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What is Structured Literacy?

Structured literacy is an evidence-based approach to teaching reading and writing, particularly designed to address the needs of individuals with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities. It involves a highly structured and systematic teaching method that explicitly teaches the connections between speech sounds (phonemes) and the written symbols (graphemes) that represent those sounds.

Key components of structured literacy include:

  1. Phonemic Awareness: Developing an understanding of individual speech sounds and their manipulation.

  2. Phonics: Teaching the correspondence between these speech sounds and the written letters or letter combinations.

  3. Syllable Instruction: Breaking words down into syllables and teaching how to decode and encode them.

  4. Morphology: Exploring the meaningful parts of words, such as prefixes, suffixes, and root words.

  5. Syntax: Understanding sentence structure, grammar, and the rules governing word order.

  6. Semantics: Focusing on the meaning of words and their relationships within sentences.

  7. Comprehension Strategies: Developing strategies to understand and interpret text effectively.


Structured literacy is often used as an intervention and teaching approach to help individuals, especially those with dyslexia, learn to read, write, and spell accurately and fluently. It provides a structured and systematic framework to ensure that the fundamental components of language are explicitly and comprehensively taught, allowing for improved reading and writing skills.

Kids with Backpacks



At Design to Learn, we desire to empower teachers to advocate for their students within the school walls and at home through great professional development and clear communication with stakeholders. 

You have the unique opportunity to permanently impact a child's learning journey. Be the one who creates an incredible learning experience for your students by having appropriate expectations, showing empathy and knowledgable instruction. 

Supporting Students in your Classroom

Navigating the classroom with dyslexia can present challenges, but you can thrive with the right strategies and support. Here are some tips to help you manage learning in the classroom:

Get Educated

Typically, if you're relying on state required professional development, you will find it inadequate for dyslexia. Learn about dyslexia, its characteristics, and how it affects learning. Understanding the challenges and strengths associated with dyslexia is essential for providing appropriate support.


Differentiated instruction can be so overwhelming that teachers will not modify unless mandated by an IEP. Consider the simplicity of accepting oral responses for tests, audiobooks, flexibility with word limits in writing, and only grading spelling tests rather than embedded spelling.

Screen Students

Get trained to identify signs of dyslexia as early as possible. Find an effective screener and learn where to refer for further evaluation and remediation. Early intervention can significantly improve a student's progress and prevent academic frustrations. Don't allow your students to wait to fail! 


Explore the array of assistive technologies available today. Tools like text-to-speech software, speech recognition, and audiobooks are great beginning resources that can enhance your students' reading and writing experience immensely. 

Open Conversations

Communicate openly with parents about what you're seeing in the classroom. Trust that most parents desire the best for their students and want to know how to help. Take initiative and set up a meeting.


Explore specialized reading programs based on the Orton-Gillingham approach, a structured, multisensory approach to teaching reading and language skills. Contact Designed to Learn for more information and resources.

Suspected  Learning Difference


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