Overview of a Multisensory Approach to Learning
- Combines visual, auditory, kinesthetic/tactile learning aspects
- Different parts of the brain are activated using these various teaching methods
- Aids learners in recognizing their particular learning styles and techniques
- Effective for every type of learner
- Can be applied to any subject from reading and math, to history and science
- Provides the flexibility for more individualized instruction
What is a Multisensory Approach?
A Multisensory approach to learning refers to the sequential, structured, multisensory techniques designed in the 1930s by Samuel Orton and Anna Gillingham. Orton and Gillingham created the multisensory approach to aid children with Dyslexia, but this style of learning is beneficial to all types of learners.
A multisensory approach to learning provides typical and atypical students with appropriate strategies and techniques to understand new concepts, to remember these new concepts and to recall them later on.
It goes past the traditional approach to education, which mainly depends on vision and hearing.
Using a multisensory approach gives children the advantage of simultaneously utilizing all three pathways, visual (what we see), auditory (what we hear), and kinesthetic/tactile (what we feel), to learn alphabetic patterns and words.
Its helps break down difficult abstract ideas, by teaching them in a concrete manner, so lists and sequences are learned through sights, sounds, and movements.
Research Supports Multisensory Approaches
Current research supports using a multisensory approach to learning. Much of its support is from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), which adheres to the effectiveness of explicit structured language based teaching for children with Dyslexia. Young children who were in structured, sequential, multisensory intervention programs, such as Orton Gillingham and Lindamood Bell made significant improvements in decoding skills.
These multisensory based programs used direct, explicit teaching of letter-sound relationships, syllable patterns and meaning word parts. In clinical settings, studies showed similar results for a wide range of ages and abilities.
A multisensory approach is fun will get children of all ages and levels excited and eager to continuously learn.