The Trainers

The Reading Language Gym is run by Speech and Language Therapists who have all undergone intensive theoretical and practical training courses in dyslexia and written language disorders.   All trainers are members of  an accredited journal club which meets regularly, to study current issues in the field of language and literacy.  The founder is Elizabeth Nadler-Nir (MSc Speech and Language Therapy).



Elizabeth Nadler-Nir (Founder and Director)


Elizabeth graduated in Speech and Language Pathology from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 1992.  She worked as part of a multi-disciplinary centre (psychology, occupational therapy and physiotherapy) for four years. She then opened her own practice and received her master’s degree speech and language pathology with distinction. Her research project focused on early intervention for dyslexia within a disadvantaged community.

Elizabeth designed and taught the course on dyslexia at UCT’s Speech Therapy Department for a number of years and facilitated a number of masters’ students in the department over the years. She runs courses for teachers and colleagues and loves to make theories simple and practical.  Her driving force is to remove any sense of shame around learning challenges and get people of all ages to read and express themselves verbally and on paper. In order to get affordable, structured, language-based remedial reading intervention to those who need it, she has worked with a team to develop the Virtual Reading Gym. This is an online remedial reading programme.  Elizabeth lives with her husband, two children and many books.

Luanne van Zyl

Luanne graduated from UCT in 1998 with a BSc Logopaedics which was a dual degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology. She took up a post in the Cochlear Implant Unit at Tygerberg Hospital where she was involved with both the technical aspects and rehabilitation of the patients. She then moved to The Dominican Grimley School for the Deaf where she worked for a number of years. Her most successful project at the school was to get funding from the Mayor’s Office to purchase new hearing aids for many of the pupils at the school. Luanne obtained her Masters Degree in Central Auditory Processing Disorders in 2003. After starting a family she worked part time as a clinical supervisor at UCT before taking a position at The Reading Language Gym when it opened in 2007.

Jean Patterson


Jean Patterson is a Speech and Language Therapist who graduated from UCT in 1994. After working for the Barrett-Bloch Speech Therapy Practice, she spent three years in London working in clinics and developing a mainstream school service. On returning to Cape Town, she started her own practice and spent ten years working in Kenilworth before moving to The Reading Language Gym. She loves literacy work with all ages, although her particular field of interest is working with adolescents.



Jessica Dean

Jessica is a Speech-Language Therapist. She obtained her Speech-Language Pathology degree from the University of Cape Town (UCT). She spent her community service year working at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town. She completed a master’s degree (UCT) which focused on therapy for children with reading difficulties. In addition to working at the Reading Language Gym, she contributes to teaching and support in the Communication Sciences and Disorders department at UCT. Jessica is interested in childhood speech, language and literacy difficulties and their treatment.


Lyndall Abbott

Lyndall graduated from the University of Cape Town as a Speech-Language Therapist in 2014. She completed her community service year in a rural hospital in Mpumalanga – quite a different and eye-opening experience! She joined the Reading and Language Gym in 2016. She loves anything to do with words and hopes to share that passion with the children. She also has a particular interest in working with children from disadvantaged backgrounds and currently volunteers at a school once a week.


Shannon Croney

Shannon graduated from the University of Cape Town in 2010 with a BSc in Speech-Language Pathology. She has worked in the area of education and literacy for the past eight years. During this time, she has been part of multidisciplinary teams in schools and in private practices. Shannon has a keen interest in supporting the learning and literacy development of adolescents.



Kate Rossouw 

(Currently on Maternity Leave)

Kate Rossouw is a Speech and Language Therapist who graduated from UCT in 2012. After completing community service in Grahamstown, she returned to Cape Town and worked as a locum speech therapist at a school with learning difficulties and at a private practice in Monte Vista. She also worked with student speech therapists from UCT, supervising at clinical placements and providing tutorials. In 2015, she started her Master’s degree with an interest in bilingual children with speech disorders. She moved to The Reading Gym in 2015. Kate is particularly interested in multilingual children and their speech and literacy development.

Rabia Mohidien


Rabia Mohidien qualified as a Speech and Language Pathologist in 2002. After completing her community service at Groote Schuur Hospital in 2003, she started working as a private therapist at Pro Ed House School in Rondebosch, a school that specifically caters for children who learn differently. It was this experience that created the love for working with children with learning disabilities and dyslexia. In 2007, after having her first baby, Rabia opened up her own practice at Oakley House School in Diep River, where she stayed for five years. At the beginning of 2012, Rabia followed her dream of working with Elizabeth and joined The Reading Language Gym in order to further her knowledge and continue her work with children.


 Alison Arnott


Alison started her career in the financial services industry working for an accounting practice and then an independent investment consultant. In 2007 Alison moved to London where she worked for a group of private GP’s. On her return to Cape Town she was the administration manager for a gym for four years. She joined our team as our office manager in 2014.