Debbie, Of course I know what the advocates of synthetic phonics want the term 'synthetic' to mean, but in comparison to phonics in other languages, English phonics is not real. So it is synthetic in the sense of 'artificial' too. I?ve seen plenty of synthetic phonics teaching and have read everything about it that I could find or that was recommended to me. I?ve perused your website very thoroughly too. If I still don?t understand it well enough, then all of you who advocate synthetic phonics, and Rose and Letters and Sounds, have between you failed to explain it properly, and u can be certain that many other teachers are just as confused as I am. If Rose says that phonics should take about a year and you say it should take much longer, then the whole concept is a bit vague. I hope that attending your conference on Nov 9 will leave me better informed. (BTW, I?ve has nothing about it since paying at the end of August.) I don?t claim to be an expert on synthetic phonics teaching, but I do know what teaching letter-to-sound correspondences means, and to what extent this can be done in English, because of the research I?ve done. I also know exactly what learning to read and write English involves, not just in KS1, but from reception up to university level, and which aspects of it are easy and which ones are fiendishly hard. Rightly or wrongly, I believe that a better understanding of this would be beneficial for literacy teachers at any level. Rightly or wrongly, I also get the impression that the advocates of phonics believe that it's better to pretend that learning to read and write English is much easier than it really is.