A.R.R.O.W. The Acronym What does it mean?

A.R.R.O.W. is an acronym for Aural – Read – Respond – Oral – Write.
Aural … The student listens to speech on headphones.
Read … The student reads the text of the spoken material.
Respond … The student responds to the stimulus.
Oral … The student repeats the spoken word(s)
Write … The student writes down what is heard from the Self-Voice recording and marks their own work.

A.R.R.O.W. is therefore a multi-sensory blend of techniques, containing a combination of established and innovative learning strategies.

It is however,  the student’s own voice, the Self-Voice, which remains central to the approach.

It is acknowledged by the Department for children schools and families, that A.R.R.O.W. achieves, “significant if not spectacular results”. Latest evidence from across the UK, England, Wales  Ireland, Finland  and the  Caribbean, shows that A.R.R.O.W. is a major contributor amongst   literacy, speech and communication improvement strategies.

Research into A.R.R.O.W.

A.R.R.O.W. has been the subject of extensive research since 1975. Results show the following:


1.  Reading and Spelling Skills can be

    quickly improved and maintained using
    Self-Voice techniques.


2. The Self-Voice can be used as a major  

    platform for speech/language
    improvement work.

3. There is a clear link between the

   replayed Self-Voice and internal speech

   and/or memory processes.

4. Students listen most attentively to,

    and/or like, the sound of their own

    replayed voices.


5. The Self-Voice greatly aids memory



Research shows A.R.R.O.W. gives rapid  sustained improvements in: 



Spelling Skills

Speech production and understanding

Working Short Term Memory

Listening in Noise


Please see:

1. ‘Self-Voice, A Major Rethink’, by Colin Lane 2010. ISBN 978-0-9567754-0-5.This book includes data from Exeter University and many Primary and Secondary Schools/Colleges  in Eire, England, Wales and Trinidad.

2. ARROW: A new Tool in teaching of Llteracy: Report of Early Intervention, Dr Mary Nugent 

Educational Psyschologist. REACH Journal of Special Needs Education in Ireland Vol.25 No.2. 2012.

3. DCSF 2007 -' What works for Pupils with Literacy Difficulties'. G.Brookes and NFER

Potential population for A.R.R.O.W.

​The population able to benefit from Self-Voice replay is enormous. Socio-economic expectations are markedly suppressed for people unable to reach, or who have lost, requisite reading, writing, speech and listening skills. This unacceptable situation could be greatly improved for literally millions of children and adults, including those with disabilities, by adopting the teaching/learning system called A.R.R.O.W.  The population able to benefit from A.R.R.O.W. includes those with Reading, and Spelling problems, Dyslexia, Autism,  Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Speech and Language Disorder/Delay, Stroke,  Brain Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other learning and cognitive difficulties. 

Future Research

Dr Lane writes "... It is sincerely hoped that A.R.R.O.W.  will encourage fresh avenues of exploration for future researchers and educators, for much remains undiscovered, the journey has just begun."

Further Reading