VII. BEST EDUCATIONAL APPROACH & ELS™
ORTON’S GUIDELINES FOR THE BEST EDUCATIONAL APPROACH FOR TEACHING DYSLEXICS, AND THE CORRESPONDING ELS™ FEATURES (Orton Dyslexic Society, 1990)
1. Individualized. ELS™ was designed to cater to the needs of one individual. Each exercise provides the teacher an opportunity to change specific features of the task to best suit the student. The prescribed sequences were also designed with the specialized needs of the students in mind.
2. Multidisciplinary. ELS™ strengthens students’ skills with all of the exercises in a number of disciplines: reading comprehension, writing, and spelling improvements are just a few.
3. Multisensory. ELS™ utilizes many senses at one time through all of the exercises (e.g., LLSS, SHS, HS, SS, Cope-Write, Quick Pick, etc.). Each of these tasks is carefully constructed to integrate specific senses at certain times in ELS™.
4. Alphabetic-phonic. The alphabetic-phonic approach to teaching focuses on the building-blocks of language that can be sounded out to make larger words. ELS™ lesson words were created by phonic blends that originated from a complex matrix of vowel and consonant combinations.
5. Synthetic-analytic, systematic, structure linguistic. The system that constructively teaches students with dyslexia should structurally present a way for the alphabetic-phonic words to fit into the larger picture of reading. The lesson words in ELS™ can be blended into words for reading, and in turn, can be divided into sounds for spelling and writing.
6. Meaning-based. ELS™ is specifically for the student; therefore, the lesson words and sentences are appropriately geared toward the everyday life of these individuals. For example, the sentences are often in the first -person ("I am at the store"). Also, the graphics give additional meaning-based definitions of the lesson words to the students.
7. Systematic learning procedure. This is built into ELS™: the lesson word construction and progression, mastery cycles, levels broken into cyclic lessons, and sequences that automatically proceed from one task to the next, are just a few of the systematic means by which ELS™ reaches students.
8. Sequential teaching system. this is the whole concept behind the sequences in ELS™-- to provide a sequential teaching system, while catering to the specific, individual needs of the student. Twenty-six sequences of exercises were automated in the program in the attempts to meet the challenge of each student.
9. Cumulative sum or cycle of growth. The knowledge in ELS™ is building, that is, it applies to upcoming lessons and levels. An example a specific cycle of growth in ELS™ are the mastery cycles-- the student must have the information from the previous two lessons mastered before he or she can proceed.
10 A cognitive approach. One example of the cognitive approach in ELS™ are the lesson words. When it was first created, the actual word list complexity was specifically designed to fit the appropriate stage of individual cognitive development.
11. Gives student a sense of self-confidence. ELS™ always provides feed-back to any answer, right or wrong. Positive reinforcement (like the friendly voice, or points for trying to answer a question) in ELS™ is an essential element of a child gaining self-confidence in scholastic areas.