Child's face  MyRead: strategies for reaching reading in the middle years
explicit teaching
monitoring and assessment
classroom organisation
professional development
further readings



MyRead is a project of the Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE) and the Australian Literacy Educators Association (ALEA). It has been funded by the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST).

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MyRead wins APA Secondary Technology Showcase Award

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Janette Vervoorn & Rita van Haren

MyRead Project Developers

While collaborating on the MyRead project, Janette Vervoorn and Rita van Haren have also been enjoying the challenge of writing the ACT Department of Education and Community Services Literacy and Numeracy Strategy. They have worked together in delivering professional development in literacy to ACT teachers from K-12, particularly in the First Steps resource, and parent and learning support programs. They also have parallel roles in their professional associations with Janette as president of ALEA ACT and Rita as president of ACTATE.

Janette Vervoorn

Rita van Haren

Peter Freebody

MyRead Academic Advisor

Peter Freebody is Professor in the Faculty of Education and Director of the Centre for Literacy and Language Education Research at Griffith University. His research and teaching interests are: literacy education; state and commonwealth policy on literacy; interaction analysis with a particular focus on disadvantage, health and literacy; and research methodology.

Peter’s recent publications include:

Lo Bianco, J. & Freebody, P. (2001). Australian Literacies: Informing national policy on literacy education. Canberra, ACT: Language Australia.

Freebody, P. (1999). Literacy education in Australia and New Zealand. In D. Wagner, R.L. Venezky, & B.V. Street (Eds.) Literacy: An International Handbook. Boulder, CO. (US) Oxford (UK): Westview Press.

Freebody, P & Herschell, P. (2000) The interactive assembly of social identity: The case of latitude in classroom talk. International Journal of Inclusive Education. 4, 43-61.

Luke, A., Freebody, P. & Land, R. (2000) Literate futures: Review of literacy education. Brisbane, Qld: Education Queensland.

Freebody, P., Muspratt, S. & Dwyer, B. (eds.) (2001) Difference, silence, and textual practice: Studies in critical literacy. New Jersey: Hampton Press.

Peter Freebody

Robyn Cations

MyRead Finance Officer

Robyn has worked very efficiently as the finance officer of the MyRead project, overseeing the budget, organising payments and providing financial reports to DEST.

As AATE Executive Officer, Robyn also coordinates activities at the AATE's Adelaide property, English House, which has been set up as offices for several language and literacy associations, a bookshop, an information centre and a meeting place.

On the national level, Robyn is a point of liaison for the eight state English Teachers’ Associations, through their delegates to AATE, and also provides support for the Executive. The rest of her job involves correspondence and minute taking, assisting with new publications, and keeping financial records.

Robyn Cations

Irena Schorsch

MyRead Administrative Officer

Irena has provided administrative support to the project including liaison with the web designers, scanning and typing of resources and general morale boosting support for the project officers.

Irena has extensive experience working with and supporting teachers and students in schools. Since 1999 she has been administrative officer for the Literacy & Numeracy Team of the ACT Department of Education, Youth & Family Services.

Irena Schorsch

Sue Blackall

Sue has been teaching for 20 years, mainly in primary schools. Her specialist areas are ESL and Learning Assistance. As part of her role as Literacy Executive Officer with the ACT Department of Education, Youth and Family Services Sue is involved in delivering teacher professional development. She has also spent two years as an Early Literacy Officer working in a number of schools on school based professional development.

Sue Blackall

Ruth Crilly

Senior Project Officer, Middle Years Strategy Team, DE&T, Victoria

Ruth has worked in education for over 20 years, mostly in primary schools. She has taught year levels P-6, Visual Arts and Special Needs. She has worked as a Curriculum Consultant in Eastern Metropolitan Region, providing schools with support in implementing CSFII and the Early Years Literacy Program. During 2001 Ruth was a Middle Years Literacy Project Officer in Northern Metropolitan Region, supporting primary and secondary schools across the region in undertaking middle years reform. This year she has joined the Learning and Teaching Innovation Division, Department of Education & Training to work in the Middle Years Strategy Team, utilising previous school and regional experiences, to assist in policy and program development for students in Years 5-9, particularly focusing on literacy.

Ruth Crilly

Pat Donnelly

Pat has had a twenty-year association with Education Queensland working in such diverse contexts as primary and secondary schools, a one-teacher school and an aboriginal community school on Cape York. He has been involved in the writing of Queensland English syllabus writing and awarded numerous education awards including the Australian College of Education Mackay and District Award for Excellence in Education and the Australia Day Medal from Education Queensland for services to Arts Education. He is currently coordinator of the Learning Development Centre for Literacy, based at Fitzgerald State School in Mackay. His personal philosophy on education is that it should serve all students in learning ways to shape and enrich their future.

