Do teaching methods that work for students with dyslexia also work for students without dyslexia?

Structured literacy methods are great for students with dyslexia, and also students without dyslexia! One of the myths about structured, systematic approaches to literacy (like the Orton-Gillingham method that we use here at Dyslexia Connect) is that they are primarily beneficial to students who have dyslexia, but not to students without dyslexia. This is not the case! Every student benefits from systematic and structured literacy instruction, whether they have dyslexia or not. Why is this the case? Let’s use the Orton-Gillingham method as an example.

The Orton-Gillingham method is so effective for kids and adults who have dyslexia, because it provides the keys to reading and spelling in a straight-forward, understandable way that incorporates necessary repetition. When used correctly, it’s also a lot of fun! Orton-Gillingham teaches students to recognize and reproduce a great variety of phonetic sounds; the sound of short “a”, all the way to more complex sounds like “ough”. Orton-Gillingham also teaches students the syllable rules that govern the English language, so that they know why certain letters and letter combinations say what they do in certain positions. Additionally, students learn how to effectively decode difficult words, and words that they have never seen before! Then they learn to apply all of this knowledge while reading. All of this helps students with dyslexia learn to read and spell.

But these skills aren’t just beneficial to students with dyslexia! Every student benefits from this systematic approach to reading and spelling, and gains a great foundation that will help them grow as readers. Orton-Gillingham and other methods like it are great for every student!

Peter Groth
Dyslexia Connect Online Tutoring

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