Dyslexia what is it , definition characteristics symptoms resources




Dyslexia what is it , definition characteristics symptoms resources education. Dyslexia at school.


The following texts are the property of their respective authors and we thank them for giving us the opportunity to share for free to students, teachers and users of the Web their texts will used only for illustrative educational and scientific purposes only.


All the information in our site are given for nonprofit educational purposes

The information of medicine and health contained in the site are of a general nature and purpose which is purely informative and for this reason may not replace in any case, the council of a doctor or a qualified entity legally to the profession.



Dyslexia what is it , definition characteristics resources education


Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin.  It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or

fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.  These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction.  Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.


Source : http://www.azreadingclinic.com/DEFINITION%20OF%20DYSLEXIA.doc

Web site link to visit : http://www.interdys.org

Google key word : Dyslexia what is it , definition characteristics symptoms resources education. Dyslexia at school. file type : doc

Author : not indicated on the source document of the above text

If you are the author of the text above and you not agree to share your knowledge for teaching, research, scholarship (for fair use as indicated in the United States copyrigh low) please send us an e-mail and we will remove your text quickly.


Dyslexia what is it , definition characteristics resources education


 Dyslexia Definition and Characteristics 

The student who struggles with reading and spelling often puzzles teachers and parents. The student displays average ability to learn in the absence of print and receives the same classroom instruction that benefits most children; however, the student continues to struggle with some or all of the many facets of reading and spelling. These difficulties are unexpected for the student’s age, educational level, or cognitive abilities. Additionally, there is often a family history of similar difficulties. This student may be a student with dyslexia.


As defined in TEC §38.003:

(1) Dyslexia means a disorder of constitutional origin manifested by a difficulty in learning to read, write, or spell, despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence, and sociocultural opportunity.

(2) Related disorders include disorders similar to or related to dyslexia such as developmental auditory imperception, dysphasia, specific developmental dyslexia, developmental dysgraphia, and developmental spelling disability.


The following are the primary reading/spelling characteristics of dyslexia:

  1. • Difficulty reading real words in isolation;
  2. • Difficulty accurately decoding nonsense words;
  3. • Slow, inaccurate, or labored oral reading; (lack of reading fluency);
  4. • Difficulty with learning to spell.


The reading/spelling characteristics are the result of difficulty with the following:

  1. • The development of phonological awareness, including segmenting, blending, and manipulating sounds in words;
  2. • Learning the names of letters and their associated sounds;
  3. • Phonological memory (holding information about sounds and words in memory);
  4. • Rapid naming of familiar objects, colors, or letters of the alphabet.


Secondary consequences of dyslexia may include the following:

  1. • Variable difficulty with aspects of reading comprehension;
  2. • Variable difficulty with aspects of written composition;
  3. • A limited amount of time spent in reading activities.


Common Signs of Dyslexia:

The following signs may be associated with dyslexia if they are unexpected for the individual’s age, educational level, or cognitive abilities.


(The Dyslexia Handbook – Revised 2007 p. 2-3.)


Source :http://jboyett.wikispaces.com/file/view/Dyslexia+Definition+and+Characteristics.doc/85527693/Dyslexia%20Definition%20and%20Characteristics.doc

Web site link to visit : http://jboyett.wikispaces.com/

Google key word : Dyslexia what is it , definition characteristics symptoms resources education. Dyslexia at school. file type : doc

Author : not indicated on the source document of the above text (The Dyslexia Handbook – Revised 2007?)

If you are the author of the text above and you not agree to share your knowledge for teaching, research, scholarship (for fair use as indicated in the United States copyrigh low) please send us an e-mail and we will remove your text quickly.


Dyslexia what is it , definition characteristics resources education


Dyslexia=not able to read but in general capable


High listening comprehension


The language system:  reading and speaking (inverse)

  • phonology
  • semantics
  • syntax
  • discourse


Children must master the alphabetic principle in order to learn to read.  While spoken language is innate, reading is not innate. Language does not have to be taught; as long as children are exposed to their mother language they will learn to speak.  The brain automatically assembles phonemes into words for the speaker and disassembles the spoken word back into its underlying phonemes for the listener.  Spoken language which is at the preconscious level is effortless. –if the child is neurologically healthy. 


