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By Laurie Wagner
Reading and Language Arts Centers
800-READ211 (800-732-3211)
RLAC Listing on ISER
E-Mail: info@rlac.com


Building Better Brains!

Reading Instruction that Changes How the Brain Works

Research confirms that effective, multisensory reading instruction literally remodels the brains of struggling readers. Multisensory learning incorporates a variety of learning channels during instruction, especially utilization of visual, auditory, tactile (touch) and kinesthetic (muscle movement) learning pathways. When struggling learners are taught to read using direct, explicit, systematic, multisensory phonics instruction, research using brain imaging “shows” us that the impact on the brain is significant!

Dr. Sally Shaywitz, a leader in the field of dyslexia and reading research, has conducted reading research at Yale University's Center for Learning and Attention. Observing brain imaging during the reading process through the use of functional MRIs explicitly shows that good readers consistently use specific portions of the left-brain, with brain activity highly-focused in very specific areas during reading tasks. Brain imaging in poor readers, on the other hand, shows diffused activity scattered throughout the brain; much less efficient for reading.

Furthermore, studies have shown that instruction using direct, explicit, systematic, multisensory phonics actually changes how these poor readers use the pathways in their brains for reading. This kind of instruction, including an early emphasis on phonemic awareness, taught two hours per week for a year, significantly enhances students’ overall reading accuracy and fluency. The changes in brain imaging after this kind of intervention show a significant increase in the focused use of the left hemisphere of the brain during reading tasks. The brain activity of the poor readers appears more and more like the brain activity of the good readers! These formerly “poor readers” are developing “reading systems” in their brains that were not present before the instruction occurred.

Additional studies supporting these results have been conducted in many research facilities, including a team led by Associate Professor of Pediatrics Dr. Guinevere Eden at the General Clinical Research Center at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC, and a study at the Medical College of Wisconsin, with Jeffrey R. Binder, MD, Professor of Neurology and Robert F. Newby, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurology.

Early identification and intervention in kindergarten and grade one using this research-based instruction can prevent many at-risk students from ever struggling with reading. This kind of proven and effective instruction for older students who already struggle with reading skills acquisition can reverse the on-going difficulties, changing those learners into more competent readers. For dyslexic, learning disabled and ADD individuals, these instructional methods give them specific strategies and skills to work with their learning differences, allowing them to become successful readers and spellers, significantly impacting their schoolwork and life-long success.

It is this kind of on-going research that continues to support the 15 years of teaching and training expertise available through Reading and Language Arts Centers (RLAC). RLAC’s expert tutors and trainers are certified to use RLAC’s nationally accredited Phonics First™ program (explicit, systematic, multisensory phonics instruction) to improve the overall academic skills of learners of all ages and abilities. RLAC also specializes in teaching dyslexic, learning disabled and ADD learners. Through individually designed lessons in reading and in math using these research-based teaching methods, RLAC instructors teach students to become confident and independent learners. RLAC tutors literally build new pathways for learning within their students’ brains!

Additional Information:

Overcoming Dyslexia, by Sally Shaywitz

Reading and Language Arts Centers encourages you to evaluate information and resources on these and all web sites and decide for yourself if it meets your needs. RLAC does not take responsibility for the content or advice offered on any site.

Please visit our web site for:
education articles for parents and educators; phonics-based reading software;
FREE email newsletter; links to education sites; teaching products;
Orton-Gillingham training for teachers AND more!

For information on research-based multisensory reading and math tutoring at RLAC, or to discuss your child’s specific needs, call 800-732-3211 today. Michigan centers are located in Bloomfield Hills, Farmington Hills, St. Clair Shores, Shelby Township and Lake Orion.

Reading and Language Arts Centers
800-READ211 (800-732-3211)


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Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help people find the right help for their special needs children and teens. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, type of special education professional, specific special education professional, or educational methods.

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