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Canadian Dyslexia Centre

Advantages of the SMT Method

  • Can be used for people of all ages and school levels.
  • Allows us to quickly intervene in dyslexic children even before diagnosis, given that the method can be taught as early as the 1st grade.
  • Though specifically designed for dyslexic students, the method can be taught to all children in the 1st grade and therefore can prevent failures and reduce the need for rehabilitation.
  • Can be taught to an entire class at the same time, which would considerably reduce the costs associated with specialized education delivered to a limited number of students at a time.
  • Each lesson is meticulously planned out in every detail; as such, it could easily be implemented right away by most elementary school teachers.

Simultaneous Multisensory Teaching (SMT)

Definition
Simultaneous Multisensory Teaching (SMT), based on the Orton-Gillingham approach, is a language re-education method designed to meet the needs of students of all ages, including dyslexics, who require a deeper understanding of the structure of the written language and more practice with the associations between sounds and symbols before being able to learn how to apply the concepts and rules governing written language.

Understanding Written Language
The SMT method is a program of study that aims to teach reading, writing and spelling by placing the emphasis on reading accuracy during the initial lessons, and moving to a deep understanding of written language and structure over subsequent lessons. The material is presented in short sequential steps which allow the student to develop a true self-confidence. Students progress at their own pace.

In order to be easily used by the majority of teachers, parents and psychologists, the method includes detailed lesson plans, with explicit aims and teaching approaches for each step. In addition, explanatory notes on the causes and effects of dyslexia have been included to help teachers understand the point of view of their students.

This method also reduces the time it takes to learn a foreign language by half, as it facilitates the acquisition of grammar and phonetics.

A Different Approach
The SMT method differs from other approaches to reading, because it incorporates the development of phonological and phonemic awareness in its learning techniques and into the following strategies:

  • Visual and auditory discrimination skills
  • Bimanual reading in point form to develop a tactile vision
  • Direct teaching of words without pictures
  • Emphasis on diction
  • Etymology of French words

Work Plan

The SMT work plan is partly inspired by the work of Orton-Gillingham-Childs, as the preferred method for teaching people with dyslexia. It is also based on our own teaching experience. The work plan further follows some of the teaching strategies from the Foundations for Literacy of Aylett Cox, Literacy and Dyslexia Training Program of the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital and Sounds in Syllables by Sandra Dillon.

We added the following activities:

  • Kinesthetic and tactile revision
  • Auditory exercises
  • Visual exercises
  • Laterality and orientation exercises
  • Health breaks
  • Words without images
  • Red words
  • Articulatory gymnastics

References

Brazeau, Louise (1996). Collection EMS, 234 des Draveurs, Aylmer, Quebec, Canada, J9J 1K5.

Cox, Aylett R. (1992). Foundations for Literacy, Educators Publishing Service Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Keagy J. and Sanders A. Literacy Program, Educators Publishing Service Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital. Dyslexia Training Program, Child Development Division, Dallas, Texas, USA, 75219-3993.

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital. Literacy Program, Child Development Division, Dallas, Texas, USA, 75219-3993.

Dillon, Sandra (1989). Sounds In Syllables, S.I.S. Publishing Co., 6344 Buenos Aires N.W., Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87120.

Brazeau, Louise (1996). Collection EMS, 234 des Draveurs, Aylmer, Quebec, Canada, J9J 1K5.