In our last post, we discussed three ways in which parents can help their children to deal with dyslexia in Singapore. Continuing down that tangent, is there a quick & easy solution to ‘fix’ dyslexia? The thing is, dyslexia is a spectrum of learning difficulties related to reading and writing; one of the biggest challenges that comes with it is the lack of fluency and accuracy with which the child reads. For younger learners with dyslexia, this is even more evident.
If your child is having this issue, I’ve some good news: this initial hurdle can be easily overcome!
Introducing ‘word blending’
Using a technique called ‘word blending’ has given all of my students a 20-30% boost in their reading accuracy and fluency (measured using a Swords & Stationery variation of DIBELS). This is a technique that’s taught in pre-schools and special needs institutions like the Dyslexia Association of Singapore. Here’s how it works: you take a word and go from left-to-right, letter-by-letter, sound-to-sound, finally putting it all together.
As an example, consider the word below:
Let’s break it up into the individual letters so it looks like this:
Have your child read the sound of the first letter (/d/), then the second (/ɒ/). Putting both together should produce /dɒ/, a pronunciation similar to ‘doll’ without the /l/ sound caused by the pressing of the tongue against the teeth.
Next, get your child to mentally hold on to this /dɒ/ (if they can’t, use physical manipulatives like blocks or even stationery). Then, get your child to sound off the third /g/.
Now, put all together, and they should get /dɒg/ in one smooth reading.
Repeat this process for other longer words. Make this a habit for your child. In the long run, they will be able to read words with 3, 4 or even 5 consonants.
Limitations of blending
Blending is a great tool to help younger/weaker students. However, there are a few limitations that come with it. With polysyllabic words, you’ll need to adjust your methods; you will need to use it in conjunction with other strategies. Furthermore, longer words with Greek and Latin strings will demand greater morphemic awareness from the learner. Many of the techniques that we use at Swords & Stationery are developed in-house and built off research by notable academics like Dr Joanne Carlisle. They are designed to help our learners develop to a point where dyslexia no longer poses anymore significant learning challenges. If you’ve found this technique of word blending helpful, follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on more exciting tips, solutions and strategies, that help not just learners with dyslexia, but those with ADHD, ASD, CD, etc.