Students engage independently in a Three Step Learning Process.

Presenting English phonics in a truly unique way, the Language Works program gives students the phonetic building blocks needed to both read and spell. With Language Works, students experience real success with spelling, and teachers like the clear and comprehensive design of the program!

How Does the Program Work?

Language Works introduces 60 letter combinations (phonemes/phonograms) that are the building blocks of the English language. A phonogram is a combination of letters that is pronounced together, such as ai, ey, igh, ch and ur. For most children, phonics is the key to opening the door to the wonderful world of reading. And for those children who don’t rely on phonics to begin to read, they will still need to know phonics in order to spell and write.

Spelling 1-2-3

Language Works teaches both beginning reading and spelling with a unique 3-step writing activity. Step 1 begins by isolating the key phonogram found in a list of words and gives students practice blending the sounds together to read the words. This skill is called decoding. Language Works also teaches encoding (spelling) skills in Step 2 by having students write the words they are learning. The third step is a self-given spelling test.

Self Checking

The 3-step Language Works process also incorporates a unique self-checking system that allows students to check their word reading with a corresponding picture booklet. Both teachers and students love the original illustrations, which not only provide self-correction, but add real enjoyment to the activity. The built-in control of error also provides students with the ability to work independently.

About Language Works

The Language Works Spelling Program was developed in 1987 by Mary Kravchuk, an elementary teacher trained in the Montessori method. Today, it is widely used in many diverse educational settings throughout the country. With its emphasis upon hands-on learning, phonics, independent progress and student success, Language Works has gained a strong following among educators from many backgrounds.

For over 30 years, classroom teachers, reading specialists, ELL instructors, home schoolers and Montessori teachers have all had amazing success with Language Works. With its self-correcting system, it is ideal for independent learning environments, learning centers or as an individualized tutoring aid. Presenting English phonics in a truly unique way, the Language Works program gives students the phonetic skills needed to both read and spell. With Language Works, students experience real success with spelling, and teachers like the clear and comprehensive design of the program.


Teacher DVD

A 45-minute teacher instructional video is included with the Language Works program. The video demonstrates with in-class presentations how to present the program to students. The video also includes 18 creative extension activities for word practice.

Program Steps Explained

Each phonogram is introduced with a word list and matching picture booklet. The phonogram being learned is printed at the top of the list, but has been eliminated from the words below, allowing the student to discover the words on their own as they fill in the windows.

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Step 1


The word list is placed on top of a piece of notebook paper. Using a red pencil to isolate the sound visually, the student writes the phonogram printed at the top of the list in each open window. Blending the sounds together to read each word, the student then checks with the corresponding picture booklet to confirm what they have read. This step launches many non-readers into the world of reading!

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Step 2


The second time through, the student will add the necessary beginning and ending sounds to complete each of the words on the list. Using only the picture booklet and a regular pencil, the pictures provide the cues needed to write the missing letters. Checking is done by comparing their words to the printed word list.

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Step 3


Students can test themselves using the picture booklet for the cues needed to spell each word.

What does the Student need to know to begin?


In order to begin, the student will need to have learned all of the single letter consonant sounds in the alphabet. In addition, children should have had practice pronouncing consonant blends (l blends, s blends, r blends, etc.) before they begin because the words on the Language Works lists contain all of these blends. The Language Works program begins with the five single letter short vowel sounds (a,e,i,o,u) and goes on to introduce a comprehensive set of 60 phonogram sounds.

Research Based

The Language Works program follows proven methods to teach beginning reading and spelling.


The Language Works program follows proven methods to teach beginning reading and spelling. An important study called the Illinois Right to Read Initiative compiled 30 years of reading research in order to prepare educators for the 21st century. This body of research shed new light on which methods are most effective in teaching reading and emphasizes the importance of phonics. It states:




Certain abilities must be developed that work together to create strong reading skills:

  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Sound-Spelling Correspondence
  • Decoding Ability
  • Spelling, Vocabulary, and Writing Skills

The Language Works Program teaches all of these recommended important skills, providing a strong foundation in phonetic word analysis needed for future reading success. Research also shows that good reading programs should present both phonics and a book rich environment as part of a well-rounded language curriculum.