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The Importance of Multi-sensory Approach in Reading Instructions.

The role of multi-sensory approach is crucial in reading and acquisition of Hebrew decoding skills. If we want our students to recall the material, we need to make sure that the information goes to their brain through a certain process. It was proven that the learning-disabled students that utilize most of their senses while learning have a much better ability not only to store but also to retrieve the information.

There is also an indication that people with dyslexia have a larger right hemisphere in their brains compared to those of normal readers. That may be one reason why people with dyslexia often have significant strengths in areas controlled by the right side of the brain, such as artistic, musical talent, creative problem-solving skills, and intuition).

That is why Orton-Gillingham approach pays special attention to using visual, oral kinesthetic and tactile instruction in every lesson. Studies conducted in Israel revealed that the number of developmental dyslexics who experience difficulties in phonology is relatively low.

The visual short-term memory was identified in these studies as a major factor for decoding speed. Since Hebrew reading depends so heavily on visual processing, researchers suggested that all beginning Hebrew reading programs should include activities that develop visual skills. As opposed to traditional phonetic decoding, where the reader must connect the sounds with the printed image and then combine them into words, the synthetic approach requires students to focus on individual syllables, drilling them as individual units. This process leads to awareness of blending consonants and vowels; it also shows how the orthography is connected with these units.

Oral-kinesthetic approach, which requires students to pronounce sounds or words out loud, is often underestimated as at teaching tool. This approach utilizes not only auditory processing, but also movement of the mouth as an additional signal to the brain.

Tactile instruction is another extremely important method since it is proven that senses of the tips of our fingers lead directly to our brain. That is why is it required to increase the activities that require small motor skills in order to stimulate memory.

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