Aug 012013
 
To teach reading in a multisensory manner, think of a ‘language triangle’ which emphasizes the simultaneous linking of auditory, visual, kinesthetic, and tactile pathways (Post, 2003). In each learning activity, the child should see the letters, phonemes, or words, while saying the sounds represented by the letters, phonemes, or words. In addition the child should simultaneously use a kinesthetic / tactile tracing action to write out the letters, phonemes or words. The child acts on all three pathways simultaneously.It is important to teach the visual element (the letter(s) or word) as a representation of its auditory sound. In other words, it is important to teach letter sounds, rather than letter names for the purposes of reading instruction.

As an example of multisensory reading instruction, the child would see an “S”. The child would say the sound of “S”, written as /s/, and would vocalize /s/. When the child said /s/ (auditory), she would also trace the shape of an “S” on the carpet with her bare feet (tactile), or use large, full arm movements to write a huge “S” on a chalkboard (kinesthetic). As she traced the shape of the “S”, she would see it, which would add in the visual component.

Almost any specific, sequential, reading instruction program can be made into a multisensory program by adding auditory, visual, kinesthetic, and tactile activities to the instruction.

 

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