Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dyslexia: The Davis Method - Symbol Mastery

Davis Symbol Mastery — the modeling of words in clay – is based on the idea that each word has three parts: what it means, what it looks like, and how it sounds.

When all three parts are fully understood and learned, the word is mastered.

Brain research shows that all skilled readers make this connection, but the balance struck between sight, sound, and meaning may differ depending on the written form of language.

In languages that are phonetically consistent, such as Italian, readers tend to rely first on letter-sound correspondence (phonology).

Readers of a character-based alphabet, such as Chinese, rely more heavily on the correspondence between letter shape and meaning.

English uses an alphabetic system but an orthography (spelling system) that is influenced largely by word meaning (morphology). That is why English spelling is inconsistent.

Noted psychologist and research professor Uta Frith, explains that skilled readers make instant mental links between the sounds, appearance, and meanings of words.

English readers rely more heavily on the meaning element, because knowing the meaning is often also the key to knowing how the word sounds.

Dyslexic readers typically struggle because it is harder for them to make the connections automatically.

That is why the Davis system relies on modeling word meaning together with mastering the visual sequence of letters and the sound of the whole word.

Learn more:
Three Parts to a Word
Davis Symbol Mastery Support
Davis Symbol Mastery Kit

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