Steps and Dyslexia

Steps is designed to be used in a variety of contexts.  It is used as a whole-class resource to support class-based literacy teaching, ESOL teaching and language development.  However, it is also effective in a remedial setting with learners who have processing difficulties such as dyslexia.  Learners in this category typically have a variety of processing weaknesses which may prevent them from developing literacy skills.

The Big Five:

Phonological Awareness

  • Phonemic awareness
  • Onset + rime
  • Rhyme
  • Syllabification
  • Word retrieval
  • Auditory discrimination

Visual Perception

  • Visual discrimination
  • Tracking
  • Perceptual organisation
  • Visual recognition


  • Visual sequencing
  • Auditory sequencing
  • Sequencing of ideas
  • Planning work


  • Visual memory
  • Auditory memory
  • Kinaesthetic memory
  • Working memory

Motor Development

  • Gross motor skills
  • Fine motor skills
  • Proprioception

Processing Skills in Literacy

Although these processing skills are necessary for all learners, research shows that dyslexic learners are likely to have specific weaknesses in some or all of the above areas.  They therefore typically need a much stronger emphasis on developing these skills and need to be taught how to apply them in context.

However, there are further aspects which are important, particularly for learners with literacy difficulties, such as dyslexia.  These learners often need significantly more reinforcement.  Research shows that a non-dyslexic learner needs typically between 4 – 10 exposures to a word to fix it in long-term memory.  A dyslexic learner, on the other hand, can need 500 – 1300 exposures to the same word.