Some questions asked by teachers
Do I need to follow the guide?
The guides are designed to be handy resources for teachers. You should use them as appropriate for your classroom. We recommend that you read the guide through to familiarise yourself with it. There is more than one starting point in the Letterlinks chart or you may decide just to use the parts that suit your existing classroom activities.
How do I fit Letterlinks into my already busy timetable?
To use Letterlinks in your existing timetable you need to familiarise the children with the characters in a way that is appropriate to their level. This is typically done once or twice wth periodic reinforcement. You can then use the Letterlinks characters and ideas within your existing material. Children pick this up very quickly and will start learning by themselves.
How quickly should I cover the characters?
This will depend on the level your children are at. For young children start with two or three Linkers a week. The children will hook into this quickly and you can introduce more characters. We recommend that the children meet most of the Linkers in a reasonably short time, with periodic reinforcement as required. Older children can meet most of the Linkers in a few weeks and become familiar with them and their logic. You can then explore the more complex parts of the language with the children.
Can I use Letterlinks for remedial activity?
Letterlinks is very useful for remedial work and is compatible with Reading Recovery. The explicit nature of Letterlinks lends itself to accurate diagnostics and to be able to focus the remedial work.
Is Letterlinks useful for ESOL children?
Most ESOL children find Letterlinks an easy way to become competent with the alphabet. We have found that in classes where children are struggling to acquire alphabet knowledge that after 6 weeks with Letterlinks they have caught up with their peers. It is particularly useful for children whose first language doesn't have some of the sounds that are in English.
My class already know the alphabet. How can Letterlinks help them?
Letterlinks is more than just an alphabet resource. It provides children with analytical skills to handle many of the complexities that are found in English such as prefixes and suffixes and the many ways of spelling the vowels. It provides the teacher with an explicit way to address specific difficulties that individual children encounter.
Is Letterlinks a whole class resource?
Letterlinks can be (and should be) used in whole class, groups and one on one situations. The children get quite involved in it and will often teach themselves during group work.
Do I need both Letterlinks stages?
You can mix and match the Letterlinks resources to suit your children's requirements. For very young children, concentrate mostly on Stage One. For older children, use Stage Two with some of the Stage One resources.
Is it a bit young for my older (or more capable) children.
The Linkers are quite adaptable and can be presented in different ways. For older and capable children, you can introduce the basic Linker patterns quickly with little embellishment. They will be interested to see the logic of how the Linkers work. This logic can then be used to explore some of the interesting parts of the language.
Is it expensive.
Definitely not. You can select just what you need for your children. A typical set of classroom resources for Stage 1 costs $100-150, and $60-$100 for Stage 2. Check the price lists and see just how low the cost is for Letterlinks.