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Mr Gavin Swallow

 Brisbane - Coorparoo

Brisbane tutor in Reading

Does your child have poor spelling? Do they read in staccato 'bursts' missing some words, substituting 'a' for 'the', 'from' for 'of'; do they leave off endings (saying 'write' for 'written' and so on), with little comprehension?

Then your child likely has not been taught the basis of English literacy - the sounds, and the letters that represent those sounds, plus the rules that guide usage in spelling. Do they know that the letters dge represent a sound like the j in jet? Do they know that dge is used only after a short vowel sound, as in badges, edges, fridges, dodges and trudges? If they do not know this, they have not been taught the phonic system of English, or have not been taught systematically and 'explicitly'. 'Explicitly' means that the teacher does not let children struggle to find the sound/letter relationships for themselves, but says something like, "These three letters, dge, say the sound [j], and you will find them after a short vowel." And then examples are shown and spoken aloud, written and sounded, practised by repetition, tested and re-taught if necessary.

Phonics is the basis of English reading and spelling.

I tutor reading and spelling, using phonics knowledge such as the letters dge being used after a short vowel, as in badge, edge, fridge, dodge and sludge.

I show students how to produce neat and legible handwriting. I use handwriting as this improves brain-hand coordination, which improves the quality of learning. Unfortunately handwriting is often neglected in schools, from Prep onward.

My students learn how to spell, using sounds of letters, and rules, and by giving a logical order of learning spellings, based on the origins of English in Old English, French, Latin and Greek.

My students learn to read, or to read better, using phonics first. And comprehension is a must. We do a lot of reading aloud, so students and I can hear any mis-readings and correct them.

My tutoring times are in the morning, when students are freshest - anywhere from 7:00 am to 10 am - on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

I tutor people from 4 years old to over 60 - anyone having trouble with spelling and reading.

The first session is free, as we look at your child's spelling and listen to their reading, assess the basis of their difficulties and plan a program to help them.

Tutoring sessions are very active, with the students continually sounding out words, printing words, reading aloud and practising clear speech sounds.

I use materials from Quantum Literacy ( which are phonics-based and have been developed over 30 years, based on research and practice. I am a partner in Quantum Literacy and am the author or co-author of many of the publications. I first tutored literacy in 1987 and have had a career in education in Australia and Papua New Guinea as a teacher, headmaster, staff trainer and author.

My students work in pencil, in exercise books appropriate to their age and level of ability.

I always enjoy helping students improve their literacy levels, so that they get the full benefits of their school education, enjoy confidence in their learning and abilities, and generally recover their confidence in themselves.

0438 782 480


Since 1997 I have tutored children and adults, using a phonics-based approach.

I also present workshops for parents and teachers, in literacy.


I have a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland, and a Certificate in Education.

I also run workshops for parents and teachers, in literacy.


$60 per hour




Joined TutorFinder on 29-May-2017 (updated profile on 15-Jan-2018)
Tutoring Location
  • Tutor's Place in Coorparoo

  • Private Tuition
Tutor in Coorparoo


Reading (Primary, Secondary, Tertiary)
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