Greg Brooks

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Any student, adult or child, with literacy, speech and hearing 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. Any parent who would like to give their child a head start to reach the early Key Stages.

‘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.

Like its parent text, The Word Wasp, the Hornet teaches the rules and structures of English but it starts at a lower and slower primary level. Auditory discrimination plays a key role in the early exercises.

The Hornet is not aimed at any particular age group. The Hornet recognizes that the problems which lie at the root of poor literacy skills are the same for five and seventy year old students alike. It is the perfect text for dealing with the early Key Stages. It is both coach and student friendly.

In recognition that primary schools are reluctant to buy other texts which their students might not complete before moving on to high school; the Hornet allows for earlier intervention at a more basic level and at a much lower price.

Special Educational Needs students at a High School, (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.

The Hornet was developed, like its companion text, The Word Wasp, with both dyslexic adults and children. It is therefore, free from any kind of language or graphics which could be deemed as patronising.

Synthetic phonics and low frequency words play an integral role in the exercise structures of both texts.

The Word Wasp and Hornet Literacy Primer were 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.

No! The Word Wasp and Hornet can be used once a week. The amount and speed of progress is proportionate to the frequency and length of use.

The Wasp/Hornet are one-to-one texts containing colour-coded instructions, advice and exercises.

Ideally, coaching sessions should take between thirty and forty minutes, however some schools have limited time available and Wasp/Hornet lessons are restricted to twenty minutes. In extreme cases, time is limited to fifteen 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.

The Word Wasp/Hornet have 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.

Unlike systems based on memory training and word recognition techniques, the Wasp and Hornet deal 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/Hornet 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!

Faith Borkowsky is Orton-Gillingham trained and Wilson Certified, and has extensive training and experience in a number of other research-based, peer-reviewed programs that have produced positive gains for students with Dyslexia, Auditory Processing Disorder, ADD/ADHD, and a host of learning difficulties.

Read Faith’s blog in which she compares OG to Wasp/Hornet:

The Word Wasp: Affordable, Effective Reading Intervention – High Five Literacy