duffy remedial reading


literacy teaching method teaching spelling teaching remedial spelling remedial reading method remedial spelling aid spelling and reading assistance remedial english method remedial spelling method remedial learning aid duffy remedial english remedial english course perth remedial english teaching learning english in western australia reading course in wa remedial reading and writing method remedial teaching aids remedial learning of english remedial english teaching remedial reading and writing The Duffy remedial method for teaching the reading and spelling of English was devised by renowned Sydney cleric Cornelius J. Duffy, D.D., Ph.D, F.A.C.E., O.A. (1902-1986).

This website explains the Duffy method and provides resources for teachers wishing to improve their remedial skills in the reading and spelling of English, and for teachers of English as a second language.

duffy remedial reading While working as an inspector of Catholic schools in the Australian State of New South Wales in the 1950s, Dr Duffy became aware of some upper primary children of average ability or better who were unable to read, let alone spell.

He was puzzled by this as most children gain literacy skills using visual memory and to a lesser degree auditory memory, frequently incorporating some phonic word attack skills and, in the past, rote learning.

Note: We read chiefly to gain knowledge or for entertainment. It is possible to read - that is, to gain the meaning of a word such as sabre - without being able to pronounce the words properly.

With a university education in Latin and Greek, as well as knowledge of French, German, Spanish and Italian, Dr Duffy was over many years able to develop his unique understanding of the development and structure of English based on its history.

Through word consciousness he was able to show English is a rich language that is both logical and consistent in structure, based on four main streams.

In a series of 12 charts he was able to present these streams as well as factors such as changes in pronunciation of some words that have occurred over the centuries - e.g. the ci in social and precious is now usually pronouced as sh and is often spelled that way, and the slurring of the letter a in words such as medical and secondary.

Euphony is the reason for grief becoming grievous rather than griefous, and innigate becoming irrigate.

duffy remedial method

The Duffy method is essentially a cognitive, thinking approach which does not rely on visual memory for every word.

It incorporates going from the known to the unknown and time is not wasted on what is already known. It enables use of texts which are of interest and possible use to the students rather than graded readers.

Click here for The Four Main Streams that make up the English language

Dr Duffy provided examples of the different groups in two booklets - Traffic Lights Reading and Spelling (published by E.J. Dwyer Pty Ltd) at the primary school level and Spelling Vertically for secondary students.

These books are now out of print. However, Words by Design - Making Sense of English by Judith Gleeson provides examples at all levels.

Note: For a full understanding of the Duffy method, evidence to indicate its efficacy and how the Duffy charts must be used to be effective, consult The Manual compiled by Judith Gleeson.


This website presented by
educational psychologist
Judith Gleeson
B.A., M.Ed, T.C.
remedial reading and writing



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