Reading is neither natural nor effortless.  It must be learned and for all children it must be taught.  Beginning readers must learn how to decipher print; how to convert an array of meaningless symbols on paper to sounds that the brain accepts as the phonological code.  The system:

         First, phonemic awareness—realization that the spoken word has parts—it can be broken into smaller parts/pieces of sound; ability to notice, identify, and manipulate the individual sounds in spoken words.  Most children, about 70-80% learn to do this without much difficulty but for the remaining 20-30% it is a more difficult if not nearly impossible task. A child must develop phonemic awareness if he is to become a reader.  For the children who have a deficit in phonemic awareness it must be understood that this is a language problem.  Language is based on phonology (see above) which translates into reading as decoding.


phonology = decoding

semantics, syntax, discourse = comprehension


A phonological weakness blocks decoding which in turn interferes with word identification.  This prevents the child from understanding the word and thereby understanding the passage as accurately as possible.  This phonological awareness is so important the research has found that the phonological aptitude of students at kindergarten level predicts the reading level three years later. 


Early signs of dyslexia:

         This phonological weakness impacts both oral language and written language.  The early identification and remediation is essential if the children are to learn to read with some semblance of ease.  Early signs are a weakness in getting to the sounds of words but a strength in thinking and reasoning.


         Early signs:

  • delay in speaking:  first words as late as 15 months and phrases as late as 26 months
  • difficulties in pronunciation that continue past the usual time; by 5 should have little problem saying all the sounds; may invert the sounds, leave off sounds
  • difficulty playing with words, i.e., rhyming or insensitive to rhyming
  • talks around the word—knows the meaning of the word that is needed but cannot say or find the right word—difficulty producing the word on demand
  • not glib or fluent in speaking


Dyslexia and problems learning to read runs in families—there is a genetic trait.  This is not a death sentence—these children can learn to read with effective instruction in school


An early sign commonly assumed to portend dyslexia is reversals—that is not an indicator of dyslexia.  There is no evidence that dyslexics see letters backward nor do they write backwards—mirror writing.  Reversals are irrelevant to the identification of dyslexia as are left-handedness, trouble tying shoes, clumsiness.  What is clear is that a vast majority of dyslexic children have a common phonological weakness—88% of the population


Reading Related Skills


Ages 3-4: 

  1. begins to develop awareness that sentences and words come apart
  2. shows an interest in sounds—repeats and plays with sounds—nursery rhymes
  3. identifies ten alphabet letters—usually their names first


Ages 4-5:

  1. breaks spoken words into syllables—can count the number of syllables in a spoken word
  2. begins to break words into phonemes
  3. recognizes and names a growing number of letters


Ages 5-5 ½ :

  1. compares whether two spoken words rhyme
  2. names a word that rhymes with a simple word like cat
  3. recognizes and names nearly all the upper and lower case letters


Ages 5 ½ -6:

Spoken Language—

  1. continues to progress in breaking spoken words into syllables—can count the number of syllables in a word
  2. identifies which of three spoken words or pictures begin with the same sound as a given word
  3. pronounces the beginning sound in a word when asked
  4. counts the number of phonemes in a small word
  5. blends phonemes into a complete word



  1. names all the letters of the alphabet
  2. knows the sounds of most letters of the alphabet
  3. masters the alphabetic principle—understands that the sequence of the letters within a written word represents the number and the sequence of sounds heard in the spoken word
  4. begins to decode simple words
  5. recognizes a growing number of common words by sight
  6. uses invented spelling
  7. writes many uppercase and lowercase letters
  8. writes own name first and last and names of family and pets


Ages 6-7:

Spoken Language—

  1. counts the sounds in longer words—3 phonemes
  2. says what word remains if a given sound is taken away from the beginning or end of a three-phoneme word
  3. blends the sounds in a three-phoneme word



