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Speech Sound Brains

Ortho-Graphix makes the phoneme to grapheme mapping VISIBLE

This is beneficial to those learning to read and spell AND to those teaching children to read and spell!  

Are you the parent of a toddler?

As a world-leading expert in teaching toddlers to read, enabling them to choose and read books before they turn 4, I am about to share my unique method with parents globally. I am deeply concerned about the declining number of children reading for pleasure when taught to read in school. With the widely acknowledged SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) crisis, we can also prevent issues by ensuring children start school already reading, equipped with fabulous speech and language skills.
Importantly, reading is the by-product of play-based, child-led learning, rather than the primary

You may be expecting me to start talking about 'letter sounds', show flashcards with graphemes, or to begin teaching 's a t p i n' and building words like sat, pin, Stan, nip, and then sentences like 'Stan sat in a pan', or reading 'decodable readers'. You won't see any of this! These are 2 and 3-year-olds. They are 'naturally' acquiring speech and language without direct, explicit instruction - and I teach toddlers to read in ways that actually support that development. Their speech and language skills are positively impacted, and this also helps with their Speech Sound Brains.


What I am doing is building Brain Word Banks - spoken and written words are bonded (the phonemes, graphemes, and meaning) but in ways that make sense to 2-year-olds. While some may teach children to read using traditional phonics or whole word flashcards, this won't be effective for all. I don’t have the time to wait or want to try something that the child may not be interested in. They MUST be engaged with what I am doing - and choose it. If they don’t think of my activities as 'play', then I won’t get them reading by 4.

This concept can sometimes be difficult for adults to grasp (toddlers 'get it' straight away). To address this, I will be opening 'Wings' - a play centre that also serves as a training and research centre. One-way mirrors surrounding the play areas will allow me to demonstrate (and talk to viewers around the word, and those training in the physical space) my methods, as it's live-streamed when open. For child protection reasons, access to the stream is carefully monitored. For the first time, you can actually WATCH children learning to read and more easily implement these strategies at home, or in your early years centre.

So please do register on the site to get notifications, and to be able to access some of the freebies about to be launched. There will also be a support group for parents where you can connect with me, and those I train (e.g., Level 1 Award), to answer your questions!

Children love my 'character' Miss Emma in Speech Sound Cloudland (with the purple dress!) and in person, and I love them!  When teaching your child to read I will be there with you, and if English is not a second language you will hear them pronouncing words as I do (and also mimicking The Speech Sound King) 

It will be MUCH easier for me to support you when there is a physical space,
and so that children do know I am 'real' but until then let's explore together as best we can in cyberspace! 

Emma Hartnell-Baker

Miss Emma in Speech Sound Cloudland

Transforming Language Learning: Ortho-Graphix's Innovative Approach to Phoneme-Grapheme Mapping and Speech Therapy for Children and Adults

The following is written for teachers and tutors tasked with filling learning gaps: 1 in 4 children struggle to read and spell independently and confidently in schools using traditional methods eg with synthetic phonics.
If you are a parent who wants to prevent learning difficulties, use the link above:-) Don't worry, it's really easy to do with toddlers!! Language and Literacy difficulties are much easier to prevent, if those around toddlers know how to shape Speech Sound Brains. I'll show you how. Miss Emma x   

It is easieer to build strong children than to repair broken men

Ortho-Graphix, with its cutting-edge approach, revolutionises the phoneme-to-grapheme mapping process, integrating the visual impact of Emma Hartnell-Baker's pioneering Orthographic Mapping Tool and IPA-aligned phoneme characters, the Speech Sound Monsters. This methodology enables both children and adults to perceive words as 'pictures of speech sounds', instilling an understanding of the universal code for consistency and igniting a passion for delving into spelling patterns.

Crucially, Ortho-Graphix offers specific speech therapy-type support, aiding children in articulating phonemes depicted by the Speech Sound Monsters. This innovative feature is instrumental in developing accurate pronunciation and speech clarity, alongside reading and spelling skills.

The utility of this method extends significantly to learners mastering reading and spelling and to educators imparting these skills. It empowers children to adeptly navigate the complexities of English orthography, moving beyond the confines of learning solely grapheme-to-phoneme correspondences within their systematic phonics instruction.

Adults, particularly phonics teachers, greatly benefit from this approach. Despite their reading and spelling proficiency, many struggle with phoneme and grapheme mapping. Emma Hartnell-Baker's extensive experience in phonics teacher training has illuminated a substantial, yet underexplored challenge within education and literacy instruction: teachers' difficulty in orthographic mapping and their lack of strategies for identifying phoneme-grapheme correspondences. This shortfall places them at a considerable disadvantage when teaching children to decode and encode words. The Ortho-Graphix Level 1 Award equips parents and teachers with the necessary tools to map phonemes and graphemes accurately, utilising the IPA, Spelling Clouds, and the Orthographic Mapping Tool, enhancing their understanding of the Universal Spelling Code, even as skilled readers.

This deficiency, particularly in accurately identifying phonemes, is highlighted when teachers are tasked with reading KS2 reading comprehension texts (SATs), with many achieving only a 50% accuracy rate. They are also challenged to identify potential pronunciations of pseudo-words, akin to those in the UK Phonics Screener Check.

To avert the educational failure of at least one in four children in the UK, it is imperative to identify and support teachers struggling with phoneme-to-grapheme mapping. Meanwhile, we concentrate on educating parents and early years teachers in these vital skills, ensuring a robust foundation for our future generations.

Train with Miss Emma and join an increasing number of adults who are becoming experts in the Universal Spelling Code: a deeper understanding of phoneme-to-grapheme relationships, which the vast majority of adults lack, despite being skilled readers, leaving them ill-equipped to impart orthographic knowledge to children learning to read and spell.

Ortho-Graphix Level 1 for those teaching phonics: learn to fill the gaps, and build bigger Brain Word Banks! Sign up: access training for 3 months here
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