Schoolchildren Delighted by Italy, France, Germany Placing in First Ever World Cup Synthetic Phonics League

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To the surprise and delight of thousands of schoolchildren, Italy, France and Germany also took first, second and third places in the first ever World Cup Synthetic Phonics League - exactly the same places achieved by the teams in the main Football competition.

To the surprise and delight of thousands of schoolchildren, Italy, France and Germany also took first, second and third places in the first ever World Cup Synthetic Phonics League - exactly the same places achieved by the teams in the main Football competition.

The British Government have insisted, in their review of the Teaching of Early Reading (Jim Rose, March 2006), that it is highly important for young children to blend (synthesize) the sounds 'all through a word to read it'. So schools using the THRASS (Teaching Handwriting Reading And Spelling Skills) synthetic phonics programme have been adding up the number of sounds won by the thirty-two teams during the pool and knock-out stages of the football competition, right up to the final on 9 July.

The league was the brainchild of British Phonics expert Alan Davies, educational psychologist and designer of the THRASS Phoneme Machine, a ground-breaking computer programme that uses the International Phonetic Alphabetic and moving human lips to demonstrate the pronunciation of sounds (phonemes) in hundreds of frequently used English words. The programme has already enjoyed considerable success and THRASS UK has recently teamed up with SMART Technologies and the very latest in education technology to achieve true excellence through the joint sponsorship of a new project in South Africa, the THRASS SMART project.

Davies explained, "Each team was given a rating, depending on the number of sounds in their official name for the competition. For example, Ghana had only four sounds but Serbia and Montenegro had eighteen. Winning teams won the number of sounds of their opponents. For drawn matches, the total sounds for the two teams was halved. Our schools tell us that the league has been a big hit with the children - and with both the boys and the girls - which I am really pleased about!"

"Apparently, some of the children in our international schools were disappointed that we did not award Germany eight points for their win over Portugal in the Third Place play-off. However, we decided well before the start of the competition that this match was not really part of the actual knock-out. With the extra eight, Germany would have ended up with 43 points, and come second, but Italy would still have won with the 45 points that they amassed", added Davies.

Costa Rica, Serbia and Montenegro and Togo shared the three bottom places, having not won a single sound from any of their pool matches.

Notes for Editors

The Phoneme Machine screen grabs for the sounds in Italy, France and Germany can be viewed on http://www.thrass.co.uk/ifg.htm
The THRASS Phoneme Machine has been developed primarily for those for whom English is not their first language, for parents of children starting to read and for children finding reading difficult. It is available to parents and schools and costs only 10 GBP (plus VAT). More information can be found at http://www.phonememachine.com.

Text and a videostream about the THRASS SMART Project can be found at http://www.thrass.co.uk/thrass_smart_sa.htm.

Further details about SMART Technologies interactive whiteboards, and their other market leading products, can be found at http://www.smarttech.com

Issued by: THRASS UK News Media Centre http://www.thrass.co.uk/nm.htm

Mike Meade, Media Director, +44 1829 741413 Mob: 07970 151 738

Chris Griffiths, International Development, +30 266 203 1207

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Chris Griffiths
THRASS
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