I have been away for a bit and have been amazed to find that the debate continues, and still on the same entrenchend lines. Perhaps Msz no longer consider herself an advocate of SP, but a few posts ago she said, "I'm afraid it has very little to do with reliable/unreliable letter/sound correspondences". Following a commercial phonics course may make literacy teaching easier, but there is no evidence at all yet that it makes a difference to the persistence of the 20% rate of literacy failure which continues to bedevil all English-speaking countries. I don't think that any teaching method can make a substantial difference to this while English spelling remains as inconsistent as it is. But I think that debates about literacy teaching need to take a closer look at the inconsistencies which are chiefly responsible for English literacy failure. There is no mystery about how to teach children to read and write words like 'a fat cat sat on a mat'. What needs honest discussion is how best to help them cope with 'and any apron' or 'on only once'.