  • 1992  Awarded the Australian College of Education Mackay and District Award for Excellence in Education
  • 1993-2000   Coordinator of the Mackay and Districts Writers’ and Artists’ camp
  • 1993   Writer for the Queensland English syllabus
  • 1994-7   Regional Coordinator for the Arts (Capricornia Region of Central Queensland)
  • 2000   Recipient of an Australia Day Medal from Education Queensland for services to Arts Education
  • 2001-Present Day   Coordinator of the Learning Development Centre for Literacy based at Fitzgerald State School in Mackay

Pat Donnelly

Corinne Dorsett-Dand & Margaret King

Both Corinne and Margaret work for the Department of Education in Tasmania and have extensive teaching and leadership experience.

As District Literacy Officer for the Derwent District, Corinne delivers and facilitates literacy professional development for teachers K – 8. A major aspect of her role is the management, coordination and support of the Flying Start Program, an early childhood initiative. Corinne is an executive council member of ALEA Tas. South. These two roles provided the opportunity for Corinne to write up the work of Margaret King and present it as a guide for the MyRead Project.

Margaret began her teaching career in the Central Highlands of Tasmania in the 60's and is currently A/AST3 at Glenorchy Primary School. In this capacity she works as a Flying Start resource teacher in Year 1 classes and teaches drama role play with students from Years 1 to 6. She is recognized for her work with boys and literacy. In 2001, while teaching an all boys Year 6 class, she participated in a national federally funded inquiry into boys’ literacy. Her work with drama role play was documented as part of the final report.

corinne dorsett-Dand

Margaret King

Christine Edwards-Groves

Christine Edwards-Groves currently works as an Education Officer-Learning and Teaching with the Wagga Wagga Catholic Schools Office. Her past research focused on classroom interactive practices in the middle primary school. The study provided detailed information about how lessons in literacy are constructed through the talk and how teachers, after examining their own talk, reoriented their interactive practices to become more explicit in implementing focused learning and teaching programs. The results have had practical application to one aspect of her current work which largely focuses on assisting teachers in schools to monitor their own interactive practices and to refocus their talk in order to implement focused teaching and learning literacy programs that meet the diversity of needs evident in today’s classrooms.

Christine Edwards-Groves

Sieta van der Hoeven

Sieta van der Hoeven has recently completed her PhD for the University of South Australia. Her study examines meaning making in the English literature classroom. She was once a secondary English teacher, both in Australia and overseas, now teaches part time at UniSA, and usefully fills in the rest of her time as president of the South Australian English Teachers Association, edits their journal, Opinion, and is Commissioning Editor for AATE.

Sieta van der Hoeven

Tony Liddicoat

Tony Liddicoat is Associate Professor in the School of Languages and Linguistics at Griffith University and President of the Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations. His research interests include: language issues in education, conversation analysis and language planning.

In recent years his research has focussed on ways on improving the teaching of culture as a part of language teaching and his work has contributed to the development of Intercultural Language Teaching methodology. He has published many books and papers in this area including:

Striving for the Third Place (Language Australia, 1999 – with Joseph Lo Bianco and Chantal Crozet)

Teaching Languages, Teaching Cultures (Language Australia 2000 – with Chantal Crozet).

Home/School – School/Home Communication, Integrating Home and School Practices, Homework that works at home and school (ACT DECS, 2000 – with Glenda Shopen)

Meeting the Challenges: Supporting partnerships between home and school in the middle years. (ACT DECS, 1999 – with Glenda Shopen and Robert Fitzgerald)

Challenges for partnership (ACT DECS, 1998 – with Glenda Shopen).

Tony Liddicoat

Kaye Lowe

Dr Kaye Lowe is currently visiting professor at the University of Kentucky where her primary role is researcher for the Collaborative Center in Literacy Development. In addition, she teaches literacy in the post graduate program and is involved in a number of projects including adult literacy initiatives and ‘Literacy on the Street’, a project designed to link undergraduates with service providers in the community. Kaye was senior lecturer at the University of Western Sydney for the past ten years and during that time edited Growing into Readers (1996) and wrote What's the story? Making meaning in the primary classroom (2002). She has published extensively and presents regularly at national and international conferences. Her research interests include teaching reading, understanding reading failure, and the role of story in pedagogy.

Kaye Lowe

Glenda Raison

After teaching for many years in primary classrooms in Western Australia, Glenda was involved in the development and implementation of the First Steps writing and reading resources. In more recent years, while working as an education consultant, she conducted professional development seminars for classroom teachers and contributed to a number of national literacy projects and other curriculum initiatives. Glenda now lectures at Curtin University of Technology in Western Australia where she is completing her doctoral studies.

The conceptual model and reading instructional strategies presented in Cooperative reading were developed from Glenda’s research conducted in middle and upper primary classrooms in socio-economically disadvantaged schools in Western Australia over the past four years.

Contact details
Postal address:
PO Box 30 Glen Forrest
Fax/Phone 08 92988738

Glenda Raison

Glenda Shopen

Glenda is a Lecturer in English Education in the School of Education, James Cook University, Cairns Campus. Previously she has worked at the Australian Catholic University (Signadou Campus), the University of Canberra and Batchelor College in the Northern Territory. She undertook her initial teaching degree at Sydney University and was a secondary teacher of English and SOSE in South Australia and Canberra. She has graduate diplomas in Aboriginal Studies and School and Community Relations and is currently undertaking her PhD in Applied Linguistics at ANU.

