“I just could not tolerate the idea that children should fail at school. I thought if there is any way I can prevent that from happening that’s what I need to do with my life.”
This International Women’s Day, we thought it would only be right to put the spotlight on our brilliant originator, Lyn Wendon.
Lyn created Letterland in 1968 at her kitchen table and has spent the rest of her life dedicated to helping children all over the world learn how to read and write with the help of our beloved Letterland characters. Over 50 years since the creation of our original characters, Lyn is still a consultant to the business and plays an active part in making Letterland the worldwide success it is today!
Starting as a teacher working with special education students, Lyn never set out to create a phonics program. She just wanted to find a way to help her students. As other teachers learnt of her success, interest grew in her approach and Letterland spread by word of mouth.
“Plain black letters have no faces. They cannot make eye-contact with children, or speak to them. So, as I struggled to teach phonics facts to 5 to 8 year olds, I found myself creating humanlike characters within the abstract of alphabet shapes. Suddenly an interpersonal element entered into the teaching equation, attracting spontaneous involvement from the students. I discovered I had tapped into a wide range of attention-holding strategies that helped make teaching reading more effective – and more like play in a language-rich setting. I didn’t expect it to have so much teaching power, or the global appeal it now receives from children worldwide.”
Check out this video to hear from Lyn herself about the creation of Letterland.