Way back in 2009, the British government reviewed their education system and realised that teachers needed to be trained to identify and support children with dyslexia. Ten million pounds was allocated for this purpose.
In the report dyslexia was defined as a “learning difficulty which primarily affects skills involved in accurate and fluent word-reading and spelling”.
Dyslexia should not be treated as a distinct category, the report says but, rather, as a continuum, much like other disorders. It concluded that children with dyslexia need to be taught in a highly structured way with emphasis on the phonic structure of the language.
Phonemic awareness is at the core of the problems experienced by dyslexic students. They struggle to hear the sounds of the language and to apply the letters that match those sounds. Their verbal memory, attention span and organisation and sequencing skills may also be weak.
A highly structured learning environment where there is specific teaching of phonemic awareness supports these children as they begin their journey as readers and spellers. Programs can be differentiated to allow each student to progress through the sounds, starting with the first level (s,a,t,p,i,n), at their own pace, building on prior knowledge as they go.
If it is good enough for the British system to make reading/spelling a non-negotiable by age 6, why is it not happening here in Australia?
To read the whole article see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/8109554.stm