Her interests are in defining and linking community and school practices of literacy, curriculum change and Indigenous Education. She has completed research for the ACT Dept. of Education which resulted in three publications: Challenges for Partnership (1998), Meeting the Challenge (1999) and a professional development kit Strengthening Partnerships (2000). Since moving to Cairns she has worked in the Partners for Success project to present professional development workshops on How English Works to teachers of Indigenous students. She is currently developing an Action Research project with Indigenous teachers from remote communities in Far North Queensland.

Glenda Shopen

John Sarev

John Sarev teaches at Darwin High School in the Northern Territory. He is president of the English Teachers Association of the NT as well as being the ICT manager for his school. John’s interests include using ICT in the English classroom and boys in English; he currently teaches a year 9 all boys English class.

John Sarev

Keiju Suominen & Amanda Wilson

Keiju and Amanda are both ESL specialist teachers in the ACT. They have worked together as the Language for Understanding Across the Curriculum (LUAC) Team with ACT Department of Education and Community Services. They have collaborated on the development and implementation of the Language for Understanding in the New Millennium Tutor Training Program. They have delivered Professional Development and Training to Secondary teachers across the ACT using this resource. They have also worked with pre-service teachers focusing on literacy across curriculum.

Keiju Suominen

Amanda Wilson

Grant Webb

Manager Education Services, Education Queensland

Over the last 20 years, Grant has been actively involved in a wide range of professional activities relating to education in all sectors. A large part of this work involved language and literacy, including the implementation of a state syllabus, development of school based English programs, conducting FLIP and ELIC courses, facilitating LINC modules, working with adults who have a low level of literacy, working with tertiary students in preservice and post graduate courses and working with parents.

He has also written for professional journals and magazines to advocate the importance of literacy education and success in literacy for all students.

His current interests lie in the areas of cultural change and leadership development.

Grant Webb

Jeffrey Wilhelm

Jeff has been a teacher of reading and the language arts at the middle and secondary school levels for fifteen years. His interests include team teaching, co-constructing inquiry-driven curriculum with students, and pursuing teacher research. His recent research agenda includes studying how student reading, writing, and thinking can be supported through the use of art, drama, and technology. Most recently, he is studying adolescent boys and their reading, their attitudes and aspirations, and the school opportunities available to them for actualizing and performing different ways of being literate. He is particularly interested in supporting the learning of students who are often considered to be reluctant or resistant.

Jeff is currently an associate professor at the University of Maine where he teaches courses in middle and secondary level literacy. In Maine, he works in local schools as part of the Adolescent Literacy project and the University of Maine Professional Development Network. He is also the director of two annual summer institutes: the Maine Writing Project and Technology as a Learning Tool. He is also active in Maine’s Middle Level Education Institute, and he works with graduate students focusing on middle school and secondary literacy issues.

Jeff’s publications include: You Gotta BE the Book published by Teachers College Press and NCTE; Imagining to Learn: Drama Across the Curriculum, co-authored with Brian Edmiston and published by Heinemann; Hyperlearning: Where Inquiry, Literacy and Technology Meet, with Stenhouse publishers. Together with Tanya Baker and Julie Dube he has published the implications of several of their teacher research studies in Strategic Reading: Guiding Students to Lifelong Literacy, 6-1 (Heinemann).

He has just completed a major study on boys and literacy achievement with Michael Smith. Their provocative findings are published in “Reading Don’t Fix No Chevys”: the Role of Literacy in the Lives of Young Men (with Heinemann Publishers). Jeff is now writing a series of books for Scholastic that explore the teaching implications of his various studies on reading. The first is Improving Comprehension with Think Aloud Strategies: Modeling What Good Readers Do, and the second is Action Strategies for Deepening Comprehension: Role Play,Hotseat, Text Structure Tableaux and other Enactment Strategies, both from Scholastic Books.

He enjoys speaking, presenting, working with students and schools. He can be reached on email at

Jeffrey Wilhelm


Guide Triallers from ACT schools
Wendy Cave Gold Creek School
Gai Britt Telopea Park School
Christina Cochrane Dickson College
Yuvonne King &
Peter Kalyvas
Hawker PS
Fiona Picot Dickson College
Mary Quinane &
Sue Robinson
St Monica’s PS
Megan Luttrell St Clare’s College
Sarah Reece Calwell PS

Helen Flaherty &
Michelle Morthorpe

Campbell High School
Maree Uren Chapman PS
Rowan Simpkin Lyons PS
Dee Hyams &
Debby Jones
Village Creek PS
Christine Melican Lanyon High School
Students at Northside Primary Introductory English Centre, North Ainslie Primary School
Students at Secondary Introductory English Centre, Dickson College
Estelle Ihasz – student photography
ACT Department of Education, Youth & Family Services

MyRead CD and website produced by Conceive
Project management: Karina West
HTML coding, information architecture: Michael Honey


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