According to some estimates, as many as thirty-five million people in North America suffer from Dyslexia. That represents about 15 to 20 percent of the population. Teaching young people diagnosed with Dyslexia presents a unique challenge for teachers, tutors, and educators. One of the strategies employed by schools is to provide students with evidence-based reading instruction facilitated through a credible evidence-based reading program.
How an Evidence-Based Reading Curriculum Helps Support Students with Dyslexia
Evidence-based instruction for children with Dyslexia is an accepted way to make adequate gains in reading achievement. Evidence-based K-5 reading programs are ones that have a proven record of success; that proof acts as valid evidence that supports the teaching of such programs to students. There are five commonly accepted components of an evidence-based reading program that should be included when teaching young students to read.
- Phonemic Awareness Instruction. Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify and manipulate phonemes, which are the smallest units of sound in the English language. Phonemes are essentially the sound that a letter makes. This type of instruction helps all types of children improve their reading skills but it is especially helpful when teaching students with Dyslexia. Phonemic awareness is a key component of reading curriculums in grades kindergarten through grade five.
- Systematic Phonics Instruction. Being able to recognize and decode individual sounds represented by letters or groups of letters is the pillar of systematic phonics instruction. Unlike phonemic awareness, phonics encompasses both visual and auditory recognition, whereas phonemic awareness focuses on sound without the visual component. In an evidence-based reading curriculum, systematic phonics instruction plays a major role in the learning and mastery of the content.
- Fluency Instruction. For students to be considered competent when reading text, they must demonstrate sufficient speed and accuracy while mastering comprehension. This is reading fluency defined, and accuracy is the key component. Teaching students to read subject matter as fluently as possible is a vital component of comprehension.
- Vocabulary Instruction. Children with or without Dyslexia have to understand individual word meanings in order to develop their vocabulary. Vocabulary development must be taught through direct and indirect methods both orally and through reading exercises.
- Comprehension Instruction. Students who can gain meaning while reading connected text are displaying the skill of comprehension. Reading comprehension requires a thoughtful interaction between the student and the text being read.
While these are just five of the strategies required to teach students with Dyslexia to read, they are by far the most important and should be present as part of a complete reading program.
Essential Skills Online Reading Programs Use Proven Strategies
Regardless of whether you’re teaching students with Dyslexia, or students with no obvious challenges affecting their abilities, your curriculum will benefit greatly from the online teaching resources offered by Essential Skills. Our evidence-based reading programs are designed by classroom teachers and have been producing measurable results for over 20 years!