  • reads aloud with accuracy and comprehension any text that is meant for first grade
  • links letters to sounds to decode unknown words
  • accurately decodes one-syllable words—real and nonsense
  • knows sounds of common letter groups or word families
  • recognizes by sight common irregularly spelled words
  • has reading vocabulary of 300-500 words including sight words and words that are easily sounded out
  • monitors own reading
  • self-corrects is word does not fit the cues
  • reads simple directions
  •  begins to spell accurately short, easy words


Ages 7-8



  1. routinely links letters to sounds to decode unknown words
  2. begins to learn strategies for breaking apart multi-syllable words into syllables
  3. accurately reads some multisyllable words-real and nonsense
  4. begins to read with fluency—accurately, smoothly, rapidly and with inflection
  5. reads and comprehends fiction and nonfiction
  6. represents the complete sound of a word when spelling
  7. reads on own voluntarily


Ages 8-9:



  1. reads aloud with fluency and comprehension any text meant for 3rd grade
  2. uses knowledge of prefixes, suffixes, and roots to inter meaning
  3. reads longer fiction selections and chapter books
  4. summarizes  the main points from readings
  5. correctly spells previously y studied words
  6. uses a dictionary to learn the meaning of unknown words


Ages 9 and above:

reads to learn and for pleasure and information


Clues to Dyslexia in Early Childhood:

Preschool years—

  1. trouble learning common nursery rhymes
  2. lack of an appreciation of rhymes
  3. mispronounces words; persistent baby talk
  4. difficulty in learning and remembering names of letters
  5. failure to know the letters of own name


Kindergarten years


  1. failure to understand that words come apart—into syllables and then into sounds
  2. reading errors that show no connection to the sounds of the letters
  3. the inability to read common one-syllable words or to sound out even the simplest of words
  4. complaints about how hard reading is, or running and hiding when it is time to read
  5. a history of reading problems in parents or siblings


In kindergarten also look for these strengths despite the above weaknesses:


  1. curiosity
  2. a great imagination
  3. ability to figure things out
  4. eager to embrace new ideas
  5. getting the gist of things
  6. a good understanding of new concepts
  7. surprising maturity
  8. large vocabulary for age group
  9. enjoys solving puzzles
  10. talent building models
  11. excellent comprehension of stories read or told to him


Second grade and above


  1. mispronunciation of long, unfamiliar or complicated words; the fracturing of words—leaving out parts of words or confusing the order of the parts of words
  2. speech is not fluent—pausing or hesitating often when speaking
  3. use of imprecise language, such as vague references to stuff or things
  4. not being able to find the exact word, such as confusing words that sound alike
  5. the need for time to summon an oral response or the inability to come up with a verbal response quickly when questioned
  6. difficulty remembering isolated pieces of verbal information (rote memory)—trouble remembering dates, names, telephone numbers, random lists
  7. very slow progress in acquiring reading skills
  8. the lack of strategy to read new words
  9. trouble reading unknown, new, unfamiliar words that must be sounded out; failure to systematically sound out words
  10. the inability to read small function words such as that, an, in
  11. stumbling on reading multisyllable words
  12. omitting parts of words when reading
  13. terrific fear of reading out loud
  14. oral reading filled with substitutions, omissions, and mispronounciations
  15. oral reading that is choppy and labored
  16. oral reading that lacks inflection
  17. a reliance on context to discern the meaning of what is read
  18. a better ability to understand words in context than to read isolated single words
  19. disporportionately poor performance on multiple choice tests
  20. substitution of words with the same meaning for words he can’t pronounce
  21. disastrous spelling with words not resembling true spelling
  22. trouble reading mathematics word problems
  23. reading that is slow and tiring
  24. homework that never seems to end
  25. messy handwriting despite nimble fingers
  26. extreme difficulty with foreign language
  27. lacks enjoyment of reading, no reading for pleasure
  28. reading who accuracy improves over time, though it continues to lack fluency and is laborious
  29. a history of reading, spelling, and foreign language problems in family members


