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Synthetic phonics programs focus on teaching GPCs (grapheme-to-phoneme correspondences) more often than PGCs (phoneme-to-grapheme correspondences). This approach emphasises the connection between written symbols (graphemes) and the sounds they represent (phonemes). Despite its limitations it is often possible for learners to decode unknown words with the aid of pictures and context. 
However, when it comes to spelling, which essentially involves going from phonemes to graphemes (PGCs), learners will find it more challenging when synthetic phonics is used. Spelling requires the ability to break down words into their individual sounds and then to choose the correct graphemes to represent those sounds.
Ortho-Graphix Coaches are trained to understand the limitations of the Systematic, Synthetic Phonics approach: they recognise why some children struggle to become skilled readers and why spelling can be especially difficult for so many. This understanding is crucial for identifying and addressing the specific needs of each learner within the neurodiverse classroom.

Miss Emma training parents and teachers to guide children  towards orthographic knowledge

IPA aligned phoneme characters SHOW children the 'sound value' for each grapheme. This is especially helpful for correspondences not explicitly taught within systematic, synthetic phonics programs: they prevent children being unable to decode words like 'said' and from spelling the word using their limited knowledge eg 'said' as 'sed'.  Children can also use 'cues' to deduce words and then track back (phonological recording)
Train with Emma Hartnell-Baker, who teaches 2 and 3 year olds to navigate written English and its opaque orthography.   


An "opaque orthography" refers to a writing system in which there is a complex or less direct relationship between how graphemes are written and how they are pronounced ie the phonemes that map to them. This can make reading and writing more challenging, and especially when you add in the variety of accents and dialects used when people speak English around the world!  In an opaque orthography, the same letters or combinations of letters can be pronounced in different ways in different words, and the same sounds can be written in different ways. For example, in English, which is considered to have a relatively opaque orthography, the pronunciation of letters and letter combinations can vary greatly (compare "cough," "though," and "bough"). This contrasts with "transparent" or "shallow" orthographies, like Finnish, where letters and sounds have a more consistent one-to-one correspondence. It is far easier to learn to read and spell if you are in Finland! (something often not understood when systems and educational outcomes are compared). 

Those developing synthetic phonics programs treat mapping as if transparent, assuming children will somehow acquire knowledge of 'the whole code' and become skilled readers. They only teach about 100 of the 350+ correspondences children will use when reading and writing.
Ortho-Graphix Coaches know how to ensure that ALL children are able to navigate English orthography more easily, including the correspondences not taught directly and explicitly, and the discrepancies between spoken and written English and issues that affect how words are mapped orthographically, for example accents, connected speech etc Because we understand how children learn AND we understand how to make English orthography more transparent, we fail no-one.
Ortho-Graphix Coaches prevent children from becoming instructional casualties, and inspire them to become avid readers.  

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