lunch.

The workshop will be conducted by Margaret Corner, a registered NZ teacher:                                    MA (Hons), Dip Tchg, PG Dip SLT

Margaret has taught English at primary and secondary levels for over 25 years. This included 6 years as HOD of the English Language Department at Wellington College, and 6 years as a Native English teacher (NET) in a Hong Kong Forms 1-7 secondary school. She also founded and managed an international education consultancy, training teachers in Hong Kong and Kenya.

Margaret is also an editor and writer of educational publications and most recently co-authored books (for government publisher) on foundational literacy for teachers and children in Kenya:                         

Fast-track Phonics – Learner’s workbook for Pre-primary 1, Kenya Literature Bureau             

Fast-track Phonics – Teacher’s Guide for Pre-primary 1, Kenya Literature Bureau

Please complete the following registration form if you wish to attend this course. If you have any queries please contact Margaret at