         Young Adults and Adults—

  1. persistence of earlier oral language difficulties
  2. mispronunciation of names of people, places, tripping over words
  3. difficulty remembering names of people, places, confuses names, places
  4. struggle to retrieve words
  5. lack of glibness
  6. spoken vocabulary that is smaller than listening vocabulary
  7. history of spelling and reading difficulties
  8. reading continues to require effort
  9. lack of fluency
  10. embarrassed by oral reading
  11. trouble reading uncommon, strange, or unique words
  12. persistent reading problems
  13. substitution of made-up words during reading for words that cannot be pronounced
  14. extreme fatigue from reading
  15. slow reading
  16. penalized by multiple-choice tests
  17. long hours on homework
  18. spelling that remains disastrous  


How to Teach a Child to Read


The most successful reading programs follow this model:

  • Learn to read words by
    • sounding out small simple words
      • teach  phonics systematically and explicitly
      • simple one-to-one, letter-sound relationships
      • vowel sounds
      • complex letter-sound patterns:  diagraphs, trigraphs, quadrigraphs
      • rules
    • taking apart bigger words
  • Learning to spell words
  • Memorizing sight words
  • Practicing oral and silent reading
  • Practicing fluency
  • Writing, including letters and stories
  • Building word and worldly knowledge
  • Learning comprehension strategies


With dyslexic students, follow this model:

  • systematic and direct instruction in
    • phonetic awareness—noticing, identifying, and manipulating the sounds of spoken language
    • phonics—how letters and letter groups represent the sound of the spoken language
    • sounding out words
    • spelling
    • reading sight words
    • vocabulary and concepts
    • reading comprehension strategies
  • Practice in applying these skills in reading and in writing
  • fluency training
  • enriched language experiences:  listening to, talking about, and telling stories


Source : http://wbuclass.wikispaces.com/file/view/Dyslexia.docx/400279438/Dyslexia.docx

Web site link to visit : http://wbuclass.wikispaces.com/

Google key word : Dyslexia what is it , definition characteristics symptoms resources education. Dyslexia at school. file type : doc

Author : not indicated on the source document of the above text

If you are the author of the text above and you not agree to share your knowledge for teaching, research, scholarship (for fair use as indicated in the United States copyrigh low) please send us an e-mail and we will remove your text quickly.


Dyslexia what is it , definition characteristics resources education




            What does this word say? Go ahead. Read it… How long did you spend trying to read it? Did parts of the word seem vaguely familiar? Did you struggle to figure out what sounds the letters said? Did you feel that you should be able to read it but just couldn’t? Did you give up? These are the frustrations and emotions that people with dyslexia can feel every time they look at written language.

            Ironically, teachers of reading tend to be those who have been very successful with language. Teachers of English as a Second or Foreign Language feel confident and competent enough to make the teaching of language their life’s work. Perhaps we are the least qualified of all to understand the needs and feelings of our students who contend with this problem on a daily basis.

            However, qualification is something we can change. In this paper I would like to outline some of the most recent research on dyslexia and propose some simple ways to recognize dyslexic students in the ESL classroom. As well, I will suggest methods of remediation that the ESL teacher should consider. In this way we can bring knowledge of dyslexia and empathy for our students into our daily practice.

            In researching the topic of dyslexia in the ESL classroom, I spent an hour listening to the thoughts of a teacher whose working day is spent with upper level beginner ESL students. Although at first “Connie” doubted her ability to help me with my topic, the interview which followed showed her to be both perceptive and deeply caring. You will hear her voice throughout this paper. It is a reminder to us all that knowledge is only a tool, secondary to a genuine commitment to our student’s personal growth and mastery of the English language.


What is dyslexia?


            Dyslexia did not become a household buzzword until the 1980s. Until that time little research had been conducted and our understanding was poor. Unfortunately, many myths about this disorder persist. It will be helpful to discuss not only what dyslexia is but what it is not.

            It is important to note that, although no people group has ever been discovered to be without spoken language (Pinker1994), reading and writing is a fairly recent invention for many people groups (Archibald and Libben, 1995). The implication is that while we may be “hard-wired” to learn to speak and listen (the “universal grammar” of Noam Chomsky, 1957), the manipulation of language on clay, dirt, cave walls or paper has not come easily. To many it has not come at all.

