Teaching Phonics

Master systematic synthetic phonics instruction with our research-grounded micro-credential.

Your commitment: 48 hours of content
Duration: Self-paced
Delivery mode: Online
Start date: 30th September 2024 onwards
Cost: Free

Download flyer Ask a question

  • Program overview

    Are you looking for further ways to help your students bridge the gap between sounds and letters? Phonics is the cornerstone of early literacy, yet its systematic and explicit instruction can be a challenge. This course provides vital primary teaching insights and identifies the critical evidence-based factors to consider, using the latest neuroscience and science of reading research. It also clarifies the many nuances of phonics teaching and learning in the foundational years. You’ll deep-dive into grapheme-phoneme correspondences, evidence-informed teaching sequences, contemporary instructional approaches, and embed systematic synthetic phonics teaching into your reading and writing curricula, so that your students learn the full alphabetic code. Supported by an online community of peers, you'll navigate this pivotal aspect of literacy teaching with increased confidence and competence, and be able to help your students develop the literacy skills they need.

  • Key learnings

    Our Teaching Phonics course is aligned to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers at the highly accomplished level, with a focus on evidence-based strategies tailored for today's dynamic classrooms. You will:

    • understand core systematic synthetic phonics research, knowledge, and terminology (including the links between phonological awareness and phonics) 
    • employ contemporary, evidence-backed strategies for systematic phonics instruction in the early years of schooling to supplement and enhance other areas of literacy education such as writing, spelling, handwriting, reading comprehension, vocabulary and grammar
    • undertake and assess phonic screening activities in your classroom
    • infuse explicit teaching methods into your phonics lessons and reflect on their efficacy
    • identify high-quality, evidence-based systematic synthetic phonics programs
    • examine and refine your approach using Action Research
    • connect with an active online community for discussion and reflection
    • engage with, share and contribute to phonics-related teaching resources
    • work toward a potential credit pathway for post-graduate study at the University of Adelaide.
  • Is this course for me?

    The micro-credentials are designed for education professionals: school teachers (early years, primary and secondary), school leaders, other education professionals within the school setting, and pre-service teachers.

  • How will I benefit?

    A solid grasp of how to teach phonics will further boost your confidence in using contemporary and evidence-based literacy practices in your teaching and learning program. This expertise can translate into greater awareness of the importance of early foundational skills when teaching reading, as you witness firsthand the positive impacts on your students. You will feel prepared and assured to support learning with access to a well-structured repository of resources and a framework for teaching phonics. Completing this micro-credential can also count towards the annual 20-hour professional learning requirement for maintaining your teaching certificate.

  • How will my students benefit?

    Students benefit significantly from the application of the science of reading to develop mastery of the alphabetic code and efficiency of decoding with automaticity. This reduces the cognitive load for students, allowing them to develop meaning and proficiency in reading. Students benefit by explicitly being taught the relationship between speech sounds and their corresponding spellings (phonemes/graphemes correspondence). Mastery of phonics by your students provides the foundations for vocabulary growth, comprehension, and reading fluency. This encourages engagement and makes the learning process enjoyable.

  • How will my organisation benefit?

    When educators are equipped with advanced phonics understanding and instructional techniques, they are better positioned to enhance student learning outcomes in literacy. School leaders can use the micro-credential to support implementation of a whole school approach to phonics by encouraging all early years teachers to undertake the micro-credential together. The readings, tasks and strategies can form the basis for ongoing critical conversations of professional learning teams to share practice. 

  • Background

    In 2022, the Quality Initial Teacher Education Review suggested that short courses could help teachers to upskill, particularly in areas where they feel underprepared, such as managing classrooms, using explicit teaching strategies, and teaching phonics. In response, the Australian Government has selected the University of Adelaide to develop evidence-based micro-credentials so that teachers in all stages of their careers can upskill in these areas of need with minimum disruption to their work capacity.

This program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education.