Training gives teachers skills to help pupils get a grip on words

Islands

THIRTY-three teachers from 20 elementary schools along the west coast of Namatanai, in New Ireland, attended a three-day training on phonics.
The training also focused on common words outlined in the new standards-based English syllabus for elementary schools.
The workshop was facilitated by Ray O’Farrell and Irene Sawczak, of the schoolbook publishing company Bilum Books.
O’Farrell said the future wealth of Papua New Guinea “lies not in our gardens, not in the ground, not in the ocean (but) in the brains of our young people”.
“If we are to grow and prosper as a nation, our children must first be literate,” he said.
“Literacy is the foundation.
“Literacy gives power.”
O’Farrell thanked Nautilus Minerals for organising the workshop and their donation.
The workshop sessions led by Sawczak demonstrated the six steps needed to teach a sound using Bilum Books phonics.
The mastery of common words improves fluency and enables children to read and write 60 per cent of the words we use in everyday English.
Sawczak complimented the Department of Education on the new standards-based syllabus.
“If teachers are given more training and the right resource books to implement the new syllabus, students will learn to read and write in elementary schools,” she said.
In addition to funding the workshop, Nautilus Minerals also gave nearly K100,000 worth of Bilum Books to officials.

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