Emma Egg
Success in Reading and Writing
Corey Clown

What does Letterlinks do that is different?

Letterlinks explores the elements and connections of spoken and written English. Just as we teach children how to manipulate numbers in maths, so we teach them how to manipulate the components of English. This knowledge and skill provides children with confidence and success right from the start.

Letterlinks uses memory aids to help the children recognise the components of written and spoken English. These mnemonics use pictures, story telling, songs, actions and role-playing to build strong connections in each child's imagination. This is achieved using imagery that New Zealand and Australian children are familiar with in high quality, colourful material.

The alliterative Linker character names provide consistent links to the letter sound. The sound of Yoghurt Yan's letter in Yoghurt and Yan gets linked in memory with the letter shape. Now we can talk about the Name of Yoghurt Yan's Letter ('why') and Yoghurt Yan's Sound ('y'). Children learn this distinction very quickly. This opens the door for later on when we deal with more complex situations.

The Linkers also provide ways to talk about orientation and letter formation. To make Benny Bear's letter we start by the bee beeper (he uses this to find the buzzing bees) and go down before going up and around his face.

Pippy Pig and Quinn the Quarry Man face each other on the Alphabet Frieze and on the Character Card.

It is important that children are comfortable with the basic vowels. The Linkers provide a friendly and consistent way to present the vowel story to children, using characters such as Amber Ant and her friend April A.

This is quickly followed by recognising sounds represented by consonant digraphs such as 'th' and Thermal Thundercloud. Using Letterlinks tools children extend their own learning by searching for chunks when reading or writing. Letterlinks also supports learning about blends.

In Stage 2 things get interesting

Stage 1 has provided the children with a consistent logic that gives them control of the language. The children are now building a broad repertoire of conventions linking sound and print in English. This continues to build, covering many spelling conventions plus prefixes and suffixes.

As things get more complex, the same consistent approach makes it simple for children to extend their knowledge. Meet The Boing Toy in 'boy'. Once this is secure, move on to 'boil'. Many spelling options radiate outwards in this way.

One of the challenges with English is the many ways to spell the vowels. Letterlinks handles this consistently and in a way that each child can progress at their own pace.

Letterlinks, Tools for Language