Dyslexia Intervention: What makes a good one?

Hickey Multisensory Language Course

What does the research say?

A specialist dyslexia literacy programme as recommended by the Rose Report (2009) should:

  • be multisensory
  • sequential and cumulative
  • highly structured and phonically based
  • include over-learning to develop automaticity
  • incorporate metacognition

....so what exactly are these?


Multisensory methods use all available senses simultaneously. 'Hear it, say it, see it and write it'. Information that is learnt through a variety of modalities has an increased opportunity to be absorbed and retained. When I teach spelling, I use a method where we simultaneously say the letters as we write the word. For more information on multisensory teaching read my BLOG.

Sequential and Cumulative

Sequential approaches are usually appropriate for children with dyslexia because it may be necessary for them to master sub-skills before moving onto more advanced materials. When I teach a structured programme a child needs to be able to identify short and long vowel sounds within a word, before they can begin to learn rules around many of the spelling suffix rules.

Highly Structured and Phonically based.

Phonics are taught logically and in small steps, making explicit links between the steps.

a phonics chart

Over-learning to develop automaticity

This is where considerable reinforcement and repetition is necessary to embed the learning of a word or skill into the long-term memory, for automatic access when needed.

picture to represent Metacognition


Metacognition is 'thinking about thinking'. It includes knowledge about when and how to use particular strategies for learning or problem-solving.

For example; if a pupil has been taught about when to double a consonant before adding the suffix -ing. After spelling the word, they would then be asked to explain how they knew to apply that rule.

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The skill of the specialist....

This is to make the learning as engaging as possible, observe and use strategies that utilise an individual's strengths and develop independence.

If you think your child would benefit from some specialist dyslexia tuition you can contact me here.