Bringing high quality, research-supported literacy instruction to teachers and families

Welcome to Lifelong Literacy. I’m Lyn Stone:

  • linguist in private practice
  • author
  • education consultant
  • mother of diverse learners
  • dyslexia advocate

You can find out more about each one of my roles on this site. We have free videos, low cost online courses, books for parents and teachers, a regular blog and a wealth of resources to help you in your journey toward lifelong literacy for all.



Lyn Stone’s books and courses



School Consultation

We have spent many years consulting to schools throughout Australia. It gives us great pleasure to watch them go from good to great.

The video below outlines our role. Do get in touch if you would like to book a consultation.



Conferences and events


The pen is mightier than the sword. Use it wisely.

The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword

Lyn Stone will be running workshops on high impact literacy teaching strategies across Australia in 2020.

The theme is “The pen is mightier than the sword” – and is the idea that like any high-precision tool, literacy needs to be taught explicitly and practised well.

Drawing from her three flagship programs, Spelling for Life, Language for Life and Reading for Life, the day will consist of tried and true strategies to help teachers deliver even higher quality literacy instruction in their classrooms right away.

SESSION 1 Let’s get our heads round grammar

A way to look at the parts of speech that follows logic. We will cover nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions and conjunctions that goes beyond “A noun is a naming word…a verb is a doing word…” and still makes complete sense.

SESSION 2 The Survival List

My goal is to teach all of my students to read and write fluently. To do this, I have a list of words they need to learn as a priority. It’s called the Survival List and it constitutes some of the most common words in the English language.

There are plenty of lists readily available, such as the Dolch or Fry lists, but they contain a mixture of simple and complex patterns. For instance, in the Dolch list, the word big (a simple 1:1 CVC pattern) is right there with away (a two-syllable word containing a digraph) and said (an unusual pronunciation of the digraph <ai>, which only really occurs in this word and in some accents in the word again, but which follows the grammatical/etymological pattern of lay and pay).

The amount of times I see children being given homework requiring them to learn this mishmash of random patterns astonishes me. This is whole word learning and not viable for many children.

As a solution, I have extracted the words that don’t have a simple code structure and have placed them in families containing similar patterns. I use a simple marking system that I teach to my students so that they become aware of the words’ structure and they practise the words in various ways.

This list is called the Survival List for two reasons:

  1. Because knowing how to read and spell the words on this list will help them become fluent readers and writers as quickly as possible and
  2. Because the techniques used to learn these words can extend to other words with complex patterns that students can teach themselves, thus helping them to survive the onslaught of increasing complexity and expectation as their academic career unfolds.”

SESSION 3 What about writing?

With high quality initial instruction, the majority of children can learn to read, regardless of diagnosis. But what about writing? Achievement of accurate, fluent written expression requires instruction and practice far beyond that needed for reading. Partly as a result of this, the value of high quality, early writing instruction can be neglected or downplayed in primary school. leading to large populations who fail to develop appropriate levels of written expression.

Teaching all children to write is hard. They can’t just eventually “pick it up”, regardless of instructional method, like they can with reading. For example, there doesn’t seem to be a large “Writing Recovery” industry; if there were, based on the balanced literacy belief system, it would go out of business in two seconds flat. You can’t make fake progress in writing.

In this presentation, Lyn lists the components of fluent writing and offers insights on how to maximize a child’s chances of achieving this lofty goal. Lyn also looks into ways in which current practice in schools can be geared towards getting all children to improve their writing skills, as well as where to draw the line and fall back on technology.

Duration: 6 PD hours

Cost: $245 per person (+GST)

Includes: Printed handouts, digital downloads, delicious morning tea and lovely lunch (please inform us of food preferences on registration)


We plan to travel extensively this year and are very happy to work with schools who are interested in providing a venue in return for places for their teachers. Do get in touch if you would like your school to participate in this hosting exchange.

Register here for Perth April 4th

Register for our Sydney PD on March 20, hosted by SPELD NSW Inc.

Register for our Bendigo PD on March 23, Hosted by St Joseph’s School



Register for our Adelaide PD, at Angle Vale Primary School, on March 28th

Register here for our Melbourne workshop on May 30th

Register here for Brisbane on June 20th

Conferences and Speaking Engagements 2020


Sharing best practice at Inverloch, VIC

“We are excited to host the inaugural INVESTed: Sharing Best Practices conference in February 2020 on the stunning Bass Coast.

INVESTed: Sharing Best Practices aims to strengthen the bridge between research evidence and pedagogical practice. INVESTed will bring together researchers, teachers and practitioners to share and discuss evidence-based strategies that impact and enhance teaching and support the learning of all students.”



The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword – Hosted by SPELD NSW, Parramatta

A full day, practical, hands-on seminar for teachers on how to get the most out of writing lessons.

Together we will explore:

  • pen grip
  • posture
  • letter formation
  • writing fluency
  • grammar, including parts of speech and morphemes
  • sight words, including the myths and facts surrounding them
  • cutting edge writing resources
  • dyslexia and dysgraphia and when to explore technology

Includes: Printed handouts, digital downloads, discounted Spelling for Life, Language for Life and Reading for Life paperbacks (optional and subject to pre-order)

Suitable for: Teachers, teacher aides, speech pathologists, educational psychologists, student teachers, homeschooling parents.

Completing this event will contribute 5.25 hours of NESA Registered PD for Teachers maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.


The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword, Angle Vale School, Adelaide


The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword, Central Perth, WA



Sharing Best Practice at Bentleigh West Primary School

“An exciting day sharing evidence based practice for primary and secondary teachers, therapists, school leaders and parents. Topics focused on learning difficulties and inclusion. $60
Speakers include; Kate De Bruin, Prof Stephen Dinham, Lyn Stone, Steven Capp, Prof Pam Snow, Sarah Asome, Chris Varney (ICan Network) and more.

Includes lunch.”