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Principles of Instruction for Multi-Sensory Structured Language Education:


Simultaneous Multisensory Techniques

Teaching is done using all the pathways in the brain simultaneously to enhance memory and learning. The teacher will simultaneously integrate visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile activities for learning.

Systematic (Sequential and Cumulative)

Multisensory language instruction requires that the organization of material follow the order of the development of language.
The teacher will:

  • Categorize and sequence the skills to be taught according to their level of difficulty; always teaching the easiest first.
  • Review previously introduced material, never assuming that the student has learned merely because the skill/concept was presented.
  • Introduce new material as a continuation of the previous lesson.

Direct Instruction

The inferential learning of any skill/concept cannot be taken for granted. The teacher will break a task into its component parts and teach each part interactively; never assuming that the students already know or have mastered the skill/concept.

Diagnostic Teaching

Teaching is prescriptive and individualized based upon the learner’s needs. Lesson planning is based upon careful and continuous assessment of the learner’s needs.

The teacher will:

  • Analyze and address student errors.
  • Teach and review skills/concepts until the student(s) demonstrates consistent and independent application of the skill/concept.

Synthetic and Analytic Instruction

Multisensory, structured language program include both synthetic and analytic instruction.

Synthetic instruction presents the parts of the language and then teacher how the parts work together to form the whole. Analytic instruction presents the whole and teachers how this can be broken down into it component parts.

The teacher will:

  • Teach how to combine parts into a whole.
  • Teach how to break down a whole into its component parts.



International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council 1997