The team

Melanie Smith


Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Psychology and English) (University of KwaZulu Natal)
BA Honours Psychology (University of Johannesburg)
MEd (Psychology in Education) (Wits University)
Registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa
Phono-Graphix Reading Therapist and Trainer for Read for Africa


Melanie completed her BA Honours obtaining distinctions for Developmental Psychology, Neuropsychology, Clinical Psychology, Social Psychology and Psychometrics. She completed her MEd degree focusing on learning difficulties and self-esteem in children. Her coursework included Language and Assessment; Cultural Psychology in Education; and Developmental Psychology.

Melanie completed her one-year Psychometric Internship in a remedial school and is registered as an Independently Practicing Psychometrist with the HPCSA. She has attended the Rape Crisis Counselling course, the Lifeline Personal Development and Counselling Skills course and the Dependable Strengths course. Melanie is accredited as a Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment (FIE) practitioner. Melanie is a reading therapist and trainer in the Phono-Graphix Reading method through Read For Africa.

Melanie has been involved in psychometric assessment and reading therapy in a variety of educational settings and schools for over 9 years, including remedial and mainstream schools, centres for mental and physical handicaps and the Read For Africa Organisation. Melanie also lectures Education and Psychology related subjects for the BEd degree on a part-time basis at Varsity College Sandton. Melanie manages the psychometric practice PsychAssess and runs CPD accredited training groups for psychometrists on a monthly basis.

Melanie has published the article “The application of Vygotsky’s theory of the Zone of Proximal Development in teaching and learning: giving students wings” in the Independent Institute of Educators Journal in 2009 and presented this topic at their Annual Conference. Melanie presented her journal article “A changing world calls for a changing curriculum” at the Independent Institute of Educators 2nd Annual Celebration of Teaching and Learning Conference in 2010. Melanie wrote the literature review document for the Independent Institute of Educators entitled “Best Practice Curriculum and Educational Policy for Schools – a look at recent research and reforms in the design of curriculum for grades R to 12” in 2010.

Melanie has developed a reading and spelling assessment tool, entitled the PsychAssess Analysis and Reading and Spelling (PARAS test) and is busy collecting normative data and piloting the test. She is also busy working on a project to align  the Montessori primary school curriculum with the CAPS curriculum and designing assessment tasks which cover these 2 curricula.

Melanie has presented on the topic of reading and spelling assessment at the Read for Africa conferences in 2014 & 2015.


Chenelle Cohen


Bachelor of Arts (Communications & Psychology) (UNISA)
BA Honours Psychology (UJ)
Registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa

Phono-Graphix Reading Therapist


Chenelle Cohen is an independent Psychometric practitioner registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa. She has a special interest in psycho-educational testing with children, adolescents and adults.

Chenelle completed her BA degree at UNISA, majoring in Psychology and Communication. She completed her Honours degree in Psychology at the University of Johannesburg.

During her years of post graduate study, Chenelle worked as a volunteer trauma counsellor at the Indaba Trauma Support Unit in Olivedale, a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing a community service to victims of domestic and violent crimes. To equip her with the necessary skills to perform this service, Chenelle completed courses in Trauma-Lay Counselling and Child Trauma Counselling.

Chenelle furthered her career by completing a psychometric internship at the Centre for Psychological Services and Career Development (PsyCad), a center at the University of Johannesburg where Psychological and Career Services are offered to the public and current students. Following this internship, she completed her psychometric board exam with a score of 90%.

Chenelle is certified in First Aid level 1 and has completed her Phono Graphix reading therapist qualification through Read For Africa. At present she teachers children from all walks of life who have difficulty reading. In 2015 Chenelle was nominated and awarded reading therapist of the year using the Phono-Graphix method.