            For many years people have believed that dyslexia was related to low intelligence. This is, emphatically, not so. In fact, to be diagnosed as a dyslexic, a person must test at or above normal intelligence on a standard intelligence test such as the Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT). Quigley (1998) states: "…if you are of average intelligence and you have deficiencies in one or more of the components of intelligence (language, memory), you must have superior abilities in other areas."

            These include many areas thought to be governed by the right hemisphere of the brain such as art, dance, creative writing and divergent thinking. This is important for teachers to remember. These superior abilities can be utilized when helping a dyslexic student overcome their reading deficit.

            It is also clear that dyslexic difficulty with language is not the product of poor attitude or lack of motivation (Ganschow et al. 1998). Rather these affective traits are the result of the student’s daily struggle.

            Developmental dyslexia has its origins in the wiring of the brain. Eisenson (1989) suggests:

…subtle brain damage in the fetal stage of development…a significant variation is an increase over the usual number of cells in the right hemisphere at the expense of the left. Therefore… the two hemispheres of the brain become rivals for the control of reading, writing and… other language functions. (p.69)


Bakker (1992 quoted in Goldstein and Obrzut, 2001) also postulates an over or under development of one of the brain’s hemispheres. In this theory, the “intact hemisphere becomes burdened because it is forced to compensate for the insufficient contribution of the under-developed hemisphere.” (p.277)

            Working with the newer technology such as Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) and FMRS (the ‘S’ stands for ‘spectroscopic’), scientists have been able to observe that the brains of dyslexic people process language differently. Richards (2001) points out a lack of activity in the left anterior region, known as the angular gyrus, which is an area of the brain closely linked with reading. He also notes: "Adult dyslexics show an increase in glucose metabolism in the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal lobe suggesting either inefficient processing or activation of compensatory pathways.” (p.195) To put it simply, the brains of dyslexic people process language differently, work harder at it and get poorer results than the brains of “normal” people. The encouraging aspect of this study was that dyslexics who have been taught how to compensate for their difficulty show brain patterns more closely resembling “normal”.

            Many believe that dyslexia is rare. However, estimates of its occurrence in the general population range between 15% (Quigley, 1998) and 20% (National Institutes of Health quoted on http://www.dys.add.com). Much debate rages over whether or not boys are more affected by this problem than girls. The National Institutes of Health now maintain that the commonly bandied figure of four to one is a myth. Eisenson (1989) maintains that his experience showed a four to one, boy to girl ratio at the younger ages (up to five or six years) and an increasingly disproportionate ratio as the children aged - up to ten to one. Eisenson suggests the effect of testosterone on the developing brain as well as the possibility that girls are more open to remediation. This would explain the increasing gap as children age. There is also a strong genetic link. People who have close relatives who are dyslexic are much more likely to have the disorder themselves (Goldstein and Obrzut 2001).

            Another myth is that dyslexia is only found among English-speaking people. Although dyslexia is most evident in students who are learning to read and write in English, dyslexic symptoms are evident in all people groups. For example, in a study on dyslexic Italian readers (Tressoldi et. al., 2001), the only significant difference between the dyslexic group, a control group reading the same passage and a control group reading non-words was speed of reading. Even though this gap continued to widen with age, it remained the only symptom of dyslexia and suggested that, with Italian children, the core problem was the automatization of reading processes. The Italian language has a very direct relationship between letters and their sounds (shallow orthography) and so the actual decoding of words is quite simple. This helps to explain why dyslexia is not perceived as a problem among Italian people.

            A study done with Chinese children in Hong Kong (So and Siegel, 1997) tested those least successful (below the 25th percentile) Chinese readers in tone and rhyming discrimination, choosing similar words and sentences meanings and an oral cloze. They found that phonological and semantic problems are evident in dyslexic children reading both Chinese and English. Although the Chinese language is logographic (not written with letters), each character does contain important phonological markers and visual clues. (Archibald and Libben 1995)

            Dyslexic children have also been found to have deficits in visual memory span (Gang and Siegel 2002). They could remember words at the end of a sequence (iconic memory) but had trouble remembering earlier list items. Newly learned sound-symbol relationships are difficult for dyslexic readers. Phonological rehearsal may prove a “bottleneck” of learning for dyslexic learners (Lundberg 2002) Finnish children who were given a nonword repetition test (Service 1992 cited in Lundberg 2002) clearly demonstrated that this difficulty in rehearsing phonological sequences was linked to their later ability to learn English.

