Supporting and Developing Literacy for Deaf Learners using Different Phonic Approaches: Visual Phonics and Synthetic Grapheme suitable for BSL users

Presented on Tuesday, 16th April 2024


The focus was on developing emergent literacy and preparing deaf pupils to learn phonics using the Visual Phonics and a synthetic grapheme approach for BSL users. The day started by looking at the science behind phonics and why so many deaf learners can struggle in this area.

The early literacy skills that children need to acquire in preparation for learning phonics were examined; why these are important and how they can be developed.

Visual Phonics was explored allowing participants the opportunity to try out the visual cues before developing an understanding of how visual phonics can be developed in the classroom with the introduction of reading and writing.

A look at the synthetic grapheme approach was demonstrated and examples on how this can be implemented.

Target Audience

Teachers of Deaf children and young people, mainstream teachers, speech and language therapists


Julie Rae, Teacher of the Deaf, Aberdeen and Brian Shannan, Manager/Educational Audiologist, Fife and CPD Co-ordinator (Deaf Education), SSC