Halifax Learning’s Delivery of SpellRead

✓ Skilled.

✓ Confident.

✓ Readers. 


SpellRead lessons teach developing readers to:

  • automatically recognize and manipulate the 44 sounds of the English language
  • demonstrate mastery of 18 vowel sounds and their 19 secondary spellings
  • 26 consonant sounds and their 8 secondary spellings
  • 37 consonant blends
  • 16 clusters
  • verb endings
  • attack multi-syllabic words easily
  • bridge auditory and visual vocabularies
  • read with fluency and comprehension
  • create writing portfolios that demonstrate growth.



The goal of the program is to bring reading and spelling skills to a point at or above grade level within one year.

The Reading Practitioners at Halifax Learning have been delivering the gold-standard in reading support programs, SpellRead, in Halifax for 20 years. We have successfully supported the learning needs of thousands of students in Halifax and throughout Nova Scotia. SpellRead, an evidence-based program, was brought to Halifax by founder, Sarah Arnold in 1999 with her passion to eradicate illiteracy in not only Halifax, but Nova Scotia, Canada and beyond!

SpellRead focuses on developing a student's "phonological automaticity", the ability to master sound-letter relationships and automatically process the sounds.  Activities in phonemic, phonetic, and language-based reading and writing form the foundation of SpellRead.  The SpellRead approach ensures that students' reading and writing skills become as developed and automatic as their verbal ability.

Students and educators see progress from the first lessons.  All lessons are clearly defined in the instructor manuals and taught in a carefully sequenced and explicit manner.  Each skill is thoroughly practiced in a fast-paced format so that students stay engaged in learning. 


The Halifax Learning Advantage

When you enroll in a program at Halifax Learning you or your child will be working with expertly trained reading practitioners, not tutors. Our clinics offer the gold-standard in SpellRead instruction, our reading practitioners are rigorously trained and receive on-going training and support and we are a research hub for experts in the field. In addition to instruction in evidence-driven programs such as SpellRead, Halifax Learning families receive:

  • On-going feedback. 
  • Communication with support staff (i.e. psychologists, teachers, etc.)
  • Initial, progress and exit assessment reports. 

SpellRead is scientifically-based and designed to meet the specific needs of struggling students to ensure effective, sustainable results

  • SpellRead provides a comprehensive program that maximizes student success.
  • SpellRead targets essential reading skills. 
  • SpellRead is focused on results and closes the reading gap. 
  • SpellRead is not tutoring, but scientifically-driven, ensuring sustainable results.


Grounded in Research

Since its inception, SpellRead has integrated rigorous scientific evaluation into its program development.  This commitment has built SpellRead's formidable track record in providing reliable, consistent success in "closing the gap" between struggling students and their same-age peers.

Gus and Heather

Halifax Learning continues to invest in research and development to ensure struggling readers are provided with the best possible program delivery as identified by science.  We are currently partnering with Dr. Aaron Newman, a professor at Dalhousie University located in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Dr. Newman is a faculty member in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and is working alongside graduate student, Clara Lownie, to perform a research study titled "Brain changes associated with a reading intervention program."  That reading intervention program is SpellRead!

How Does SpellRead Align With Expert Opinion?

Experts recommend: 

  • small instructional groups. 
  • clear and concise explanations. 
  • explicit instructional sequences. 
  • more opportunities for immediate positive feedback and error correction. 
  • more skillful orchestration and integration of elements.

→ Visit our Research Library for past and active research projects. 


Phonological Awareness to the Point of Automaticity

phase C anna Struggling readers almost exclusively lack the foundational skills required to become fluent readers. Students in the SpellRead program develop this skill with an emphasis on phonemic and phonetic activities using a multi-sensory approach. The goal is to automatically recognize, process and manipulate any combination of the 44 sounds of the English language. 

SpellRead develops phonological awareness and achieves automaticity in each lesson during the "Linguistic Foundations" portion of the class. What this means is SpellRead students take part in105 carefully sequenced lessons, over the course of three program phases. They are explicitly and systematically taught all the sounds and spellings that form the foundation of the phonetic and alphabetic system of English.

Below are the phonemic activities that remain consistent throughout those lessons, allowing students to quickly gain confidence and eliminate any anxiety associated with reading and spelling.

  • Building 
  • Analyzing 
  • Listening
  • Blending 
  • Synthesizing
  • Analyze-Blend
  • Visualizing
  • Spelling
  • Reading
  • Speed-Reading


Book a Free Assessment

Program Walkthrough


Program Walkthrough

Download the SpellRead Program Walkthrough for a more detailed description of each activity and the Linguistic Foundations portion of each lesson, visit our Research Library for recent research conducted by Dr. Jamie Metsala, the Chair of Learning Disabilities at Mount Saint Vincent University, which examines the effectiveness of Speed-Reading and SpellRead's teaching model as delivered by Halifax Learning or contact us today by filling out the "Easy Reading Starts Here" form for a free, no-obligation initial assessment with one of our expert reading practitioners.



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