Reading and spelling skills are based on our ability to distinguish and apply sounds (phonemes) and corresponding symbols (graphemes). This ability is called "phonological awareness" and it forms the first step when learning to read and write. 

Understanding complex word structures known as "morphological awareness", is the next step. This is required for developing advanced reading and writing skills. It is an essential step, enabling us to automatically recognise morphemes (the smallest unit in a word that still has a meaning) and combine them into complex words.

Lexilogy is innovative, effective, easy to understand and convenient to use. More significantly, it is instrumental in the development of phonological and morphological awareness of the English language. 

Lexilogy users, both children and adults, will acquire phonological and morphological awareness through an interactive 'game', in which they learn how to merge sounds into syllables and morphemes into complex word structures. They will progress step by step until they achieve comprehensive reading and spelling skills.

Lexilogy is the result of decades of painstaking research into the decision-making processes involved in reading and spelling and the difficulties experienced by children and adults with dyslexia. It is a 'tool', with a clear beginning, middle and end; three stages forming a comprehensive system.

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is characterised as a specific, severe and persistent difficulty in the acquisition of reading and spelling skills and is caused by a deficit in the phonological and morphological processing of words. 

Individuals with dyslexia show a diminished phonological awareness resulting in sound-based reading and spelling mistakes. They might tend to reverse the order of the letters, add or subtract consonants and leave vowels out. Phonological awareness refers to the understanding that words are comprised of individual sounds, that each sound matches with a corresponding written symbol and that these can subsequently be blended into syllables and words. 

Individuals with dyslexia show a diminished morphological awareness and have trouble distinguishing the separate morphemes in a word (suffixes, prefixes, stems), resulting in morpheme-based spelling mistakes and a below average reading level. Morphological awareness refers to the understanding that words are made up of meaningful units (morphemes) like prefixes, suffixes and stems and when blended together, form multi-morphemic words.

Individuals with dyslexia obtain phonological and morphological awareness with difficulty and it rarely reaches the desired automated level.

This shows us that an intervention program should focus on repairing both phonological and morphological awareness.

English as a second language

Lexilogy users obtain a higher level of phonological and morphological awareness of the English language.

Tests and research consistently bear out the importance of phonological and morphological awareness in learning a second language.

This awareness is essential in achieving advanced reading, writing and spelling skills and significantly improves student vocabulary through facilitating word-learning processes. 

Education planners and policymakers increasingly concur that general phonological and morphological awareness skills are crucial in learning additional languages.

Lexilogy is the first online program systematically focusing on transferring these skills.

Through entertaining exercises the student obtains a deep knowledge of the sound system and word structure of the English language. 

About the author

Lexilogy was developed by Hester Hoette. Born in the Netherlands, Hester studied developmental psychology at the University of Amsterdam specialising among others in cognitive meta-linguistic processes relating to reading and spelling and learning difficulties. Her final thesis at the university discussed learning difficulties with a focus on dyslexia.

In 1995 Hester moved to Greece where, in 1998, she established a learning centre specialising in reading and spelling difficulties. She also conducted psycho-linguistic based research focusing on cognitive meta-linguistic processes involved in learning to read, write and spell.

Hester has 20 years of experience in psycho-linguistic research and treating reading and spelling difficulties, which has inspired and enabled her to develop Lexilogy; a unique, easy to use and very effective method for treating reading and spelling difficulties. 

Hester’s commitment to making her successful method accessible and affordable for a large audience led to the establishment of the online platform lexilogy.com.

Acknowledgements

Lexilogy wishes to thank:

Joes Koppers (designer) for visualising and subsequently realising all the ideas in a web application, full of magic, playful interface-interactions and accessible to everyone online.

Emma Hoette (dancer and visual artist) and Isabel K. (actor) for vocalising the colourful spoken instructions and words that accompany every lesson and stimulate the learning process.

Theo Schaap for the initial impulse to start this project, whose trust and inspiration motivated Hester to set off on the long journey of creating the Lexilogy method, first for the Greek language and then for English. Unfortunately he is no longer with us to see the results of the effort.