Why Use MTA for Your Students Identified with Dyslexia?


Typically used in dyslexia intervention for students identified through Section 504 or Special Education, MTA meets all descriptors of Effective Reading Instruction for Students with Dyslexia outlined by the International Dyslexia Association. MTA also meets the criteria for both Standard Protocol Dyslexia Intervention and Specially Designed Instruction (SDI), as all evidence-based components are present and the instructional delivery can be tailored for small group or individual needs. MTA is student-centric, providing the teacher the ability to make changes or adjust pacing as she sees fit.

What is MTA?

MTA, or the Multisensory Teaching Approach, is a multisensory curriculum, designed to be used with students in grades K-12 for the remediation of students with dyslexia. MTA was authored in 1978 and later published by Margaret Taylor Smith in 1987. It has been continually updated, as researchers learn more and more about the science of reading. 

MTA includes all instructional components for reading, handwriting, and spelling, such as the study of the English language for reading and spelling, syllable types, diacritical markings, automaticity, comprehension, handwriting, and spelling/composition. 

MTA also has supplemental components to support student learning, such as alphabet skills, phonological awareness, verbal expression, and listening comprehension.

How does MTA align with the definition of a SPDI?

According to the 2021 edition of the Texas Education Agency Dyslexia Handbook, a standard protocol dyslexia instructional program (SPDI) should have the following aspects. It should be:

    • explicit
    • systematic
    • intentional in its approach
    • instruction is designed and effective for all students with dyslexia
    • takes place in a small group setting
    • evidence-based
    • taught by an appropriately trained instructor
    • implemented with fidelity

Evidence-based instructional components should include explicit teacher-led instruction in:

    • phonological awareness
    • sound-symbol association
    • syllabication
    • orthography
    • morphology
    • syntax
    • reading fluency
    • reading comprehension

Instruction delivery includes:

    • simultaneous, multisensory (VAKT)
    • systematic and cumulative
    • explicit instruction
    • diagnostic teaching to automaticity 
    • synthetic instruction
    • analytic instruction 

MTA meets all descriptors of an SPDI, evidence-based components, and instructional delivery.

Within the handbook descriptors, teachers have the ability to adjust the pacing and differentiate instruction among the spectrum of students. Since every student identified with dyslexia presents differently, the teacher has the ability to decide what instructional components her students need at any certain point in order to grow and thrive in dyslexia instruction. MTA provides students with a deep level of direct, teacher-led instruction, needed for the remediation of students identified with dyslexia. It is student-centric, providing the teacher the ability to make changes or adjust pacing as she sees fit, according to student needs and data.

MTA is typically used in dyslexia intervention for students identified through Section 504 or Special Education.

MTA was field tested in a public school setting for nine years. A four year study growing out of the field testing project showed that after receiving MTA instruction, both regular and remedial students in third through sixth grade showed improvement in reading and spelling – some at highly significant levels.

The digitized MTA curriculum

The Amplio Platform has digitized the traditional MTA curriculum. This provides everyone with access to the full curriculum accessibility and the supplemental instructional components. There’s no need to purchase additional materials to support student learning, as it is all present and digitized on the platform.

The Amplio Platform has added features that support instant data keeping, such as daily progress notes, Word Correct Per Minute (WCPM), student attendance, and time spent in the curriculum. Teachers are provided the flexibility of using the digital lesson planner, the Master Lesson Plans, or they have the freedom to create lessons that adheres to their students’ individual learning needs. 

Amplio and MTA have created additional forms of progress monitoring in the form of probes, specifically in reading and spelling. These probes are curriculum-based measures, designed to be administered every two weeks and provide the teacher with a greater understanding of current student progress in the curriculum along with traditional measures such as Mastery Checks and instructional inventories.

MTA on the Amplio platform provides a comprehensive dyslexia curriculum that will empower the teacher in making the best instructional decisions for students identified with dyslexia.


    • MTA meets the description of both the Standard Protocol and SDI according to the 2021 Texas Dyslexia Handbook
    • It’s designed for the deep remediation of the student identified with dyslexia – no matter the route of identification.
    • When implemented with fidelity, students identified with dyslexia receive the direct, teacher-led instruction needed and can make meaningful gains.
    • Amplio has digitized the MTA curriculum and added additional instructional components to help support student progress in the MTA curriculum.
Aimee Rodenroth

Aimee Rodenroth

Aimee Rodenroth is the Subject Matter Expert on Dyslexia for Amplio. She has 30 years of experience in public education in Texas, 27 of those years were spent in some form of dyslexia education. She received her CALT (Certified Academic Language Therapist) certification in 2006 from LEAD, and later obtained her QI (Qualified Instructor) certification in 2018 from Southern Methodist University. Aimee is trained in multiple dyslexia curricula.

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