Multi-sensory presentation

Including a multi-sensory element to teaching is a well established approach for working with dyslexic students (Snowling, 2000). It originates from the notion that when we are learning to read and spell we use different sensory modalities e.g. when we first encounter a word we see it written down (visual), link the word to its pronunciation (auditory) and repeat it out loud (oral kinaesthetic) (Townend & Turner, 2000).

Such an approach is also linked to the idea that different learners have different learning preferences. Whilst recent debate has questioned the suggestion that we can identify different learning styles there is evidence that individuals prefer to learn in different ways.

Therefore, it is recommended that you utilise different methods of delivery, (video, discussion, practical elements) and that your delivery incorporates multi-sensory elements (images, sounds, colour, diagrams) as well as traditional approaches i.e. incorporating lectures and primarily textual elements.

Snowling, M. J. (2000) Dyslexia. 2nd ed. Oxford, Blackwell.
Townend, J. and Turner, M. (2000) Dyslexia in Practice – A Guide for Teachers. New York, Kluwer Academic/Plenum.

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