3rd December 2004 at 00:00
OVERCOMING DYSLEXIA RESOURCE BOOK 1. By Hilary Bloomfeld. Whurr. Pounds 22.50

This book is "for the busy teacher who wants to use a multi-sensory approach to overcoming literacy difficulties in the classroom". Each photocopiable sheet focuses on one activity, usually based on a group of words, and uses a range of techniques, including phonology, tracing and games, to help children practise and make sense of the group.

Some of the activities, such as making a fashion catalogue of five items, are banal, but most are unexceptionable. The book offers no consistent strategy to help children with literacy problems to adjust their thinking in order to read and write effectively. Words with similar patterns are grouped together, but the patterns themselves - the breathed element in "wh", for example, and the shortcut in everyday speech that makes it difficult to learn - are not explained. As a result, good ideas, such as syllable analysis, are isolated, and the hard part, putting all the elements together to make sense of a text, is left to activities outside the scope of the book. Busy teachers, and children with literacy difficulties, deserve better.

John Bald

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