What to teach? When to screen? How to cater for the range in ability?

This course will provide you with the structure and tools to improve the literacy outcomes of your students who have weak alphabet skills or as a supplementary course for staff within the Early Years.

About the Teaching the Alphabet Online40ourse

Recommended for - staff working with students who have weak alphabet skills or as a supplementary course for staff within the early years
Course presenter - Diana Rigg BA(Ed), BEd, CPP(UK), MEd, MSc(SpPath)
Course length - 35 minutes plus quiz
Access to course - 90 days
Certificate - Awarded upon completion
Supporting materials - Referenced material available for download 

Teaching the alphabet course description

This is a short course, which delivers a practical research-based approach to teaching the alphabet. It is essential that people working with children within their early years understand how to skillfully instruct this essential area so that children are equipped for their transition in to early reading, spelling, and writing.

The short-course explores the following:

  • A brief introduction to the basic principles of synthetic phonics, which underlies the PLD approach to teaching the alphabet.
  • Demonstrations on how to explicitly teach the alphabet using PLD's 'Alphabet and early phonics, the multi-sensory way'.
  • Demonstrations on how to apply this process to a set of generic alphabet cards.
  • Tips - when children are slow to acquire the alphabet.
  • The presentation of screening tolls tracks student progress.
  • Suggestions on what additional areas should be targeted along with the alphabet (i.e. phonemic awareness and blending).

At the end the 'Teaching the Alphabet' course, students will be able to ...

  • Understand the basic principles underpinning synthetic phonics and the theoretical base supporting PLD's approach to teaching the alphabet.
  • Explicitly instruct the alphabet sounds in a manner that supports later early literacy development and ultimately speeds up a child's preparation for reading.
  • Understand which alphabet sounds to teach first.
  • Understand tips to implement when children are slower than their peers to acquire alphabet skills.
  • Track alphabet skills for reading and alphabet skills for spelling and writing using PLD's assessment sheets.
  • Identify is children are ready to learn the alphabet.
  • Understand where to go next after alphabet sounds have or are being acquired.

Who should and who shouldn't take this course?

  • The course focuses primarily upon the effective instruction of the alphabet within the early years, however, the course can benefit those working with students within the primary school years who are experiencing difficulty acquiring alphabet knowledge.
  • LIteracy Coordinators or Junior PRimary Coordinators (looking for positive and consistent processes within schools).
  • Day care and community care providers.
  • Student teachers and/or parents.
  • Tutors aiming to devise a program for the students they are working with.
  • Speech pathologists, educational psychologists, or occupational therapists work within the realm of early literacy.

What will you need to know or do before starting this course?

  • The online course is ideal for the beginning of a school year, but it can be commenced at any time within an academic year.
  • The course provides an overview of theory but is very practical in nature, demonstrating many ways to approach the teaching of the alphabet.


Diana Rigg

Founder of PLD Literacy and Learning

Diana Rigg founded PLD Organisation because she recognised a large gap in the time it took for research findings to make it into practice in the classroom. With a Master’s degree in Education and Speech Pathology, Diana was convinced she could help close that gap, offering assistance to parents, teachers, and school systems looking for help in promoting literacy to the young people in their lives. With extensive experience as a Classroom Teacher, Specialist Literacy Teacher and Speech Pathologist, Diana understood what was needed. Drawing on over 15 years as a Professional Educational Consultant, Diana assembled a passionate team of Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Designers to help her translate the latest research and best practices from around the world into attractive, easy to use resources for both the home and classroom setting. Diana is active in both consultancy and publishing. Understanding the challenges of a classroom puts Diana in the perfect positions to deliver quality products aligned with school learning systems. Extensive experience in consultancy allows her to develop products suitable for use in the home either as supplemental lessons or as part of a homeschooling curriculum. In February 2010, Diana was recognised as one of Western Australia’s top “40 under 40” by the WA Business News. For more information on Diana’s work, you can Contact Diana or connect via Facebook or LinkedIn