My professional passion is to ensure that “No student has a reading and writing age level below their chronological age.” We know this can be done, but it needs to start early and ensure that every child has the ability to picture words in their mind’s eye at the same time as teaching them phonics. Phonics just don’t work reliably for a deep orthographic language (one where the gap between the spoken word and the written word is wide) like English; this is where you need mental imagery as well.
The only party to have really tried to reduce the attainment gap in primary school is the Liberal Democrats, with their funding for year 7 catch up and the pupil premium programmes. Funding is excellent, but with the essential of picturing words missing it is hard to reach the goals required of our children. Dyslexic children are very talented but these talents are being wasted, when we don’t teach them in a way that works for them.
It is well worth asking any Dyslexic child if they can picture words in their mind’s eye. Our records say that for 100% of children, this vital skill for literacy ismissing and essential for spelling and reading in the English/American languages. Ask anyone who is good at literacy they will tell you they have this skill and without it spelling and reading would be difficult. If you prefer to look at research take a look at this article from Georgetown University. Adding Words to the Brain’s Visual Dictionary: Novel Word Learning Selectively Sharpens Orthographic Representations in the VWFA. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25810526
This missing skill can be learned in about 1.5 hours, with a 95.14% success rate, and just needs practice like any new skill. Go to www.empoweringlearning.co.uk; any parent or teacher can learn the skill to teach children on-line in a few hours, or contact me firstname.lastname@example.org to find out what nobody told you about Dyslexia.