Teaching literacy is not simple.The ways in which children learn to read and write, and the teaching strategies which will best help them to do so, have been debated and researched for hundreds of years.Not only because of its complexity but also because it is so vitally important, we believe it is the most fascinating aspect of teaching and learning. In the classroom the fascination constantly manifests itself.How come that four-year-old can already read,while the child sitting next to her has hardly begun? Why does that ten-year-old find it so easy to produce three-or four-page stories in which the ideas are imaginative and the sentences flow,when the child sitting next to him sweats out, almost painfully, half a page of disjointed text? What lies behind that seven-year-old’s ‘ability’ to spell in contrast to the child sitting next to her for whom spelling seems to be a total mystery? And what sort of teaching will help each of these children?