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Words! Literacy Club
Words Literacy Club

Words! Literacy Club is a concept that was created out of a need to give kids an opportunity to learn about the English writing system in an enjoyable, supportive and cognitively rich environment. Many schools and homes do not have the resources available to provide children with such a word wealthy environment. Nor do they have the opportunities or means to do effective research—indeed the art of researching is being lost with the proliferation of information available over the internet and the lack of skill in analysing it.

Words! Literacy Club is an attempt to meet the needs of English-speaking children who want to know more about this most interesting of languages, whether native speakers or those who speak it secondary to another language.

As much as I would love to take credit for the concept of a literacy club, the idea originated from the work of Frank Smith who stated in his excellent book Reading Without Nonsense (1997)…

To understand reading, children must become members of a group of written language users; they must join the literacy club.”

He goes on to explain that this is a club all can join simply by virtue of being able to read or write. Unfortunately, in my work with children around the world I have found many excluded from this ‘virtual’ club through no fault of their own. By giving a physical form to the idea, my aim is to create an opportunity for all children to belong to a literacy club—regardless of their entry level of competence—and in so doing provide them with the means and opportunity for success.

This Club was originally formed and operated out of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia from 2001 -2003, it re-emerged in Geneva, Switzerland from 2005 - 2010 and, since returning to New Zealand in 2012, it is now operational in the Greater Wellington region based on the Kapiti Coast. 

While the Club has members all around the world, the physical address of the club is wherever I am based. Now thanks to current communication trends, membership really can be virtual, with ideas and answers only an email or a tweet or a text away.

So what is the Club all about?

It is often lamented that English is a difficult language full of anomalies and without form or logical structure. Many folk claim that it is with the spelling and pronunciation of the language that the difficulties lie. Yet the orthography and syntax of the English language are extremely well-ordered. There is a structure to it that evolved over centuries and has produced a language with a sound morphology, a traceable etymology, and clear phonological principles.

Adults and children who are having difficulty with written English do so because there is a gap in their understanding of this structure to the language. That's where Words! Literacy Club can help.

The Club offers challenging yet fun ways to discover everything about the English language that you need to know to master it.  While the Club does have a physical address, it can be mobile and virtual, depending on who you are, where you are, how many there are of you and what your needs are. 

Words are wondrous, power-enhancing and spell-binding, the tools and weapons of all who aspire beyond their current state. Membership is free, contact me today to learn more and welcome to the Club. 

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