English Language Fellow Jamila Barton led a “Phonics for Early Reading Success” workshop in Jordan. She worked with her colleagues in Amman to select 25 English language teachers in 1st through 3rd grade classrooms to attend the 3-day workshop to learn new teaching techniques specifically for phonics.

During the workshop, participants discussed the importance of phonics as part of a balanced reading program, reviewed the English sounds system and learned how to teach and design practice activities for their students. The teachers were given a handbook with reproducible material, classroom posters, flashcards and decodable readers from Oxford Reading Tree as part of a grant from her host institution, Queen Rania Teacher’s Academy.

Following the workshop, Jamila had the opportunity to visit the participants in their classrooms to support and mentor each teacher individually. She worked with each teacher to select and co-teach a phonics lessons. At the end of the lesson, the fellow conducted a short pre-assessment of phonics skills to help the teacher plan a sequence of skills for the year.

Next semester, Jamila plans to conduct a follow-up workshop and class observations and a post-assessment to gauge the effectiveness of the skills-based phonics lessons.

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