Frances Prentice (B Sp Path, B Ed (Early Childhood) with Distinction) has worked as a paediatric Speech Pathologist, Advisory Visiting Teacher for Speech Language Impairment (AVT:SLI), classroom and kindergarten teacher, teacher aide, supply teacher, learning support teacher, tutor and home educator. She has been using LEM phonics since her original training in 1999 and has been instructing other teachers in the program since 2018. Frances has been part of the team of instructors who have been working to bring the newly revised 2020 version of the LEM Phonics program to life.
Frances has long been an advocate for structured, synthetic phonics, and for providing children with a firm foundation in phonological awareness and vocabulary development so they are ready for the challenge of early literacy acquisition. She is also experienced at discovering and filling in the gaps for those students who failed to acquire that foundation in the early years of school.
Despite having Bachelor degrees in both Speech Pathology and Education, Frances still learnt much about the complex web of rules and patterns in English when she did her LEM phonics training. Afterwards, she felt much more able to make sense of how the English alphabetic code works. What had previously seemed random now made sense. This made her passionate about sharing this with students and other educators. Research has shown that solid foundation in phonics removes the literacy divide between boys and girls, and reduces the gap between those from different home environments.
In 2022, Frances launched the ABCD Literacy website as a way of reaching out to those who were unable to attend a face-to-face course in LEM Phonics, to allow them to access an online course. (The online course was recorded by Prentice Media.) ABCD Literacy is also the launching pad for Frances’ own personal projects, beginning with a set of remedial worksheets designed to work with any structured, synthetic phonics program. Comprehensive lesson plans ensure the educator can learn along with their students.
Frances has home education experience with her two youngest
children, and is currently home educating her youngest daughter (who has Irlen
Syndrome). She is also running a home school co-op, which is trialling a new
handwriting program she is developing. She is also tutoring children aged
between 6 and 15 in phonics, whilst continuing to develop remedial phonics
materials. She hopes to have the handwriting program and the first edition of
remedial materials, Rebuilding Literacy, ready for release in 2024.
On a personal note, Frances is an emerging author. She has had a short story published in an anthology, The Opposite of Disappearing, and a ballad published in Tell ‘Em They’re Dreaming. Another of her short stories won a prize in the Audrey 2020 Short Story Prize competition. Frances also recently had a short story showcased in the shortlist of the Australian Writers Centre Furious Fiction competition (March 2023). She has dreams to write and publish some texts on literacy – watch this space!