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Episode 7: Learning to teach kids living with dyslexia. How to get started and what training you need.

In this episode we talk to Bill, Sally, Karen, and Louise who run specialist dyslexia teacher training. We find out what’s involved and help you decide whether you should take up the challenge.

Watch episode 7 on YouTube

Show notes

In this episode, Michael (centre right) and Bill (behind the camera) are joined by Sally (left), Karen (right) and Louise (centre left) to discuss what’s involved in training to become a specialist dyslexia teacher or tutor.


Sally Andrew

holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Dyslexia and Literacy from the University of York, UK. Sally has been tutoring students with dyslexia for 20 years and has trained many parents and educators in evidence based multisensory interventions for dyslexia. Sally is the director of By Your Side Tutoring.

Karen Hodson

is a Director of Fullarton House – Assessment Therapy and Teaching and is a highly sought after Educational Psychologist with 23 years’ experience in supporting students with dyslexia and other learning difficulties. She has conducted thousands of assessments and has extensive understanding of dyslexia across the life span.

Louise Hanrahan

Louise is a coach with the Literacy Guarantee Unit (LGU).  She is an AITSL, certified Highly Accomplished Teacher with extensive experience in the field of literacy education. Louise specialises in teaching students with dyslexia using a structured literacy approach.  In her role with the LGU Louise supports schools with literacy planning, mentoring, in-class demonstrations and delivers appropriate classroom-based strategies for students in reading acquisition.  Louise has an interest in Initial Teacher Education. She has recently worked with AITSL as part of an expert reading group.  This group developed criteria to enable Initial Teacher Education (ITE) providers to identify well-designed studies, trustworthy research, and meaningful evidence to inform decisions relating to the teaching of reading instruction.

Selected links and extras related to the episode

Teaching Students with Dyslexia Training (TSD)

Is the training that Michael and Bill have both trained in and Bill, Sally and Karen run. Louise is also a graduate of all three levels of TSD. TSD is run only in South Australia as Sally, Karen and Bill all have their own practices that they try to minimize disruption to.

Speld Organizations around Australia


Speld SA

Speld Vic

Speld NSW

Speld Qld

Speld WA

SEELECT educational supplies

Louise mentioned SEELECT when talking about the team she needed to build around her when supporting her own kids with their learning needs. Felicity and Lyn at Seelect have been supporting teachers, parents and schools to choose evidence-based resources and use them well to help students with learning difficulties. Felicity is a trained multisensory tutor as well as co-owner of SEELECT and is a powerhouse of information and experience in the learning difficulties space.

Five from Five and The Reading League

Bill mentioned these resources as a great place for information about teaching in line with evidence.

Links from Louise

Learning SA Phonics Videos for students Reception – Year 2.  All structured Literacy.  Available to everybody. Primary (

PDF guides from SA Education Department
Integrating the big six of reading (PDF)
Understanding the simple view of reading and the reading rope assists teachers to integrate the Big 6 components of reading into their classrooms in differentiated ways.

Learning to read words (PDF)
This resource is designed to familiarise classroom teachers with the key factors underpinning automatic word recognition.

Louise also mentions resources ONLY available to South Australian teachers (requires SA teacher login)

Literacy Actions for Teachers and Leaders in the Guidebooks (these need a DfE login to access)
Primary and secondary literacy guidebooks – resources and references ( 

Best Advice papers  Big Six of Reading, PA, Phonics, integrating the Big Six of Reading, Learning to Read Words.  (these need a DfE login to access)
Best advice series and practical guides ( 


Other Training Organizations (Besides TSD)

IMSLE Institute for Multi-Sensory Structured Language Education

Dyslexia Orton-Gillingham Institute

Lifelong Literacy – Lyn Stone


S.A. Evidence-Based Teaching of Literacy Study Tour:

Salisbury Primary School

Using evidence-based teaching to unlock literacy for all students

An invitation to Salisbury Primary School,

*Study Tour 1: June 2-3rd 2022, and 3rd November 2022

*Study Tour 2: 25-26th August 2022, and 4th November 2022

Email Bill to book




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