ELT publishers are, more and more, producing material appropriate for learners with dyslexia. This mainly consists of ‘dyslexic-friendly’ reading texts and tests, which are available from teachers’ resource sites. However, to gain maximum benefit from such material, it is important for us as teachers to have an awareness of what dyslexia actually is, how it can impact learning, and the implications of this for material design. Continue reading
As a child, I had difficulty reading and writing and some teachers would make me feel less than intelligent, which often led to anxiety and low self-esteem if I thought my limitations were to be exposed. This was especially true when I had to read aloud, which was the perfect opportunity for the rest of the class to observe my apparent stupidity. I was subsequently diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 15. Continue reading
Every ELT teacher has experienced a moment when they wonder what else can be done to help a struggling student. Trying new activities and methods may work, but sometimes the student continues to have problems. This may suggest the student has special educational needs. The student could also be struggling because the language is different from their first language or because of issues related to acculturation.
In either case, what can a teacher do in class to help this student? Continue reading
What do Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Muhammed Ali have in common? They all found school and teachers difficult. Thomas Edison’s teacher sent a note home when Thomas was 6, which said: “He is too stupid to learn”. These successful people had dyslexia. Their teachers didn’t know much about dyslexia. They labelled them lazy and stupid. Continue reading