Why Structured Literacy Works for Dyslexia​

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month, so today I wanted to explain why a structured literacy approach, like the Orton-Gillingham approach I use, is the best way to help students with dyslexia.


If you'd like to see this in visual form, click here for a great infographic created by the International Dyslexia Association.


You will hear instructors talk about how decoding is important when learning to read. Structured literacy helps students decode words by teaching them how to break words down into their smallest parts and then understand the sounds and the meaning of those parts.


The Orton-Gillingham approach is excellent for teaching decoding because it is explicit about the structure of words and instructors are systematic when introducing this structure to students. Each skill builds on the next, and instruction spirals back often for review to strengthen students' knowledge.


I hope that eventually all teachers will learn and use structured literacy to teach reading, as it works well for all students, not just dyslexic students. With a structured literacy approach in every classroom, students with dyslexia would struggle less during the crucial years when they are learning to read.


For a deeper dive into the pieces of a structured literacy approach, check out the infographic linked above.


Photo credit: Kimberly Farmer