The Auditory Pathway to the Brain

Struggling readers are most likely to be successful if they learn through all 3 pathways to the brain.  Is this easier said than done?  

At first glance, the options for activities using the auditory pathway can seem quite limited. Other than having your child read out loud is there any other way to use the auditory pathway?  And, does it really matter?

It definitely does matter!  When 2 groups of children, one with dyslexia and one without, were asked to read, MRI's showed the brain activity in children with dyslexia was significantly different.  Using all 3 pathways to the brain can help to ensure success for those struggling readers.

So, what do you do? These suggestions will help your reader connect to the material:

1. Incorporate rhythm - If your reader needs to commit certain material to memory, try putting it to a beat. The alphabet chant is a perfect example of putting material to a beat:
A    apple        /ă/
B    bear        /b/
C    cat        /k/   and so on.  
2. Compare the number of phonemes to the number of letters in a word. For example, the word patch has 3 sounds: /p/, /ă/, /ch/, but, it has 5 letters.  The letters tch combine to form one sound (a digraph).
3. Incorporate rhyming - This is especially helpful when working with vowel teams.  They can often be confusing, and even more so when a vowel team has several pronunciations.  For example, if your reader finds the vowel team oa challenging in the word float, ask if your reader thinks it would rhyme with with another word containing oa or a word with a different vowel team. Words such as boat and beat would work here.
4. Use music - Try putting material your reader needs to learn to music.  The creators of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood know this process is incredibly effective and they use it often.  If you have little ones, you are probably well aware of this.  When I was in high school, my German teacher knew the power of music. We learned a song that I remember to this day.  After more than half a century, the only German I can speak fluently are the words to that song.  I have forgotten everything else!  Recently, for some odd reason, a song from my childhood popped back into my brain.  It was called This Diamond Ring and I loved it as a kid.  I was able to remember every word of the lyrics. I couldn't even remember the last time I heard it.  I checked to see when that song came out.  It was 1964! That is the power of music.  Put the material your reader needs to learn to a favorite tune.  If it's possible to make it rhyme, better yet.