Word Wasp Questions
Who is it for?
Any student, adult or child, with literacy problems. Students who have been diagnosed as dyslexic. Anyone who would like to teach reading and spelling on a one-to-one basis without anxiety.
Why have you called the text 'Word Wasp'?
' Wasp' represents: Word Articulation, Spelling and Pronunciation. These three elements are manipulated by the Word Wasp to teach students, from the age of seven upwards, the necessary rules, structures and skills to communicate (read, write, spell and speak!) the English Language.
Is the Word Wasp suitable for those students diagnosed as dyslexic?
Special Educational Needs students at Crawshaw School Pudsey, (where the Word Wasp underwent extensive trials) suffered from a wide range of literacy problems. Almost all of the students were statemented: and of those statemented, almost all had been diagnosed as dyslexic. Some students began the text without any discernable reading or spelling age. The Word Wasp teaches the rules and structures of English through reading and spelling and it is suitable for all students. It is used extensively with dyslexic students throughout the United Kingdom, Europe and both hemispheres of the wider world.
Students learning English as a second language benefit from its extensive phonic base. Students with speech problems benefit from the same structure. Children and adults with poor auditory discrimination demonstrate a marked improvement in clarity of speech.
Does the Word Wasp use synthetic phonics?
Synthetic phonics and low frequency words play an integral role in the exercise structure.
Can anyone be a Wasp coach?
The Word Wasp was designed for the kitchen table! Housewives, print workers, students, parents and classroom assistants have all used the text successfully. In some cases, the coaches also had literacy problems and they were kept a matter of a few pages ahead of their students. Test coaches were chosen deliberately for their lack of formal qualifications in order to make sure that the text was working rather than the individual skill of a Special Needs teacher.
Is it necessary to use Word Wasp on a daily basis?
No! The Word Wasp can be used once a week. The amount and speed of progress is proportionate to the frequency and length of use.
How long should each session take?
Ideally, coaching sessions should take between thirty and forty minutes however, some schools have limited time available and Wasp lessons are restricted to twenty minutes. In extreme cases, time is limited to 15 minutes during assembly. The authors use the text for teaching sessions of an hour. Much depends on your student's abilities.
You will find that a student's enthusiasm rises with progress and the length of each coaching session should be tailored to the individual student.
How will I know if my student is making progress?
The Word Wasp has been designed so that every time a coach uses the text they know exactly where they need to start. The diagnostic grid leaves you in no doubt as to where a student has progressed. Furthermore, it highlights weaknesses which can be isolated and strengthened.
My son has a short-term memory problem. Will he be able to work with the Wasp?
Unlike systems based on memory training and word recognition techniques, the Wasp deals with structures and rules. Dyslexic students and those with weak literacy skills may have short-term memory problems but that 'cuts no ice' with the Wasp which teaches literacy skills like chess skills. The vowels are the court pieces, the consonants are pawns. You would be amazed at the number of dyslexic students who cannot spell their own address properly yet they are wizards on a chess board!
What about regional accents?
Students from Glasgow, Essex, Liverpool, Birmingham, Australia, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Malaysia, all have strong regional or national accents; all use the text successfully.