How does one teach British phonics to an American speaker? Is this a very silly question? I've just started supporting a 10 year old who has been in England since September. A very bright, motivated pupil, high achieving in maths, but struggling with reading and spelling. We've held off from assessing her until now to give her time to adjust to a British school, but I've now run several diagnostic tests on her, including several looking at phonological skills. Because her scores were so low on these tests I've specifically used the CTOPPS, which has American pronunciation and US norms. She is still scoring low, which indicates to me that her phonological skills are not well developed, even by US standards (her mother tells me phonics is not so widely used in US schools, and she was taught to read largely by visual, whole word methods). I am specifically not going any further down the dyslexia-diagnosis route at the moment, but have decided to give her some training in phonics and phonological skills and see whether that improves things. However - I've got a problem with how to teach vowel sounds. I usually start with the basics of short and long vowel sounds, leading to open and closed syllables, which leads to word attack strategies for decoding longer words, and spelling rules when adding suffixes ... i.e. an understanding of short and long vowel sounds is pretty basic. But this girl's pronunciation does not include a short vowel /a/ - it's much longer nearer in sound to a British long /a/. And then there's her /o/ and /u/ sounds, which are less distinguishable from each other than with (standard) British pronunciation ... and lots more differences. So I'm temporarily stumped. Any suggestions as to what I should do? Change my whole approach? Teach her to hear the differences between her own vowel sounds if not the British ones? Working in the south of England I haven't really come across this issue with other pupils, whose pronunciation mostly doesn't differ widely from standard English, but I guess I could have the same issue if I was teaching someone with a regional pronunciation which differs from standard English in terms of vowel sounds. I can imagine that phonics teaching in Scotland, for example, takes account of Scottish pronunciation, but what would happen if you had several speakers of widely different pronunciations in one class? I think I'm in a muddle here - can anyone sort me out, please?