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Learning to Read with Dyslexia

Reading a book

​Reading with Dyslexia

Struggling children need the same rigorous foundational phonics programme as their classmates, with the addition of 10-15 minutes of extra daily practice with decodable readers such as BRI (Beginning Reading Instruction).

Piper Books addresses the main dyslexic problems that lead to severe reading difficulties:

Phonological Awareness

BRI-ARI instruction (for younger children) and MRI (for older children, teenagers and adults) place great emphasis on the 'how-to' of decoding. This focus provides essential phonological practice as students learn to blend and segment. Growing awareness of the smallest sounds in words is enhanced in the early stages by Spelling with BRI, with children learning to encode by 'saying the sounds' as they write each word.

Short-Term and Long-Term Memory

"The most effective way to remember the code’s patterns with minimum effort is through controlled exposure and varied repetition."
Diane McGuinness, Early Reading Instruction

Beginning Reading Instruction: BRI gives children the necessary tools to handle fresh information. New correspondences and words are introduced meticulously, with memory overload avoided at all times. Correspondences are normally encountered at least five times on first introduction and a minimum of five more times in subsequent books. Only three words and five sounds are introduced in the initial stories, with ingenious little plots created from these slight beginnings.

Letter Discrimination

Letters easily confused by dyslexic readers – e.g. b, d – p, q – h, n – v, w – are widely separated in the programme.

Blending Difficulties

The selection of letter/sound correspondences in the first stories facilitates the 'blending' of sounds: those sounds that are particularly easy to blend, e.g. /m/ and /s/, are introduced early.

Slow Processing

Dyslexic children are frequently hampered by slow processing. BRI helps to speed this up through careful structuring and word repetition. In addition, rereading leads to engagement with all aspects of storytelling, including the modelling and encouragement of expressive reading and a marked increase in confidence as well as in fluency.

Eye Tracking Problems

BRI's consistent emphasis on sounding through the word instils the habit of directional reading, training the eye muscles to track from left to right and the brain to see to the right in peripheral vision. For children finding this process difficult, the Notched Card is an effective means of ensuring left-to-right tracking (See Resources).

ARI (Advanced Reading Instruction) readers continue with the structured introduction of the English Alphabetic Code, increasingly focusing on its complexities. Each Level – suitable for KS1 and KS2 children – continues to bridge the gap between decoding skills and reading for meaning and offers sustained and enjoyable reading practice.


"One family has 'dyslexia' in both sides of the family and their son is top in both reading and math in his first grade class. Last year his teachers were talking about an ADD diagnosis! Getting him to this point was difficult but I think BRI turned his life around."

Daycare Provider, USA

"What is priceless with BRI instruction is the confidence it builds and the incremental dripping in of code. There is never too much at a time for him to handle... This is the humane way to teach reading."

Parent Volunteer

"Thank goodness for BRI - I know I wouldn't have been able to help the tough cases without it."

Special Needs Tutor

For Older Students with Dyslexia

MRI: Mature Reading Instruction

MRI approaches instructional, narrative and language-rich elements of reading within over eighty poems, plays and stories. The five Levels instil good decoding practices whilst offering the opportunity for sustained reading.

Piper Books MRI Mature Reading Instruction Level 1 Books
Piper Books MRI Mature Reading Instruction Level 2 Books
Piper Books MRI Mature Reading Instruction Level 3 Books
Piper Books MRI Mature Reading Instruction Level 4 Books
Piper Books MRI Mature Reading Instruction Level 5 Books

Clear Instruction 

Easy-to-follow approach to foundational skills

Structured Vocabulary 

Slowly increasing in complexity

Abundant Opportunities for Overlearning 

To reinforce the fundamentals

Additional Practice 

For fluency development and enhanced comprehension

available at amazon

MRI Lesson Plans

The Lesson Plans are an invaluable adjunct to the MRI programme, maximising every student’s potential while minimising every teacher’s workload.

Piper Books MRI Mature Reading Instruction Level 1 Lesson Plans Book Cover
Piper Books MRI Mature Reading Instruction Level 2 Lesson Plans Book Cover
Piper Books MRI Mature Reading Instruction Level 3 Lesson Plans Book Cover

They provide an abundance of straightforward lessons to ensure that what has been read has also been understood – from the most basic decoding protocol to the cultures, actions and ethics of the characters. Including: Comprehension and Discussion Questions, Background Knowledge, Storyboarding, Oracy, Prosody, Spelling, Vocabulary Development, Phoneme Breakdown, Sentence Reworking, Syllable Chunking, Word Chains, Crosswords, and Recall Quizzes.

MRI Tutor Guide

Piper Books MRI Mature Reading Instruction Tutor Guide Book Cover

The photocopiable MRI Tutor Guide enables all teachers to assess exactly where a student is in their progress towards becoming a competent reader. Information and procedures are clearly and simply explained.

Contents include:
Practical Teaching Points, Initial and Final Assessments, Background Information About the Stories, Record Keeping, Fluency Practice, Copying and Dictation Exercises, Frequently Asked Questions, and Troubleshooting.

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