Support for Students
with Dyslexia

Spoken language, reading, spelling, and writing can be challenging for students with dyslexia. These difficulties, however, can be overcome with language-based, systematic instruction and consistent support. Our literacy products are aligned to research- and evidence-based practices for teaching reading.

What is Dyslexia?

International Dyslexia AssociationAccording to the International Dyslexia Association®, “Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction.”

For a more detailed description, see the IDA Dyslexia Handbook: What Every Family Should Know.

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Structured Literacy is Key to Student Success

Effective reading instruction for students who struggle requires research-based solutions that keep them motivated and excited to learn. The most effective solutions are those that follow the Structured Literacy approach, which is distinctive in guiding how critical elements are taught.

Structured Literacy is the approach endorsed by the International Dyslexia Association’s Board of Directors. It encompasses instruction that conforms to IDA’s Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading.

Structured Literacy

Structured Literacy is defined by several elements and principles outlined in the Effective Reading Fact Sheet. Explicit, systematic, and cumulative instruction in the essential elements listed below is critical to ensuring student success in learning to read. This approach is not only vital for students with dyslexia, but research has found it is effective for all students.

Elements

  • Phonology
  • Sound-Symbol Association
  • Syllable Instruction
  • Morphology
  • Syntax
  • Semantics

Principles

  • Systematic and Cumulative
  • Explicit Instruction
  • Diagnostic Teaching

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Structured Literacy is:

  • Systematic and Cumulative. Material is organized to follow a scope and sequence that is a progression of easier to more difficult language structures and concepts. Each new step must be based on concepts previously learned.
  • Explicit Instruction. Instruction should deliberately teach all concepts with continuous student-teacher interaction. It is not assumed students will naturally develop an understanding of these concepts on their own, through exposure to text, or through incidental instruction.
  • Diagnostic Teaching. The teacher must use diagnostic assessments for phonemic awareness, phonics, spelling, automatic sight word reading, and language comprehension to complete individualized instruction. Formal and informal assessments are used for screening, progress monitoring, and educational diagnostics.

Who Benefits from a Structured Literacy Approach?

  • Students with dyslexia
  • Students in all grades
  • Students who struggle to read
  • Students who are learning to read
  • Students with reading challenges
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Solutions

The following programs align with the principles of Structured Literacy. View the Solutions Overview for more information specific to dyslexia, or use the links below to learn more about each solution.

LANGUAGE! Live

LANGUAGE! Live®  | Grades 5–12
This blended program applies the Structured Literacy approach recommended by the IDA and provides explicit, systematic, and cumulative foundational reading skill instruction. The program emphasizes higher-level comprehension as students progress and develop speed, accuracy, and automaticity while reading more complex text.

 Alignment to Dyslexia Handbook

Voyager Passport

Voyager Passport® | Grades K–5
Voyager Passport’s explicit, systematic instructional delivery is focused on phonology, phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Its daily lesson framework, formative assessments, and differentiation supports align to the Structured Literacy approach.

 Read White Paper

 
LETRS

LETRS® | Grades K–12
Accreditation SealThis literacy professional development is ideal preparation for teachers who work with students with dyslexia and other reading challenges. The program aligns to the International Dyslexia Association's Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading and has earned accreditation from the IDA.

 Read Research Base

RAVE-O

RAVE-O® | Grades 2–4
This program follows a Structured Literacy approach and is designed to address the challenges faced by students with dyslexia at this age. RAVE-O’s focus on word meaning and word connections to aid fluency and automaticity is ideal for students with dyslexia.

 Alignment to Dyslexia Handbook

 
Read Well

Read Well® | Grades K–3
Read Well has many meaningful instructional components that support a student with dyslexia or other language disability as well as students with processing disabilities. The program is language-based, multisensory, structured, sequential, and cumulative, cognitive, and flexible.

 Alignment to Orton-Gillingham

Herman Method

The New Herman Method® | Grades 3–6
This small-group reading intervention for struggling students incorporates a multisensory approach to teaching and reading. The program provides numerous opportunities for student responses in every lesson.

 Alignment to Dyslexia Handbook

Structured Literacy
Webinar Series

Shared Expertise on Structured Literacy and Student Success

Join us as respected thought leaders explore Structured Literacy and share teaching strategies surrounding its use. These insightful webinars will help you gain valuable knowledge on why Structure Literacy is essential to reading instruction, the key structures and content of structured literacy, common myths and misconceptions, procedures for teaching, and more.

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Structured Literacy Series

Featured Resources

struggling-reader

WEBINAR: The Truth About Dyslexia—Myths Vs. Facts

As a consequence of advocacy, many states have now adopted laws pertaining the identification and treatment of dyslexia. While recognition of dyslexia is long overdue, conflicts between scientific evidence and popular beliefs continue to complicate implementation of these well-intentioned laws. Dr. Louisa Moats, author and nationally recognized literacy expert, will address quandaries such as the definition of dyslexia, appropriate criteria for identification, teacher preparation, and selection and use of instructional approaches.

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Dyslexia Screening and the Use of Acadience Reading

Acadience® Reading provides one of the best methods of identifying students who are at risk for early reading difficulties, including dyslexia, monitoring those students to determine whether they remain at risk, and identifying students who are not making adequate progress and should be referred for further assessment.

 Read White Paper

Believe Literacy is Possible

Dylan's Story: Middle School Student Diagnosed with Dyslexia Overcomes Struggles with Reading

Dyslexic middle school student, Dylan, struggled for years with reading until he began receiving reading intervention with a well-trained teacher in Knox County Schools (TN) using the LANGUAGE! Live program. Dylan’s mom shares how the blended approach of technology and teacher-led instruction now has her son on track to move to the school’s Honors program.

 View Story

Blogs and Podcasts

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Of ‘Hard Words’ and Straw Men: Let’s Understand What Reading Science is Really About

The time has come to call the public’s attention to reading science and to dispel the misconceived beliefs and practices that are so widespread in our classrooms.

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View More Dyslexia Blogs

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