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So What is Structured Literacy Anyway,

and How Can it Help My Child

The International Dyslexia Association defines Structured Literacy as the most effective approach for students with difficulty reading or spelling. This approach is often referred to as Orton Gillingham or the “gold standard” for literacy instruction. This approach stands in direct contrast with many popular methods that are commonly used in schools today. This term, structured literacy, refers to both the content and methods of instruction. Structured Literacy can help all students improve their literacy skills, but it is critical for students with reading or spelling difficulties.

Most reading disorders and dyslexia originate with language processing weaknesses in the content of instruction to focus on the analysis and production of language at all levels: sounds, spelling for sounds and syllables, patterns and conventions of the writing system, meaningful parts of words, sentences, paragraphs, and discourse within longer texts.

  • PA:understanding that a phoneme is the smallest unit of speech and, if changed can create a different words mist, mast, must, and most.

  • Sound/Letter-connecting speech sound to print: Pattern of print, short vowel markers.

  • Morphology: sounds have meaning in English jogged, passed /t/ and /d/ have meaning.

  • Syntax: ordering words in a sentence to communicate meaning.

  • Semantics: is the aspect of language concerned with meaning.Single words convey meaning, phrases, and sentences.

Evidence is strong that most students learn to read better with structured teaching of basic language skills and that the components and methods of Structured Literacy are critical for students with reading disabilities, including dyslexia.

Explicit - Directly teaching and practicing skills with our students, creating opportunities for engagement through Socratic reasoning methods so students own their learning

Systematic and Cumulative - Skills are taught in a sequence with specific processes from the basic to the most complex

Multisensory or multi-modal - Instruction engages visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile methods to increase engagement and learning retention

Diagnostic and Prescriptive - should not be a cookie-cutter curriculum your child pushes through.

Lessons should be based on your child’s specific learning profile and based on progress monitoring data.

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