The Programs Winged Keel

The Phonic All Star Program does have some design features that are unique and do make the difference as to whether a student is able to achieve their speech and literacy goals especially when there is a speech and literacy impairment. It is not uncommon to be supporting students who have failed to improve after many years of formal support who respond very positively to the program and we see changes quite quickly. From the surface, it would be obvious that by having brightly coloured characters, children would enjoy what they are learning. However, underneath that veneer outer casing of fluff, sparkles and fur there are specific design features that have intrigued me over the years how much they have made the difference with children’s improvement on a consistent basis even with the most challenging of communication and literacy difficulties.

So do I let the cat out of the bag …. why not? Wouldn’t you if you knew it would significantly support a child’s speech and literacy impairment.

I have called these features the winged keel!

Why? Well there are quite a few phonic and speech programs on the market and from the outside and by looking at a few resources in our program it may seem that this program is “same-old-same old” fundamentals of literacy. Yet, the truth is-the differences are in the details that may not be readily available on the surface but are part of the entire package that is trained in how to use the program. These are the  …”what you must not leave out details“.

These are the  “reasons why you shouldn’t bypass this or that activity or that you shouldn’t not teach this or that skill for your child’s learning which is spelled out to you that provides you with the understanding about what you are doing when teaching your child and the skills they are needing support with. It is the unveiling of the mystery under how some specific therapy works and how it works.

So then what does the Phonic all star program have that other correction programs don’t that is making the difference in helping a child to learn to talk and also giving a student the exercises and skills for literacy to develop after years of slow going or little improvement?

In addition to this, how is the Phonic All Star program helping kids to accelerate and how are kids powering forward in those foundation years of Kindy-Prep-Grade 1& 2 for their literacy skills which enable them to be confident learners that just love devouring books and using writing for pleasure?

Well the secrets are in the Phonic All Star Program’s winged keel design features. There are many specific details that I found as a Speech Pathologist  that I just couldn’t leave out now I knew how much of an impact that they were making!

To start with…in the initial phases of introducing the Phonic All Star characters and their cards, the winged keel are the details of:

  • Visual-semantic cueing by using a character hat cues the child to the speech sound’s auditory features (ie. “ou!” sounds like being pricked by a needle)
  • The Phonic All Star gesture or hand signal cues the child through their stronger visual modality and helps them to see the sounds they may not process accurately when they listen to the sounds in a word. It also assists with sound sequencing for children with dyspraxia and hearing the incorrect sounds and the correct sound to be introduced when shown by their therapist or parent.


The program is a scaffolded program that builds on children’s skills in layers based on the “components in the mental machinery” that are required to process speech (auditory processing), produce speech (phonological processing & articulation), read text, spell words and write text.

how to fix

The Phonic All Stars were not a Saturday afternoon idea  but a program that evolved and shaped over many years (14 now) of clinical practice under the watchful eye of seeing the impact the winged keel elements in the program design were having on children’s ability to learn to correct their speech and to learn to read, spell and write.

I have outlined what some of these elements have been and how it is important that they are included and undertaken in the program. I learned as a therapist that when I short cut some of the details and what seemed like “fun” and “play” aspects (for instance-telling the characters stories when time was short in a session)  of the program, the response to learning that skill and the capability to retain and remember this information was not as great as when these “winged keel” skills remained in the lesson. I later learned why these effects were occurring and why children benefited from leaning this way. I want to share this with you and more to help you get the maximum potential out of your time with your child and their process through corrective speech therapy, corrective literacy therapy or standard literacy development.

Follow these pages to find out what these elements are as you start your journey to practice your Flashcards. We start with the flashcards as this is the basic fundamentals that underpin the skills for communication and literacy. Without speech sounds-we can’t make the connections to the alphabet letter. This is like saying, you are not going to get far with maths if you don’t know what the numbers are.


Does it intrigue you to know that it is typical for our Phonic All Star Program students to learn their 46 speech sounds in 1-2 hours. That’s really helpful when kids don’t have to wait for 12 months to learn their letters of the alphabet to then be able to start to read words successfully. To explain an idea similar to what I mean, it makes sense to me that math’s just doesn’t add up when we don’t know all the numbers.

In addition to this, maybe there are other processes in the mind beyond “letter-sound mapping” that need to be strengthened and that most literacy learning programs just don’t have these extra components added which make the crucial difference as to whether kids make it or not on their report cards. To give you a hint at where I may be leading with this comment… look at it this way with my computer analogy…

…it is frustrating to try and type a document when keys are missing on our keyboard or they are turning up on the document as other letters. However, compound this with more computer chaos when the keyboard may be connected to the hard drive but if the RAM processor (speed-size) doesn’t work fast enough or have the space in memory to keep files talking with each other when moving between different software programs.

Now imagine the text you are creating doesn’t store in the files  you have opened and only stays until you start opening another program and then how frustrating it gets when you go to not only type a document that we need to wait for ever to get the letters to appear on the screen but then when we go to open the file tomorrow, half of the document has eroded away leaving spaghetti soup.

Now you know how the kids with learning challenges feels. Hence from this you can also deduce how frustrating it is for them, their parents and their education providers. This is why the Phonic All Star Program is based on a speech and literacy engineering based model that aims to correct the hardware that processes the software so that then the “software can be gobbled up-stored and used for learning”. In other words, the program targets the minds processing functions so that then these components communicate with each other to enable the functions of speech, listening and literacy to work better so that then when the children are provided with the lessons where they are taught to understand, say, read, spell or write words they are then able to do this…rather than feel a “brain crash happen”.

Read these brief introductory pages whereby you will learn how specific skills dove tail into skills necessary for reading and skills necessary for spelling. If you want to know more and  teach your child the Phonic All Star Program or are currently attending a program with one of our Speech Pathologist’s or our group program “Club Yicketty Yak”…enter your details into the name/email porthole and we can release the password for the protected pages so that you can continue your learning.

I warn you though …

Once you KNOW-you can’t UN-KNOW!

Speech therapy, Katrine Elliott from Once Upon A Time Therapy


Click the page numbers to read the details about the winged keel features in our Phonic All Star Flashcards…to get started on your way forward.

Follow our “how to fix series” to learn the ins and outs to be able to understand about how the Phonic All Star and speech and literacy correction program works in collaboration with how the mind works. For more information come visit…

Speech Pathologist, Speech Therapy, FREE, SPEECH, dyspraxia, central auditory processing, hearing impairment, HCWA, autism, betterstart, speech impairment, Optimal Communications, Katrine Elliott, speech therapy funding, deafness, phonological disorder, down syndrome, ottis media, middle ear infections, hearing tests
How to Fix Listening is an online support program for individuals and their families who have challenges with hearing, auditory processing and receptive language skills.








Keep watching for more developments in …

How to fix speech / How to fix reading /

How to fix spelling / How to fix writing

How to fix language


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