Ep 16. Multisensory Instruction - What is it?

dyslexia multisensory instruction orton-gillingham podcast reading instruction reading instruction approaches structured literacy Apr 05, 2023

Multisensory instruction is often listed as a key component in many reading approaches and curriculums. In this episode, we are diving into what multisensory techniques are and how they can be helpful for a dyslexic student learning to read.

We can’t talk about multisensory instruction without looking back on the influential work of educational psychologist Grace Fernald. In the 1920s, she introduced techniques like skywriting and tactile spelling into her approach to reading instruction. This approach is now known as The Fernald Method. 

Dr. Orton-Gillignham and Anna Gillingham incorporated this methodology into their own approach. Anna Gillingham developed the Language Triangle to show how the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic senses work together when using a multisensory approach. All of the pathways in the brain work simultaneously and support each other. 

One way to visualize how this works is with the Language Triangle. Listen in as I draw the triangle and help you to see the different sensory work to support each other.


Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast platform.


Topics Covered:

  • Multisensory Instruction and the core senses incorporated - Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic
  • What kinesthetic and tactile activities look like
  • The origin of The Fernald Method and its relationship to multisensory instruction
  • How kinesthetic methods reinforce visual and auditory associations
  • How to draw the language triangle and what it means

Resources Mentioned:



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