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A language-rich classroom environment is the norm… but what if you can’t read?

Written by: Laura Brough
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8 min read
Laura Brough, Woodston Primary School, UK It was the summer holidays and I had a grand vision for a Great Fire of London display to create awe and wonder on the first day back. My mother-in-law very kindly offered to help with making this vision a reality. When she looked around my room, open-mouthed and wide-eyed, and said ‘Wow!’, I felt incredibly smug. What she then said shook me and has stayed with me for a decade: ‘I would hate to be dyslexic in your class. All these words… how awful if you can’t read.’ It had never occurred to me before that moment that everything I had created to support students’ learning may, in fact, have been having the opposite effect.  The philosophy that I had been following is effectively summed up by Mary Johnson-Gerard (2018): ‘In a language-rich classroom, you can foster all aspects of language in young children... The importance of a print-rich classroom environment cannot be understated.’ Now, I was forced to ask myself: Could

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