Weeks 4 Summary
University of London, UCL Institute of Education & Dyslexia International
As Dr. Goetry laid out early in this week, the opacity of the language matters. In 2003, Seymour and research collaborators compared reading acquisition in European first graders across 15 different languages, and the results were as follows: 34% of English speaking children can read words and pseudowords correctly. In French, it was 79%, Italian 95%, and German 97%.
Not surprisingly, children taught with the phonics method did 20% better than those taught with the “whole word” method. He references the studies that show that “whole word”, or the global method, is more successful in higher socioeconomic strata, while no such difference in success rates exists for phonics methods.
Dr. Goetry spent a lot of this week discussing effective teaching of reading. He gave the following requirements for effective teaching: it must be structured, multisensory, phonics based, and metacognitive. In addition, repetition is mandatory, at every stage. “You say what you are going to say, you say it, and then you say what you just said three times in a different way.”
Dr. Goetry recommended something very similar to the Orton Gillingham method, and discussed the four modalities: [which are?] the oral-kinaesthetic modality (feeling what is happening in her throat and mouth when pronouncing the words and sounds); [next modality?] manual-kinaesthetic modality (feeling, muscular movement which the child makes when drawing, or tracing letters and words). I was motivated to bring a long box of lentils to the next tutoring session, for my student to write words into.
One of the primary goals is for the child to be conscious of, and able to manipulate, phonemes, rimes, onsets, and syllables, and able to break up a spoken word into those parts.
Stress and self doubt can make assessment more challenging. It's helpful to ask, “How did you reach the correct answer?”
Dr Thomson lectured on the distinct vocabulary challenges posed in other courses, such as science and history. She encourages teachers to be aware that students with dyslexia might need more repetition of those terms, more exposure to them – on walls, in other places. She recommends allowing students to submit visual journals and videos rather than written reports.
Dr Thomson addresses deficits in oral language in some children, so that they may not be understanding the meaning of the words in the phonics program, which depresses their ability to learn.
Dr Goetry proposes different ways to improve comprehension through visual presentation of information, including bigger fonts, and sans serif fonts. He reminds teachers that dyslexic children may reverse numbers and dates, and teachers should not penalize them for that. Simplified syntax helps, avoiding embedded sentences [what are those?] He recommends mind maps for history and other topics. Any time mathematics is required, allowing dyslexic learners to keep multiplication tables next to them is useful, because the multiplication table is very difficult for dyslexic learners to memorize.