Discovering Dual Code Reading

As the parent of a dyslexic child, when I found out about plasticity of the brain, it was like a whole new world opened up. Just knowing that the brain had the ability to change brought such great relief.

Suddenly the way I thought about dyslexia and reading difficulties totally shifted.

The possibility that using different pathways in the brain could lead to the same learning outcomes presented the opportunity to create a system that incorporated the strengths of the dyslexic learner and a way to compensate their difficulties.

Using different pathways in the brain to connect learning outcomes is not a new concept in education. In fact, teachers use it within their classrooms daily.

The educational phenomenon is called dual coding and it’s based on scientific evidence. Dual Code Theory was first proposed by Psychology Professor Allan Paivio in 1971.

Dual Coding relates to the way the brain processes information. The theory proposed memory and cognition are served by two separate systems in the brain – one for dealing with verbal information and the other for non-verbal information.

The two separate systems process information individually and simultaneously meaning that although separate, they can be associatively linked.

By presenting information in two different formats learners have more to call on when they need to recall information later.

Imagine your child having two ways for learning phonics: one with words and the other with non-verbal symbols. 

Pairing information in this way gives the learner a greater ability to understand, process and retain their learning. For the dyslexic learner this helps to bridge the short-term memory deficits.

The idea that visual images aid learning is a fundamental part of the theory and is important to dyslexic children during the learn to read process. The great news is that the visual codes can be removed after a matter of days once the child has learnt to identify the sounds within the word.

Dual Code Reading is the missing link for dyslexic learners and those who simply struggle with the process of learning to read.

The Reading Switch incorporates dual coding reading within all levels of its program. 

More information about The Reading Switch and Dual Code Reading can be found on our website

About Author

Brylee Langley

Founder of The Reading Switch,
Mum of Two Dyslexic Children, Lived Experience,
Parenting Dyslexic Thinkers

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