The Simultaneous Multisensory Teaching [SMT] Program

The SMT Program is a language re-education method for people of all ages. It is based on the Orton-Gillingham methodology, which is a structured and highly organized method for language training. It uses all of the senses to educate and has been acknowledged as the only appropriate intervention for people with dyslexia. English, French and Spanish versions of the program are available.

The SMT Program is made up of a series of sequential lessons which teach reading, writing and spelling with an emphasis on reading accuracy in the early stages, followed by a thorough comprehension of written language and its structures.

The SMT Program comprises a comprehensive manual for the teacher/tutor that includes step-by-step lessons plans and all teaching materials and a student workbook. There are 12 levels in the english (Simultaneous Multisensory Teaching), 8 levels in the french (Enseignement multisensoriel simultané), and 5 in spanish (Enseñanza multisensorial simultanea). Student progress is reviewed at regular intervals to ensure mastery of concepts and content.

The SMT Program is based on the following principles:

  • Simultaneous, multisensory teaching - Students learn using visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile senses simultaneously.
  • Systematic and cumulative - Each lesson is based on concepts taught in previous lessons. Lessons begin with the most basic concepts of language and progress to the most complex in logical order.
  • Direct instruction - Each concept is explicitly stated. Students are not expected to infer or intuit concepts as part of the learning process.
  • Diagnostic teaching - The teacher must continuously adjust the pace and style of instruction to suit the student’s changing needs and abilities.
  • Synthetic and analytic instruction - Synthetic instruction introduces the component parts of a concept, then describes how the component parts fit together. Analytic instruction presents the concept, and then describes how it may be broken down into its component parts.

People wanting to use the program undertake a comprehensive training program with follow-up support from an instructional video. Less teacher training time is needed for SMT teachers/tutors than for other teaching methods due to the detailed information provided in the teacher’s manual and the very precise lessons provided.

The SMT Program is being used extensively in Canada and abroad. The program is also used as a Second Language Program.

Included in the S.M.T. teaching approaches is the following learning techniques and strategies:

  1. Visual and auditory discrimination;
  2. Bimanual reading in Braille dots to develop a “tactile vision”; o direct teaching of non-image words;
  3. An emphasis on diction;
  4. The etymology of English words.

Advantages of the SMT Method

  • It can be taught to students of all ages and all grade levels.
  • It allows much earlier intervention for dyslexic children, even if they have not been formally diagnosed, because it can be taught as early as grade 1.
  • Although developed specifically for dyslexic students, this method can be used for all 1 grade children to prevent reading failure and to reduce the need for remedial help later.
  • SMT can be adapted to a group of students.
  • Because each lesson is detailed and meticulously prepared, teachers, tutors and parents can be taught the program within 2 days. Teachers and tutors can be certified by producing a video of a tutoring session. The certified tutors or teachers can in turn train others.

Video of workshop about the SMT Method

Lisa Ward - Conference about SMT Method, 2000

Video lesson 20

Training