We think of offering brain-friendly phonics instruction as being a bit like saying, “Hey, would you like to learn to decipher a secret code? I can teach you.”

So, this week, we thought it might be fun to take this secret code metaphor a bit further and offer an advertisement that recruits want-to-be spies as participants in a CODE CRACKING ACADEMY where students learn to decipher The English Language Code. You can read between the lines of this advertisement to see the ways this imaginary code-cracking academy mirrors strong phonics instruction, the kind of instruction that makes learning to read easier, and even fun, for children. 

Calling All Spies!

Learn to Effortlessly Decipher
The English language code

Did you ever wish you were one of those spies who could decipher written codes effortlessly and fluently, translating the little black marks on a page into smooth and understandable words before you have to burn or eat the scrap of paper they are written on?  If so, then our CODE CRACKING ACADEMY is the place for you! 

Yes! It’s true!

The English Language Code is complex, with lots of depth to its orthography.

Yes! It’s true!

There may be over 200 symbols or sets of symbols used to represent 44 sounds.

And, yes, it’s true!

Learning to decipher a challenging code like the English Language Code can be a formidable task, especially if you haven’t had the benefit of thoughtful and brain-friendly instruction.
But at CODE CRACKING ACADEMY, we use scientifically proven techniques to make cracking the code easier, not harder, for you. How?  We do it by offering instruction that is


This means that . . . You don’t need to worry.

We have a thoughtful instructional plan that will help you succeed.

FIRST, we’ll start with some of the simplest parts of the code, allowing you to start cracking some easy words and messages after just a few basic lessons. NEXT, once you’ve mastered the basics, we’ll start introducing parts of the code that are more complex. 

Before you know it, you’ll gain confidence with reading and writing increasingly sophisticated messages. Soon, you’ll be flying through secret messages of all kinds becoming the envy of your spy colleagues. 

As a student at CODE CRACKING ACADEMY here are some things you can expect:

🔎 Patient, yet tenacious instructors that have a thoughtful plan and a commitment to your mastery of the English Language Code.

🔎 Lots of practice with every new skill we introduce.

🔎 A quick start, which means that you’ll be reading and writing real words after just a few lessons. No endless drill and practice  on individual symbols alone. Real spies need to decode and  encode real words.

Are you ready to master the English Language Code?

Let us help you change your life!
Our scientifically sound, brain friendly lessons include:
  • Clear and direct instruction.

You’ll never have to guess or figure out what new sound-spelling you are learning.

  • Blending practice at the word level.

This is the skill that many other code schools overlook! But it’s a skill you absolutely need to be smooth and automatic with when it comes to deciphering the English Language Code.

  • Word building tasks.

From sorts to minimal contrast word chains, these special activities involve using special code manipulatives and a combination of new and review sound-spellings.

  • Writing the code.

Warning! Some spy schools only teach reading. We know that embracing writing and reading as reciprocal ciphering processes is the fastest path to code cracking success.

  • Decodable messages.

Every day you’ll get a chance to “put it all together”  while getting additional practice with the new and review skills in the context of an actual secret message. Our messages are interesting, meaningful, and aligned specifically to your point of progress.


CIPHER CODE ACADEMY’S Commitment to Your Mastery of the English Language Code

When it comes to becoming a proficient decoder, mastery matters.

Lots of spy schools teach code cracking, yet they fail to include a commitment to mastery.  That means that if you don’t “get it” the first time around, you start to develop gaps and holes, leading to increasing struggles and frustration down the road.

Our commitment to mastery means we KNOW which skills you’ve mastered and which you still need more support with. Our frequent skill checks allow us to see how your learning is progressing. And when we see a skill gap, we respond, with more instruction and practice targeted toward just what you need, even if it’s individual or small-group support. This commitment to YOUR mastery is what separates our approach from the rest.

Wherever you decide to learn your CODE CRACKING skills, we believe everyone deserves instruction that makes CODE CRACKING easier, rather than harder.

If you’d like to learn more about this kind of instruction, Chapter 3 of our book, Shifting the Balance and Module 3 of Shifting the Balance: The Online Class are both designed to help you learn more about providing brain-friendly code-cracking instruction in your own context.