Forum Post 16

Recognition of characteristics of dyslexia in your students by Moira Thomson - Thursday, 22 July 2010, 08:15 AM

Re: Recognition of characteristics of dyslexia in your students by Moira Thomson - Thursday, 22 July 2010, 08:15 AM

by Alasdair Andrew -
Number of replies: 0
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Re: Recognition of characteristics of dyslexia in your students
by Caroline Sweeney - Wednesday, 29 February 2012, 09:40 PM
In my experience one of the difficult some classroom teaching staff have is understanding the full level of difficulty a dyslexic student might have with, say, notetaking (even reasonably low levels) whilst listening to teacher. Also, sometimes, the self esteem / lack of confidence of the dylsexic student increases theri difficulties and it becomes harder to separate the dyslexia from the lack of confidence in their own ability.
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Re: Recognition of characteristics of dyslexia in your students
by Andrew Webber - Monday, 2 April 2012, 10:26 AM

In one of my classes I have a few students who seem to show a lack of motivation and also sometimes find listening to instructions very difficult. As a result they sometimes employ some of the coping strategies mentioned in section 3 of the course. My students are international students and English is not their first language. This adds to my confusion because I can not distinguish if the students are simply undermotivated or lack interest, have an underlying issue such as Dyslexia or is it simply a series of coping strategies used to hide their problems with the language barrier, where following instructions and problems with reading and writing occur anyway. the majority of the class experience these same difficulties but the particular students I am concerned about are the ones who employ the coping and avoidance strategies in the same way a dyslexic student would.

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Re: Recognition of characteristics of dyslexia in your students
by Moira Thomson - Friday, 13 April 2012, 08:07 AM

As you have observed, there are many simliarities between students with dyslexia and those for whom English is an additional language (EAL) especially where listening is concerned - in fact, the communication skills of dyslexic students are often described in terms of the early stages of foreign language acquisition - first they process the sound (hear the word) then they process the meaning (translate it from English) - then they think of a response - translate it into English - then respond.  The main difference is that your EAL students (unless they also have dyslexia) will improve as their understanding and control of English improves.

Those who employ 'dyslexic' coping strategies may, as you note, not actually have dyselxia - but they may have another specifc learning difficulty - or even a hearing impairment.  Many of these are covered in Section 3 Part 2 (i) and 2(ii) of this course.

Even though a student may have no history of dyslexia - and may even be resistant to any suggestion of dyslexia - if coping/avoidance strategies typical of dyselxia are being used, and there is no apparent cognitive difficulty, further investigation should be suggested.  It may be presented as an opportunity to 'rule out' certain factors that affect learning - or in a more positive light - re eligibility to Access arrangements for exams.  Impaired vision is also a 'hidden' difficulty that many students do not realise they have - or that they try to ignore, being unwilling to wear specs - but vision should also be checked regularly, especially if there is a lot of course reading.  When previous coping strategies fail they often develop into reading avoidance  - or a belief that the student has less ability than previously thought - or has lost interest.

While it it always possible that a student does lack interest and/or motiviation, this is less common in older teenagers and adults who select their own courses of study.