Phonics Alive! is an Australian developed computer-based literacy program, produced in conjunction with the NSW Department of School Education.

It can be used with students at a very early age, through to adults. The program can be used with students with learning difficulties, those for whom English is a second language, and those in a skills acquisition stage of learning to read.

Available from Advanced Software. www.advancedsoftware.com.au and East West Computers. www.east-west.com.au

Phonics Alive! consists of 20 separate modules, each introducing a cluster of sounds presented as beginning, medial and ending sounds. The program introduces all single sounds of the alphabet, and sound blends. All instructions are presented orally with no reading ability required. The program contains over 1200 pictures introduced to extend the student's vocabulary. Each module then takes the student through a number of interactive levels requiring responses via the keyboard, as well as "clicking" and "dragging" pictures using the mouse. The program is self-paced in that students can work through each level within a module at their own speed. Color coded plastic overlays with lower case letters are placed on the keyboard. This allows the student to quickly recognise where letters are on the keyboard.

As a genuine self-paced interactive program, Phonics Alive! has the capacity to record student results for all responses. These are labeled and placed in a folder on the hard disk and can be retrieved by the teacher or parent for later analysis and printout. This can either be done from within the program or through any word processing application. The performance results can then be used diagnostically to determine whether a student needs further revision or can proceed to the next module.