A CHESTER couple were celebrating this week after the Zimbabwean government granted them permission to go and teach English through song to the country’s children.
Alan and Hilary Davies run their THRASS (teaching handwriting reading and spelling skills) business from Tarvin.
THRASS is a synthetic phonics programme aimed at teaching English to children.
The sing-a-long programme which uses this technique in song has been used in thousands of schools and has been welcomed as a new era in the teaching of English in Africa.
In an unexpected move the Zimbabwean Government has given the go-ahead for them to extend the use of this programme in schools across the country.
Alan, a chartered educational psychologist who used to teach at West Cheshire College and Hilary, a former Blacon High School teacher, have already used the sing-a-long resources to introduce the THRASS phonics programme into five pilot schools in and around Harare.
Alan said: “The teachers and children really love sing-a-long and THRASS, and much has already been achieved, even with the minimum of resources. And as the word about it has spread, more and more schools want to be involved.”
Alan and Hilary therefore now want to build on this success by funding training for teachers at the pilot schools and extending the programme to more schools.
Alan added: “The THRASS sing-a- long resources really motivate children to learn.
“They include the most fantastic interactive software and are considered to be the best way of introducing THRASS into schools.
“They use 44 songs that teachers can sing with children to explain the 44 sounds and 120 main spelling choices of English.”