For more than 6 years, Liz Kane has been paving the way for teaching literacy in New Zealand schools.
Following an extensive career in teaching, Liz identified that there was a fundamental missing piece: structured literacy.
MSL Training, Sydney. Liz was the first Kiwi to attend. Here, she identified Structured Literacy, informed by the Science of Reading as the necessary ingredient in New Zealand education.
Liz Kane Literacy became the proud sole distributor of the 'Little Learners Love Literacy' (LLLL) - the gold standard of decodable stories for children learning to read. Interest outside the Manawatu region for Professional Development and workshops in schools began to grow. Liz launched ‘Structured Literacy - Manawatu’, for local teachers to connect and collaborate.
Liz was invited on to the steering committee for 'Lifting Literacy Aotearoa'. The group presented to the Ministry of education the ‘first best solution’ to solving literacy underachievement in New Zealand.
Liz Kane began developing 'The Code' a resource to guide teachers when implementing Structured Literacy into their classrooms.
The early years
Prior to Liz Kane Literacy launching in 2017, Liz had spent her career teaching in Integrated, State and Private schools across Manawatu, Rangitikei, and Whanganui.
In 2010 Liz had secured a position as a Resource Teacher of Literacy in Feilding.
Liz stepped out into the world of Structured Literacy Coaching in New Zealand schools.
Liz began offering Professional Development in six schools, private tuition and hosted her first few workshops.
Demand for Structured Literacy and workshops continued to grow across New Zealand. Liz now works across the nation, from as far north as Whangarei through to the depths of Sawyers Bay in Dunedin.
Liz introduces her two-day "Professional Learning in Structured Literacy" workshop.
Bringing leading concepts to NZ
Liz continuously develops her knowledge of Structured Literacy by attending a series of conferences in Australia:
Louisa Moats Conference, Melbourne, 2015
Maryanne Wolf Conference Melbourne, 2016
ResearchED Melbourne, 2017
ResearchED New Zealand, 2018
David Kilpatrick Conference, Sydney 2019
Language and Literacy Conference, Perth 2019 (Keynote: Dr Stanislas Dehaene)
Astonished by the number of primary and intermediate-aged children struggling with reading, spelling, and writing, Liz was called to Structured Literacy Coaching in New Zealand, attending intensive training overseas and bringing thought-leading concepts to our country.
Stepping into this new role in 2017 following an extensive career as a classroom teacher and then Resource Teacher of Literacy across the Manawatu-Whanganui region, Liz’s path to support educators, teachers and parents began and - just a few years on - has lifted teachers confidence and provided a framework that’s forced its way to the forefront (and for good reason!).
Having trained in Multisensory Structured Language (MSL) a few years prior in Sydney, Australia, Liz was able to identify the deficiencies in both what is being taught to educators and what educators are ultimately teaching our children in regards to the English language.
Liz’s knowledge of Structured Literacy and The Science of Reading enabled her to create The Code; a highly-sought after resource designed to guide New Zealand teachers through the process of implementing Structured Literacy in their classrooms and schools.
Being a teacher herself and knowing first-hand that this crucial learning wasn’t being covered in their training, Liz geared The Code to support teachers to self-teach the code of language, providing a scope and sequence that incrementally builds the code of language from the simple through to the complex.
As soon as Liz had visited a few schools in the area completing workshops, word spread, and teachers and parents were reaching out, requesting the tools to support their children at home. Fast forward to the current day, and Liz has ‘zoomed’ with hundreds of parents, and trained more than 1,000 teachers from Whangarei all the way down to Dunedin’s Sawyers Bay.
has elevated my understanding of Structured Literacy as the necessary ingredient in
Few tools, however, have proven as advantageous to Liz’s training as her relationship with Maureen Pollard, the creator of the Little Learners Love Literacy® decodable stories which began at a conference in Melbourne, Australia.
“Maureen very kindly encouraged me to take a set of her books home,” says Liz. “I was rushing out the door to catch my flight, and she trusted me to pay her on my arrival back home.”
This trust was just the start, with Liz Kane Literacy now being the sole distributor for these incredible resources which form a fundamental stepping stone for Kiwi kids learning to read.
Since 2017, the numbers of teachers, school leaders, parents, Speech Language Therapists, Resource Teachers of Literacy, and Resource teachers of Learning and Behaviour who became interested in Structured Literacy has grown exponentially.
Liz Kane is now heavily involved in Lifting Literacy Aotearoa and Structured Literacy Manawatu - two groups: one a national body and one a regional group - which unite local teachers to keep abreast of the latest understandings around Structured Literacy, new resources and teaching techniques.
"I knew most teachers hadn't had this crucial learning in their training."
Lifting Literacy Aotearoa
Lifting Literacy Aotearoa are a diverse and large collection of parents, educators and other professionals from around New Zealand who have been on their own learning journeys - some for more than 30 years - seeking to help our own children, or the children we teach, and support their learning to read and write.
The impetus for the formation of this advocacy group has sprung from the coalescing of voices amongst a support group for parents of Dyslexic children. However, we recognise that the struggles to learn to read and write are sadly not confined to only dyslexic children. Approaches to learning instruction based on the Science of Reading best support all learners to learn with the most efficacy.
What began as a small group of seven teachers has grown to 70 teachers across the Manawatu. Each term Liz hosts a free Professional Development (PD) session at one of the local schools.
It's a great way for teachers to connect, collaborate and learn from each other. To date, there have been sessions on:
· Phonological Awareness
· Resources and how to use them effectively
· Orthographic Mapping
· Hiwinui School shared their Structured Literacy Journey
· The Code