Reading is a complex task. Do you know why? It demands a few basic skills to start with. Skills such as,
- Phonics (letter-sound relationship)
- Phonemic awareness (awareness that a word is comprised of different sounds)
However, this difficult task can be made easy with a multisensory approach. In multisensory learning, a student learns through various combinations of touch, sight, movement, and hearing. This approach helps the learner to understand and develop skills more effectively.
How Multisensory Teaching Helps to Improve Reading Skills
To read, learners must know how to break a spoken word into individual sounds, and must have the ability to apply their knowledge of letter-sound relationships, knowledge of letter patterns, and understand the word’s meaning. When a learner uses more than one sense during his/her reading, new connections or new pathways are created in their brain.
Benefits Of Multisensory Approach To Reading
By using Multisensory activities, all types of learners have the opportunities to connect with what they are learning. Repeated practice and sensory inputs help them enhance memory and develop their skills more effectively.
Benefits of multisensory approach to reading include,
- improved letter-sound association
- increased word recognition
- enhanced vocabulary
Who Can Benefit from Multisensory Approach To Reading
While multisensory learning can be helpful for all learners, it is more so for learners with learning disabilities and learners who have cognitive difficulty. In fact, when a child gets an opportunity to learn concepts using more than one sense, whether it is in general education or special education, it remains in their mind.
Adapting Methods In Multisensory Reading
Multisensory reading makes reading more interesting and concrete. Children learn the sounds of letters better when we associate them with songs or stories(auditory). Air writing and actions can help them remember words more easily(Kinesthetic). Making a child read by giving them magnetic letters and block letters (tactile) can enhance their reading skill. Creating clay models of letters and segmenting letters using alphabet tiles all help improve learning.
As multisensory approach engages more than one sense, it makes us connect with what we are learning more effectively. It is the best way for any learner to enhance their learning. This approach helps them understand the concepts well, making learning easier.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
How do multisensory activities enhance reading skills?
Multisensory approach helps the learners read in a better way by engaging them to use various combinations of touch, sight, movement, and hearing. Using multiple senses makes them register and recollect what is learned more effortlessly.
How is multisensory instruction helpful in teaching reading, particularly for students with dyslexia and why?
Multisensory instruction helps dyslexic learners to understand new information by breaking down concepts i.e. by making abstract things into concrete, or by introducing them through activities involving movement, vision and sound.
What is a multisensory reading program?
Multisensory reading program includes activities like sand or shaving cream writing, air writing, sandpaper letter, word building, story sticks, etc., which helps a learner to understand how to read, how to segment each letter and to blend it.
Mary Divya K Thomas, M.A., B.Ed (ID)