Adapting Teaching Methods for Students with Dyslexia

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Reading and writing both still play a huge part in modern education, with many children looking to grasp a detailed understanding of literacy and effective use of grammar. It seems that both children and adults require these skills more than ever before as they remain an essential part of our society. For individuals that are dyslexic, getting to grips with reading and writing can be more of an issue, which is why it’s vitally important to ensure that we improve our ability to develop their reading and writing skills using alternative teaching methods.

Dyslexia can quite easily go unnoticed for large periods of time, especially if the child is unaware of what is causing their lack of progression in the classroom. As long as dyslexic children are unaware of their condition, teachers may easily misinterpret their struggles with a lack of concentration and effort. Whilst criticism works for the majority of children, it can have the opposite effect for those with dyslexia. Teachers need to become aware of the general characteristics associated with dyslexia should it be suspected so that they can effectively integrate the child into the learning environment.

There are a number of ways you can improve a dyslexic child’s standard of education. Your approach to the learning environment is vital, as is the way in which you distribute information and approach lesson activities. A good way to start is to provide a straightforward outline of what is going to be covered in the lesson. You can also conclude the lesson with a review of the topic in order to discover what the children have learnt.

During class discussion and the delivery of important information, try and adjust your approach to be as easy to understand as possible. Do this by breaking down longer sentences and putting focus on keywords. When you set homework, assist the child to ensure that they have taken the information onboard and know what they have to do. Dyslexia is commonly associated with short-term memory loss, so making sure they have all the information you provide onboard at the end of the day is essential. You can also provide a parent or guardian with contact details in case they need reminding what homework has been set.

During classroom activities, it can certainly help a pupil who is dyslexic if they are paired with someone else or are assigned to a group. Working alone can be quite a daunting experience, especially when there is heightened pressure to succeed in an activity. Make sure you consider where they are sitting in the class room as this can have an effect on their ability to digest information. Sitting them closer to the front gives you the opportunity to relay information back to them in private.

Dyslexic children can benefit hugely from having people to talk to. It’s essential that you provide them with regular assistance to ensure they understand your approach to the lesson. Contact between school and home is essential as this can help to monitor the child’s development throughout their education.

As a mother of a pre-school age child, Louise Burton is a part time classroom assistant with an interest in SEN teaching. She writes about this and related topics for Moon Hall College, a specialist dyslexia school based in the Surrey countryside.

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