Book Chapter

The journey to literacy: success for children with moderate learning difficulties



McLernon H, Gardner J & Ferguson J (2007) The journey to literacy: success for children with moderate learning difficulties. In: Dwyer B & Shiel G (eds.) Literacy at the Crossroads: Moving Forward, Looking Back. Dublin: Reading Association of Ireland, pp. 100-119.

This paper reports on a project which investigated the effectiveness of the Phono-Graphix approach to assist a sample of primary school children. These children were struggling with the development of their literacy skills and were referred for intervention under the category known as moderate learning difficulties (MLD). These 16 children, aged between 7 – 11 years and from four year groups in eight primary schools in Northern Ireland, received a weekly Phono-Graphix intervention. Progress in spelling and writing was judged to improve over a period of one year using standardized and diagnostic tests, observations, interviews, analysis of the children’s reading books and samples of written work. One year after the intervention had ended, follow-up assessments showed that the improvements had been sustained and in some cases enhanced. The research shows that Phono-Graphix influenced progress in these areas for the participating children.

Publication date31/12/2007
PublisherReading Association of Ireland
Publisher URL
Place of publicationDublin

People (1)


Professor John Gardner

Professor John Gardner

Professor, Education