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About Me

My name is Ellen MacPherson, and I've been a structured literacy tutor in the Regina area and online for five years. I studied Mandarin during my undergrad, and am a long time language and linguistics enthusiast. When my own children struggled to learn to read is when I realized the deep need in our community for accessible structured literacy intervention and advocates dedicated to helping our children with Dyslexia and other Learning Disabilities. 

With my zealous love of language combined with almost two decades of teaching experience, I commenced tutoring my own children, and then children in my community. The rest is history, as they say.

Young kids

What is structured literacy?

Structured literacy is an approach to teaching that is systematic, explicit, cumulative and multimodal. It is comprehensive, and includes instruction and extensive application of auditory discrimination skills, phonological awareness, phonics, fluency and language comphrehension, all of which contribute to reading comprehension.


Auditory Discrimination

Phoneme discrimination and sequencing develops phonemic awareness, reading, spelling, and speech. Students explore the oral motor features of speech sounds and use this feedback to verify sounds within words. Phonemic awareness is essential to fluent reading, and is often not developed to an advanced enough level which inhibits students' acquisition of literacy skills. I use a variety of resources to remediate auditory discrimination issues including the Auditory Discrimination in Depth program and the Rosner Auditory Skills program.

The Barton Reading and Spelling System

The Barton Reading and Spelling system is an Orton-Gillingham based, explicit, multisensory structured literacy intervention. It is a rigorous and comprehensive system comprised of ten levels and designed for students with Dyslexia, or learning disorders in reading. Susan Barton, the founder of Bright Solutions for Dyslexia and creator of the Barton system is in the International Dyslexia Association's hall of recognition.

I am a qualified Barton tutor trained in all ten levels in the Barton system. This program is ideal for individual or small group (up to three students) intervention.

UFLI Foundations

The University of Florida Literacy Institute Foundations program is an explicit and systematic program that teaches students the foundational skills necessary for proficient reading. It follows a carefully developed scope and sequence designed to ensure that students systematically acquire each skill needed and learn to apply each skill with automaticity and confidence. This program is ideal for core reading instruction, and can be used in groups. 

Equipped for Reading Success

 Equipped For Reading Success is a comprehensive step-by-step program that bolsters phonemic awareness and fluent word recognition in order to promote orthographic mapping. Dr. David Kilpatrick developed the standardized Phonemic Awareness Screening Test, used to screen for weaknesses in Phonemic awareness, and the Equipped for Reading Success program which is used to target and remediate those areas. 

Simple Words books

Simple Words Books are lo-readability, high interest books that promote fluency during intervention. 

You can find Simple Words books and more locally at the Penny University Bookstore

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