The ILR Story

The ILR Story

How does ILR work?

The English Language has numerous and conflicting rules for reading and spelling.

The ILR Program uses a unique colour and number system to identify the key phonetic sounds in the English language. Comprising 22 vowel sounds, 18 consonant sounds, and 7 digraph sounds, ILR uses a system of universally recognised colours and numbers, to allow every English sound and word to be 'read'. This facilitates the learning of the 2 million plus words of the English language, and will enable early readers and non-English speakers to have immediate access to the correct pronunciation of words, regardless of their complexity.


What is the pace of ILR?

One of the unique features of ILR is the initial, fast-paced delivery of information. All sounds are presented in the English Phonetic Code over a short period of time. This intentional, rapid delivery of information ensures every early reader has access to the complete range of sounds. Subsequently, readers can then access skills and resources at their own level and pace.

This approach is likened to a kitchen pantry, stocked with everything needed to prepare meals. Early readers use what is in their pantry according to their individual skill and confidence levels.

"Early language and communication skills are crucial for children’s success in school and beyond. Language and communication skills include the ability to understand others (receptive language) and express oneself (expressive language) using words, gestures, or facial expressions. Children who develop strong language and communication skills are more likely to arrive at school ready to learn. They also are less likely to have difficulties learning to read and are more likely to have higher levels of achievement in school.

Gardner-Neblett, N., & Gallagher, K. C. (2013) More than baby talk: 10 ways to promote the language and communication skills of infants and toddlers. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina, FPG Child Development Institute.

How does ILR fit within the Early Years Learning Framework?

I Love Reading involves short, sharp sessions of intentional teaching of skills to facilitate the reading process.

This approach gives increased opportunities for creativity, open ended investigation and student driven learning. ILR helps develop a learning environment which fosters effective communication and encourages children to be confident and involved learners.

The ILR Program can be easily integrated with all all the components of an early childhood friendly program, filled with rich, real life and hands-on experiences.

How can parents support their child's ILR journey?

  • Read with your child at every opportunity.
  • Display ILR resources at home for easy reference.
  • Have fun decoding everyday words that you see, together.
  • Discuss alternative spellings of the sounds you read.
  • Have a variety of reading material available: recipes, fliers, instructions, packaging, fiction and non-fiction books.
  • Have fun rhyming together.
  • Celebrate with your child along their reading journey.
The ILR Story

Why choose ILR?

Both individual student and classroom results show that the rate of learning English using the ILR Program is significantly higher than conventional methods or programs. By the end of their first year of learning to read, students have generally progressed 1½ to 2 years ahead in their literacy understanding.

Children who learn through the ILR Program have also shown great improvement in the spelling and writing of English, with many students experimenting with writing a year ahead of traditional expectations.

The ILR Program is a fun, innovative and practical tool, which parents and teachers can learn quickly and implement with confidence.

The Mission

To develop young people who can read to learn, build skills for their future, and lead with integrity and purpose to shape a better world for all humankind.

Meet some of the team

Jeff Davis


Jeff is currently the Executive Head of Hillcrest Christian College and visionary of the I Love Reading Program. Under Jeff’s leadership, Hillcrest Christian College is the fastest growing independent schools in Australia.  Recently the College was recognised by Cambridge University as one of the 100 most innovative schools in the world, and in 2017 was recognised for high levels of innovation through the Educator Magazine’s Innovation Schools Award.

In his search for technology that would improve the rate of learning to read, Jeff teamed up with Joseph Mamone, the creator of the English Phonetic Code, and, with the support of a dedicated team of teachers, the I Love Reading Program was developed under Jeff’s careful eye and never-ending vision.

Willing to challenge popular opinion and traditional educational practices, Jeff is an innovative educational pioneer who is not afraid to step outside the box. It is the goal of both Jeff and the Mamone family to promote the ILR Program globally to provide opportunity for all children to ‘read to learn’, build skills for their future and lead with integrity and purpose.

Joy Geyer

Head of I Love Reading

Joy was previously the Head of the Junior Learning Community at Hillcrest Christian College and has enjoyed over 20 years’ experience working in both State and independent education.

Majoring in working with children with diverse needs, Joy thrives on the challenge of personally connecting with students and their families to find innovative and tailored solutions for their needs and growth. After heading up both learning support and gifted education departments over many years, Joy then focused on developing and implementing a Personalised Learning, Mentoring and Coaching program for teachers. Joy is an accomplished leader of individuals and teams and her understanding and genuine support of educators is the secret to their success.

With a particular passion for literacy improvement and a desire to provide all children with the opportunity to maximise their opportunities and learning from the earliest age, Joy has taken on the lead role of Head of I Love Reading. Working closely with Jeff Davis and Joseph Mamone, Joy has the drive and capability to take the I Love Reading Program globally in pursuit of the ILR mission and vision.

Michelle Cecil

Education Consultant

After a long career as a health professional, Michelle discovered her passion for education and teaching and made the move into the Early Years education sector in 2010, where she outworked her love of engaging young learners in their quest for discovery.  Michelle is passionate about the role she plays in equipping children for life beyond the classroom; fostering a love for learning and challenging children to grow in skills as they head towards the 21st Century. With amazing skills in curriculum writing and a flair for embedding innovation, fun and creativity into education, Michelle produces  teaching resources, frameworks and curriculum which equip our ILR teachers to succeed.

Michelle values supporting and training teachers, educators and parents as they embrace the new educational paradigm presented by the ILR Program. The growth evidenced through collaboration and networking in her role of Educational Consultant provides great enjoyment and reward to Michelle as she warmly and professionally works with our ILR partners.

Mike Collins (Mr C)

Education Consultant

The ultimate story-teller; Mike brings the ILR training alive with his keen sense of humour, creativity, and ability to reach people of all ages. Throughout his 30+ years in education, Mike has worked in many curriculum areas, across multiple year levels and is well renowned and highly regarded for his work with gifted and talented students.

With experience as a founding staff member of a new school, teaching in isolated school districts and through various leadership roles in and outside of education, Mike is able to quickly identify where teachers and students are at on their learning journey. With this knowledge, Mike is then able to identify and implement strategies to encourage and bring about success.

English, literacy and literature are his personal passions. The ILR Program is filled with wonderful stories, rhymes and ditties, scribed by Mike, which capture the attention of the children, minds of the teachers and the enjoyment of parents. As Mikes passion for writing never wanes, so too our resource bank of fun and educational literature will never be stagnant.

Claire Dalton

IT Lead / Developer

Summa Coleman

Administration and Social Media Manager

Daren Mallett

Animation and Development