Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes

Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes is a set of specific programs geared to addressing different types of underlying weaknesses associated with reading difficulties through a program of intensive therapy and practice.

The most well-known program is Lindamood Phonemic Sequencing (LIPS), which builds phonemic awareness skills through developing awareness of the mouth actions which produce speech sounds. The process uses Socratic questioning, mirrors, mouth pictures, and descriptive labels such as “lip popper” for the sound /p/ to help your child connect the sounds of words with the process of producing each sound in speech.

A second program, Nancibell Seeing Stars: Symbol Imagery, develops the ability to mentally visualize the identity, number, and sequence of letters for the sounds within words. This strategy may help your child to improve word recognition and spelling skills.

A third program called Nancibell Visualizing and Verbalizing builds reading comprehension and critical thinking skills by enhancing a child's ability to create mental images related to language and reading and to describe the images in words. The therapist uses a systematic series of questions such as asking about color, size, shape, or movement to stimulate detailed and vivid imagery.

Lindamood-Bell is very highly regarded but does require a substantial commitment of time; the recommended intensive format for each program involves one-on-one therapy four hours a day for four to six weeks. An alternative format of one hour a day over 4-6 months may fit better within your child's schedule. If you work through an authorized Lindamood-Bell learning center, the program can also be very expensive, especially if you need to enroll your child in two or three separate program series. A modified version of the program may be available through your child's school or through a private tutor who has attended a workshop or received related training; however, the quality of such instruction may vary.


More of a good thing is not always better. The National Reading Panel evaluated fifty-two separate programs for teaching phonemic awareness skills and found that training programs lasting from ten to eighteen hours were almost three times as effective in building reading skills as programs lasting twenty to seventy-five hours.

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