Teaching letter symbols using a movement path approach is consistent with the way the human brain connects its literacy network, from the area in the back of the brain that recognizes letters, through the brain's language areas, to an area toward the front of the brain that processes the movement path for hand-written letters.
By focusing the child's attention on each letter's distinctive movement path, difficulties with inverting or reversing letters are more quickly resolved. For example, <d> and <b> are in different structural script families and have dramatically different movement paths. (See below.) In contrast, when letters are taught as static shapes (e.g., balls and sticks) they can more easily be reversed in visual memory.
So, rather than teaching letters as static shapes, Lexercise teaches letters as movement paths, using a Chancery Script handwriting style, grouping letters in five structural families, according to their common movement pathways. Taught in this way, handwriting provides an explicit, multisensory (kinetic) focus that can help anchor otherwise “confusable” letter shapes.
Letters are proportioned with reference to the palm of the hand. Using the hand's anatomy as a mental guideline allows a writer to integrate the five basic movement pathways for forming lower-case letters and write well-form letters without lined paper.
- Dehaene, S. (2013). How the Brain Learns to Read, a presentation to the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE). (Video: Retrieved -YouTube, 7/1/15)
- James, KH, Engelhardt, L. The effects of handwriting experience on functional brain development in pre-literate children. Trends in Neuroscience and Education (2012), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tine.2012.08.001
- Nakamura, K, Kuo, WJ, Pegado, F, Cohen, L, Tzeng, OJ, Dehaene, S. (2012). Universal brain systems for recognizing word shapes and handwriting gestures during reading. Proc Natl Acad Sci
- Pegado, F., Nakamura, K. and Hannagan, T. (2014). How does literacy break mirror invariance in the visual system? Front Psychol. Vol. 5: 703.