The Slingerland Approach is a structured, sequential, simultaneous, multi-sensory teaching approach is designed to help dyslexic students with speaking, reading, writing, and spelling.
All learning takes place through the involvement of the auditory, visual, and kinesthetic-motor channels. It is in the linkage of these channels that dyslexic children often have difficulty. The Slingerland Approach starts with the smallest unit of sight, sound, and feel – a single letter. Expanding upon that single unit, students are taught through an approach that strengthens inter-sensory associations and enables the strong channel of learning to reinforce the weak. It is thorough and integrated, providing a complete language learning experience.
From single letters, students are taught how to associate sounds with their visual counterparts and blend those letters to spell words. They add suffixes and prefixes and write phrases, sentences, paragraphs, and essays. They are also taught the phonetic rules and generalizations of the English language. Rather than a weekly spelling list, children work with a dictation paragraph that allows practice with punctuation, capitalization, and language mechanics, as well as spelling. Through this carefully guided approach, they learn the structure of the English language and its functional use while developing confidence in their own abilities to use that language effectively. At Prentice, we build the foundation for learning in the first and second grades; then we begin to utilize the dictation paragraph in the third grade.
In addition to the development of strong decoding strategies, a structure preparation for reading is based upon the way all children develop language skills. This involves the use of phrases to introduce new vocabulary concepts. The teacher then carefully structures the reading selection to aid the students in gaining comprehension.
Beth H. Slingerland founded The Slingerland Institute. Mrs. Slingerland's life's work really began in 1935 in Glacier National Park. There she received a month of instruction in the Orton-Gillingham Tutorial Approach from Anna Gillingham and Bessie Stillman, followed by daily instruction from them for two years in Hawaii.
Mrs. Slingerland soon realized she needed to concentrate her efforts on a preventive, classroom approach in order for more children to receive the help they needed. Through correspondence and several classroom observations, Ms. Gillingham was kept apprised and gave approval to the Slingerland Adaptation for Classroom Use of the Orton-Gillingham Approach for Specific Language Disability Children.
Training courses in the Slingerland Approach have been offered since 1960; and in 1977, Mrs. Slingerland founded the Slingerland Institute for Literacy
to carry on her work.