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Build English Fast for Students Learning English as a Second Language

Posted by Peter Barnes on May 4, 2022 at 9:15 AM

Peter Barnes

Why do ESLs struggle with reading?

Students with limited or no English speaker proficiency need instruction in recognising and distinguishing the sounds of English as compared or contrasted with sounds in their native language.

To be most effective, instruction for ESLs in oral language knowledge, skills, and abilities must be explicit, intensive, and extensive.

Oral proficiency in English (including oral vocabulary, grammar, and listening comprehension) is critical for ESLs to develop proficiency in text-level English reading comprehension.

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Topics: English Language Learners, Fast ForWord123

How Olfactory Senses Can Help Kids Learn

Posted by Jane Shearer on April 28, 2022 at 2:40 PM

With only around a hundred receptors, the olfactory system can detect millions of scent-packed molecules on a daily basis. Kids have greater sensitivity to smells than adults, but everyone is affected by the powerful connection that smell and memory have evolved to share. Now, neurologists are uncovering more about how the olfactory system can be used as a tool for learning in young children.

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Topics: Memory, Learning

34 Dyslexia Questions & Answers with Dr Martha Burns

Posted by Peter Barnes on April 26, 2022 at 11:45 AM

Peter Barnes

Dr Martha Burns Do you have questions about Dyslexia? 

What is it? What are the causes of this challenging condition?

How are brain scientists and researchers progressing in their quest to understand Dyslexia? And most importantly what are the latest interventions making a difference for people with Dyslexia?

Dr Martha Burns answers some of your questions here:

Question:  Why do some students miss some words to read while reading?

Answer by Dr Burns:  There can be several reasons. Sometimes students skip over words because their visual tracking isn't smooth and coordinated. Sometimes they just don't recognise the word and trying to figure it out seems too difficult, so they skip over it or misread it. Sometimes, if in a hurry, they just misread it because they don't take the time to figure it out.

Question:  How does dyslexia affect an adult learner?

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Topics: Dyslexia, Reading, Reading Difficulties

How To Get Young Children Interested in STEM Subjects

Posted by Jane Shearer on March 29, 2022 at 10:38 AM

There have been various reports over the past few years about the shortfall in technically qualified workforces in Australia. These shortfalls have led leaders in STEM-based careers to predict that Australia might be unable to compete on the global scientific and technological forefront.

The solution to this problem, however, is simple. Parents and teachers need to focus on getting children interested in STEM subjects from an early age. In doing so they can help to create a generation that can compete and contribute on a global level.

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Topics: Learning, Careers, Teaching

Fast ForWord Endorsed As One Of The Most Powerful Reading Tools

Posted by Peter Barnes on February 18, 2022 at 10:48 AM

Peter Barnes

The Fast ForWord reading and language program has received an official re-endorsement from the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE). Fast ForWord’s CASE endorsement now enters its 7th year and will extend through December 2024. Read the Businesswire announcement here.

Developed for struggling readers, Fast ForWord is a unique 3-in-1 program that simultaneously develops reading, cognitive, and social-emotional learning skills to efficiently build reading and learning skills. Included in the Fast ForWord suite of exercises is Reading Assistant, an innovative guided reading tool that uses speech verification technology to support and listen to students as they read aloud, acting as a guided reading coach.

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Topics: Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity, Reading Assistant Plus (RA+)

Ways to Keep Your Backyard Safe for Children and Pets

Posted by Jenny Wise on February 11, 2022 at 9:37 AM

Next to the family room, your home’s backyard is probably the focus of a lot of activity, no matter what time of year it is. But also think of all the backyard mishaps that occur: getting stung by wasps after accidentally knocking down a nest; stumbling over a tree branch that had blown down in a storm; getting bitten by mosquitos in wet, uncut grass; having wild animals wander into an unfenced yard looking for food; or even playing on a rickety set of swings.

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Topics: Autism, Confidence & Resilience

How to Help Your Child Settle into a New Primary School

Posted by Jane Shearer on December 7, 2021 at 3:15 PM

Every year many children move to a new school.

And as Covid makes working from home more common, prompting parents to relocate away from big cities, even more students may be faced with the challenge of integrating into another school.

Generally, there are three times in a child’s life when they must deal with education-related change: starting pre-school, moving to primary school and moving to secondary school.

When a child is starting school, they are generally with other children who are all new starters too. But if you have relocated to a new area, your child may be the only new student and it can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. Fortunately, there are ways that you can help them.

Here are some tips for settling your child into a new primary school so that they can enjoy the experience and learn successfully

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Topics: Confidence & Resilience, School, Learning

How to Improve Your Child’s Social Skills

Posted by Peter Barnes on November 19, 2021 at 11:44 AM

Peter Barnes

Are you concerned your child's social skills may not be up to scratch?

Here you will find some strategies, tips and activities to help your children improve their social skills. You will also learn where to look for online programs and professional help. And if you want to dive deeper into the topic, there are some links to resources from around the world.

But first, what are social skills anyway, and why should you care about them?

Social skills include behaviours and emotional competencies

Social skills include a range of behavioural and emotional competencies such as:

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Topics: Social Skills, Social & Emotional Learning

How To Help Children Prepare for Their Exams & Reduce Stress

Posted by Jane Shearer on November 16, 2021 at 2:54 PM

Are young children more stressed out about taking exams than they should be? Recent research shows that exam stress is hurting students in Australia and elsewhere. 65.1% of Australian youth report high levels of exam stress.

Even young kids aren't immune to it, especially children who will be sitting important exams for the very first time. This is why proper stress management skills are important for a child's wellbeing and academic performance.

Here's how to prevent your child from getting stressed and help them prepare for their exams. 

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Topics: Confidence & Resilience, Learning

What I noticed in one class after Covid lockdown

Posted by Moya Gibb-Smith on November 12, 2021 at 1:26 PM

There was a Covid outbreak at a school near where I live.

A lot of the teachers at that school had to isolate. Added to that were the staff who hadn’t returned to school because they’re unvaccinated. This created a drain on the pool of casual teachers in the local area.

I work for LearnFast but I like to keep my hand in by doing a little casual teaching work for the department. So when all the casual teachers in my area were covering the Covid affected classes, I got a call from my old school which is also close to where I live.

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Topics: Social Skills, School, Teaching

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