Review:Phonic Dictation:Prim-Ed publication

Phonic dictation-a task based approach is a series of four books that intend to help children’s ability to transfer phonic and spelling skills to reading and writing task.
These books begin at senior infant level and work up to 3/4th class level. They are written by a speech pathologist( a speech therapist, to me and you!) but have received input from Occupational Therapists and teachers as well.
The nice things about these books or programs is that they include an assessment or placement test for the class. This way you can find out exactly what “phonic” level the children are on. Once, the teacher has placed the child, they are set up on an individual programme. With this, we tick the differentiation and the assessment box in one go!
Each phonic dictation passage( photocopiable) involves 5 parts of tasks. These are made up of a reading practice, reading comprehension, error identification and correction, copying and handwriting and finally the dictation.
The programme is highly structured and isolates the learning to read system into a purely phonic(sound to letter/group of letter based) teaching methodology. It is entirely focussed on the child receiving teacher instruction as well.
This programme would suit a certain type of school, teacher and child. Some children will enjoy and learn reading in this way. Some teachers may like this extremely structured approach. If you think of the PAT programme of CVC reading training, then, this set of books would fit in well there. These books could be used extremely well in a Learning Support withdrawal setting as the Learning Support teacher could hone in on the errors the child was making. Also, the dictation would be more difficult in a class of 30 children who might very well be on totally different programmes.
Because, learning to read is so wide ranging, this set of books is only using one approach. They would be useful for a school who are looking to find ways to assess, structure and steamline their approach.
Each book costs €29.95 and are available as digital download as wel from the prim-Ed website at

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