            This phonological weakness makes it hard for students to deal with an alphabetic script. Archibald and Libben (1998) propose a “two-route” model of reading. “Route A” is the visual route. This is the route most used by readers of logographic script. However, “Route B”, the phonological route, is heavily utilized by readers of alphabetic scripts in the beginning where the student is using a “bottom-up” approach to reading. As their reading acquires more automaticity, they begin to rely more on the visual route and apply a “top down” approach. Tehy use the suond inomrfation fo the wrod but rley mroe hveialy on the gnereal saehp and copimostion of the wrod. However, dyslexic students, as has been noted, have trouble acquiring the automaticity required to move beyond the phonological route. They are like cars stuck on a muddy road, futilely spinning their tires. Diagnosis and remediation can be the traction they need to get going.

It is important for ESL teachers to note that a number of researchers (Lundberg 2002, Gang and Siegel 2002, Ganschow, Sparks and Javorsky 1998) have also stressed that a relationship - either positive or negative - exists between the student’s first language and their second. Ganschow (et al. 1998) have proposed the Linguistic Coding Differences Hypothesis (LCDH) as a way of understanding why some students have great difficulties learning foreign languages. Essentially, Ganschow et al. contend that, “…skills in the native language components - phonological/orthographic, syntactic, and semantic - provide the basic foundation for FL learning.” (p.249) Therefore, a student whose dyslexic trouble with his first language was not remediated will certainly have the same problems with his second language.


My interview subject, “Connie”, made this observation:


“…there’re generally reasons why they didn’t get an education in their own language… it was maybe for learning disability reasons or, yeah, reasons that haven’t gone away when they entered Canada.”


            It can be expected, then, that among the many ESL students that cross our paths, a significant number of them will show great difficulty learning to read and write in English. Although not all of them will be dyslexic, they all need help. Our next important question is:


How can I recognize dyslexia in my students?


            It is clearly beyond the scope of most ESL teachers to actually diagnose dyslexia in her students. However, she is the one most likely to notice a problem and can provide screening, initial assessment, and act as the student’s advocate in obtaining the help he needs. This is an important role for teachers of “Beginner” English and, in particular, new immigrants.

            While dyslexia is widely acknowledged in our country, it is poorly understood. In many other countries in the world dyslexia is not acknowledged at all. It is possible that children who have been struggling in their home countries with learning their L1 may have been labeled as “stupid” or “lazy” and they have brought this emotional baggage with them. However, through observation and dialogue, the ESL teacher can build a case for requesting professional assessment or, at least, remedial help.

            The teacher’s best assessment tool is keen observation. “Connie” had this to say:

…there are people who fall through the cracks…by and large the people who end up here are visa students and there are a few immigrants and if they’re immigrants who have a college level education in their own country it’s not a problem. They’re well placed…but sometimes we will get a student who is semi-literate

 in their own language and they’ve been here ten or fifteen years so their spoken English is really good and their reading and writing is quite weak… they’ll end up in my class and we kind of know from the beginning that there isn’t a place to put those people.


Connie has stumbled onto the essence of the Linguistic Coding Differences Hypothesis which Ganschow et. al. have spent many years testing and defending. She has noted that if a student has had trouble learning their L1, they will likely have the same trouble with English.

            The important first step is to be a teacher who “notices”. Most likely, if you are reading this paper, you are a teacher who has suspected dyslexia or other learning problems in some of your students. You may be one of the few people to work with those students in an academic setting. Therefore, it is important to begin a sort of “action research”, making daily notes on the students you are concerned about. It may be helpful to consider these questions:


  1. What is the student’s overall attitude toward learning English?
  2. What does the student say about his own work? Organize into positive, negative and neutral so that you can observe the overall trend.
  3. Is the student’s spoken English obviously more advanced than his written English is?
  4. What specific errors does the student make in reading and writing?   


