Dyslexia and how it relates to brain function are complicated topics that researchers have been studying since dyslexia was first described over a hundred years ago. Teachers and parents may wonder why an articulate, bright child has so much difficulty learning to read.
A greater understanding of the current dyslexia research and how it relates to students with dyslexia is important in education and will help teachers understand and evaluate possible instructional interventions to help their students succeed in the classroom.
This is what the dyslexia research tells us:
- Explicit, intense, systematic instruction in the sound structure of language (phonemic awareness) and in how sounds relate to letters (phonics) is needed for readers with dyslexia.
- Early intervention with intense explicit instruction is critical for helping students become fluent readers.
- The roles of motivation and fear of failing are important when discussing reading problems.
(Hudson, R.F., High, L. Al Otaiba, S. Dyslexia and the brain: What does the current research tell us?)
Dyslexia research also indicates that multi-sensory instruction that engages visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning pathways is very beneficial for all students, including those with dyslexia.
One of the keys to helping students with dyslexia is early intervention using a research based, structured reading program. Students with dyslexia typically need instruction that is explicit, cumulative, intensive and focused on the structure of language.
The dyslexia research stresses the importance of high-quality reading instruction which is explicit, systematic, and sequential. And it should employ a marking system. Early intervention with intense, explicit phonics instruction is critical for students with dyslexia.
Teachers and parents are better equipped to identify and choose instructional methods that will help their students overcome reading challenges when they have an understanding of the current dyslexia research.