English as an Additional Language – a mother’s story

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In August 2015, our family made our final move to Adelaide from the Netherlands, having previously moved there from Asia.  Adam was 6 years of age and fluent in Dutch and his mother tongue.

One of my biggest worries was how Adam would fare in English as he had only had limited exposure to the language in Holland.  At his new school in Adelaide South Australia, I expressed my concerns to the Principal.  She told me not to worry as the school was using an English language program in the primary classes which would help Adam.

When Adam joined Grade 1, his reading level was 6.  His teacher helped Adam by starting from the beginning of the program with the single letters of the alphabet.  In four months, by the end of Grade 1, his reading level had moved up to level 17.

Grade 2 was the champion year for Adam, not just to improve his language, but to fall in love with it too.  In seven months, by July 2016, he was reading novels – that is in less than a year after moving to Australia.  In addition, his writing skills also improved exponentially.

As I write this in March 2017, in Grade 3 Adam recently passed a grammar test with 19/20.  At 8.30pm yesterday, he was wide awake in bed reading.  I told him to go to sleep and he answered, ‘Mamma, you know I love reading!’

I have no words to thank the creators of this wonderful English program and the amazing teaching skills of the teachers using it, that has had an immense influence on Adam.  Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts.

Adam’s mother


10 actions of LTR teachers

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An LTR teacher …

  1. believes in the enormous capacity of the students to think and learn
  2. knows the required curriculum content and the sequential steps for successful learning of the content
  3. knows the concepts behind the content and teaches explicitly, sequentially, step by step
  4. models all concepts in context – oral language, phonological awareness, phonics, spelling, grammar, punctuation, reading and writing
  5. provides interesting, varied and cyclical activities (constantly revisits what is already known and builds on to that understanding) to enable students to practise often and master the concepts in a practical context
  6. sets up the mode by which the students are accountable for their own learning, can celebrate the successes and face mistakes without fear, together
  7. sets up activities for peer assessment, feedback and active student engagement in learning
  8. evaluates and monitors own effectiveness and student understanding
  9. uses regular formative and summative assessment to monitor student progress and gain information to drive early intervention strategies and/or inform the next stage in the teaching cycle as well as a framework for reporting to carers
  10. regularly discusses classroom practice and shares ideas with colleagues – is a life-long learner

The teacher is the key to student success. 

The LTR Language & Literacy Program provides the tools and the training for teachers to do all of the above.  It matches the Australian Curriculum for Primary School English from Foundation to Year 2-3.  It provides the sequential and cyclical steps for success.  It provides interesting activities, games and discussion points to help students to grasp the concepts.  It provides the context for the concepts.  It sets up collaborative learning and reporting to train students in personal accountability.  It provides ideas for teachers in using embedded formative assessment to inform themselves about student progress and their own future planning for the teaching of concepts.

For more information about LTR Learning (Listen, Think, Respond) and the products that help teachers to meet the Australian Primary School English Curriculum requirements for Foundation/Reception to Year 2-3 students, click on the links.