            Ganschow (et al. 1998) recommend compiling a “history” of the student. This requires that your observations become more personal and you begin to discuss your concerns with the student in a one-on-one setting. This history should include four sections:


a) The student’s developmental history: Collect as much data as you can about the circumstances of his birth and early years of growth. This may be difficult due to the student’s limited ability to express himself in English. It would be ideal, but not necessary, to conduct this interview in the student’s L1.


b) A review of the student’s L1 learning history: how many grades did he complete in his L1. Did he feel successful? Did he have any problems in learning to read and write his L1?


c) A review of the student’s L2 learning history: how long has he studied English and how intensively? What problems has he encountered? Has he studied any other languages? Was he successful?


d) Administration of tests of native language skill and foreign language aptitude.


This last item might be more problematic for the classroom ESL teacher.


However, you could have the student write a short piece in his native language and find an educated native speaker to give his opinion. As well, you could ask the student to do some basic language tasks such as those recommended by Torgessen (1998):

1. A test of knowledge of letter names and sounds.

2. A test of phonemic awareness. For example, how many sounds are in "cat"?


Dyslexia is mainly an auditory processing disorder rather than a visual problem. A dyslexic student will lack phonemic awareness which is usually firmly established in children before they reach school age. A dyslexic student who has not received specialized remediation in reading, says Reilly, will not be able to do the following tasks:

1. Phoneme segmentation: What sounds do you hear in the word "hot"? What's the last sound in the word "map"?

2. Phoneme deletion: What word would be left if the /k/ sound were taken away from "cat"?

3. Phoneme matching: Do "pen" and "pipe" start with the same sound?

4. Phoneme counting: How many sounds do you hear in "cake"?

5. Phoneme substitution: What word do you have if you change the /h/ in "hot" to /p/?

6. Phoneme blending: What word would you have if you put these sounds together? /s/ /a/ /t/?

7. Rhyming: Tell me as many words as you can that rhyme with "eat".

I would also suggest that samples of the student’s written work in English be collected and analyzed.

            Altogether, a portfolio containing the results of these tests and histories as well as the student’s written work should help you to decide whether or not the student should be recommended for more extensive testing and remediation. The warning signs of dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be found at: http://www.dys-add.com.  It is not uncommon for these disorders to occur together in many students. It will be helpful to go through this checklist and note which symptoms apply to your student. This process should work well for students of any age, although young students may have little experience with reading and writing in their native language.

            It goes without saying that a teacher should avoid “pigeon-holing” a student based on limited information. Apparent trouble with learning English could be due to linguistic factors. Deponio et. al. (2000) state, “…difficulties many bilingual learners have with articulating especially English vowels and final consonantal morphemes may impede recognition and production of these sounds.” (p. 57) The student’s sociocultural background, emotional factors, and lack of instruction could also affect their difficulty with English. These issues should be explored and noted in your assessment.

            However, these caveats aside, I would like to outline two methods of grouping dyslexics by symptoms. Maltes, French and Rapin (1975 in Eisenson 1978) observed that dyslexic symptoms seemed to fall into three distinct groups:


  1. Language Disorder - 39% of subjects studied - trouble in naming, comprehending spoken directions, errors in imitative speech and in speech-sound discrimination.
  2. Articulation and Graphomotor Disorder - 37% - trouble with sound-blending and copying geometric figures and designs. Comprehension of spoken language adequate.                                                                              
  3. Visual Perception Disorder - 16% - trouble with remembering and reproducing designs and organizing design patterns. No problem with spoken language.


As has been discussed here, the whole brain is required to make sense of  reading. Theories of left-brain or right-brain dominance have been hotly debated and are considered “debunked” in many scientific circles. However, there may be some validity to Bakker’s (1990 in Goldstein and Obrzut 2001) contention that:


L-type dyslexics: prematurely make the switch from the right hemisphere to the left, ignoring the importance of perceptual features necessary for reading. They read excessively fast without comprehension.


P-type dyslexics: may not make the switch from right to left hemisphere involvement. They do not easily acquire complex reading skills. Their reading is laboriously slow and without fluency.


M-type dyslexics: exhibit a mixed combination of L and P type errors.


