Monday, 25 November 2013

Dyslexia is a difficulty with letter sound association. To the child, the written word or letter looks like a mere drawing, which is why some dyslexic children have a very neat cursive writing, though they may be unable to read the same content with similar ease.
These children have excellent photographic memory,and good visual transport. They are the ones who love to do any amount of copying.
However, this in no way means that they are simultaneously reading and learning the content.
They have to be taught letter sounds or phonics to enable them to read.
There are many teachers who wonder about the effectiveness of a deliberate phonic drill, followed by a blending drill, which teaches the child to put sounds together to form a word.
They also question the need to teach spelling rules when there are so many exceptions.
Syllable division patterns are also taught very rarely, because they may pose challenges to the teacher herself.

Quite often in the early stages of remediation phonics may cause confusion in the child.
But this does not mean that we can do away with the flash card drill.
Unless the child is able to connect sounds with a  letter, word or syllable, he will find it very difficult to achieve reading fluency.
He may be able to recognise high frequency words like with, two, away etc. but if he is unable to decode words based on their sounds, he will not have adequate word attack skills.

He will have problems at a higher grade. For example, proper nouns like Himalayas, or technical, subject specific words like triangle, photosynthesis etc. will be very difficult to decode.

We teachers have been able to read with a certain level of automaticity, without too much effort or strain.
But we have to make a mental shift and look at words just like our student would, and learn to teach him according to his needs.

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