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How analytical spelling defeats dyslexia

Dyslexia is poor word-level reading characterized by difficulties in fluency, spelling, writing, and pronunciation caused by a phonological core deficiency. This phonological core deficiency (or PCD) refers to the student's inability to recognize, analyze, or decode the oral sound structure that determines how words are spelled, written, and read in specific letter-sound sequences.

Dyslexia occurs when the brain has difficulty processing speech and print as phonemic sounds. To remedy this situation, we need to train the student's brain to segment spoken words by listening for the individual speech sounds that form all spoken words in our language. We need to train or rewire the student's brain to make stronger, lasting connections between sight and sound so that visual letters can be "heard" as spoken sounds.

Simply put, we need to train the student to hear phonemes in spoken words and to see and "hear" phonemes in printed words. Phoneme awareness is the same process that all students must learn to read effectively: all students must understand that spoken words consist of sounds and that the letters in our alphabet stand for sounds. Students with dyslexia do not need a different process for turning speech into the printed word and the printed word back into speech; they need a more intensive, relentless approach to understanding and applying the alphabetic principle of letter-sound correspondence.

The most effective interventions will focus on teaching children phonemic awareness/analysis. Intensive auditory intervention means showing children how to focus on phonemic sounds so that they can analyze phonemes in spoken words and translate printed words back into phonemes.

Analytical spelling is structured oral spelling from dictation--not from memorization. Students listen and respond to spoken words by converting sounds and structures into letters and combinations of letters. Analytical spelling requires students to take words apart and combine them by focusing on sounds, meanings, and grammatical structures. As such, analytical spelling™ is a scientifically and historically proven way to help all students (with or without dyslexia) learn how to read and write because it focuses students on sounds instead of sight.

Teaching students how to spell from sound and write the words down is a highly effective way to help them overcome dyslexia because spelling and writing require intensive focus on sounds and matching sounds to their corresponding letters or letter combinations. Spelling sounds and writing them down trains students to become phonemically aware and to use phonemic analysis in listening and reading.

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