The Structured Literacy approach has been found to be particularly effective with learners with dyslexia because it focuses on decoding skills, which are critical components of finding success in reading. By emphasizing spelling patterns (instead of specific words), I can lead my students toward using decoding as a strategy, rather than them trying to memorize words by their appearance. It’s true—“Memorization is Not Understanding.”
Teaching reading in any classroom requires a complex set of skills and knowledge. A guided reading program is often used and a teacher must have a highly organized system of meeting with small groups, providing direct instruction when possible, and assessing and engaging in error correction. At the same time must also be working on comprehension skills while keeping students engaged and excited about reading and one can easily agree that while teachers do one of the hardest jobs on Earth, they are often lacking adequate training in how to effectively teach reading.
Dyslexia is the most common type of developmental reading disability and one of the most studied of all learning disorders. Advocates have successfully pushed more than 40 states to adopt rules and guidelines for the identification and treatment of dyslexia. Given prevalence estimates of about 5 percent to 17 percent of all students, one or two who merit this descriptor are likely to be in every classroom. Thus, every teacher should be familiar with the nature of the disorder and how to teach children who are affected by it.
Coming to terms with the challenges dyslexic students face can be daunting. Here, Dr. Louisa Moats dispels assumptions to illustrate five realities about dyslexia that parents and professionals must embrace.