I will add my own observation that when working with P-type dyslexic students, they often try to cover their left eye while they are reading. Perhaps they are trying to force the left side of their brain (with its connection to the right eye) to be more involved.

            It is important for teachers of adult ESL learners to note that children do not “grow out” of dyslexia. Dyslexia can be remediated at any age but if the problem has not been acknowledged and the student helped to compensate for it, the problem will still persist into adulthood. It is entirely possible that an immigrant has not experienced significant problems with his L1 and cannot understand why he is having problems learning English. It may be difficult for him to accept that his brain works a little differently and that he will need special help to learn English well. For many reasons, some immigrants cannot read and write in their L1 at all. This may be due to social or political factors and, alone, will not overly disadvantage them in learning to read and write in English.

            “Connie” expressed the opinion that her institution did not consider their adult ESL students to be in need of screening. She said, “How much emphasis is there on identifying learning disabilities? None, really.” And yet she went on to describe a number of students who exhibited problems ranging from hearing loss to dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. This would show that students with learning problems are likely to be enrolled in all types of institutions and that no ESL teacher should be complacent on this issue. Connie’s personal opinion was that diagnosis of learning disorders would be very helpful for her students, allowing them to understand, perhaps for the first time, that their problem had a name and that it was still possible for them to learn to read and write in English. Although she notes that, “It is unfair to place the burden of the incredibly broad spectrum of learning problems only on the shoulders of the instructor.” I would add that familiarity with general “signs and symptoms” of dyslexia and other learning problems would go a long way toward helping the teacher deal with these things as they appear in her classroom.

            Once the assessment is finished, a plan must be made to help the student in the classroom whether or not further assessment is necessary.


How can I help my dyslexic students?


            The first important step in helping your student was noticing that he had a problem. You then took the time to assess his abilities and background. A clear picture is emerging and you need to develop a remediation plan. It is helpful to be aware of the many different strategies used to help dyslexics compensate. However, first of all, we need to consider how language is learned.

            Goswami (2001) notes, “…there is a causal connection between a child’s phonological awareness and his or her reading and spelling development.” (p.141). Many studies have been done which show a language-universal sequence in the development of phonological awareness (Cicero and Royer, 1995; Durgunoglu and Oney, 1999; Goswami and East 2000 cited in Goswami 2001).

Children first develop an awareness of syllables. Then they become aware of initial consonant (onset) and the vowel sound plus any following consonants (rime) - for example: tr - ee, s - eat. Children must be able to separate the words they speak into separate sounds - or phonemes - prior to learning to read  an alphabetic or syllabic orthography. In this way the sounds the child is already aware of can be matched to letters or groups of letters. Naturally, languages which have a direct and simple sound-symbol relationship, such as Italian, Finnish, Greek and Spanish, are the easiest to learn. English, by contrast, has a very complicated system of sound-symbol correspondence. This “orthographic depth” makes it very difficult for dyslexic students to master the basic building blocks of English - which letters go with which sounds.

This would be a good time to consider the word presented at the beginning of this paper: ghoughphtheightteeau. You already know the sound-symbol correspondences of most of these groups of letters. What you don’t know, perhaps, is where one group ends and another begins. If I gave you the word “hiccough” you would tell me that “gh” says “p”. However,“ough” also says “o” as in dough. Phth says “t” as in phthisis (this one is a little tricky but you know it now!), “eigh” says “a” as in neighbor, “tte” says “t” as in gazette, and “eau” says “o” as in plateau. With some confusion, you now know that the word says “potato”. Now consider the English learner who must figure out that “meat”, “great” and “threat” are all pronounced differently. “Great” and “straight” have the same rime. “Sure” and “shot” have the same onset. When the relationship between sound and symbol is not straightforward and difficult to remember, learning is a daunting challenge.

Lundberg (2002) explained why spoken English - the language of the playground and the supermarket - is easier to learn than written English. Everyday spoken English is comprised mainly of Anglo-Saxon words which are high frequency and one to two syllables in length. Written English, by contrast, contains a large proportion (60%) of words derived from Greek or Latin sources. These words are multi-syllabic and low frequency. Vocabulary is seen here as the key to reading ability. As with infants, listening and speaking must precede reading and writing.

This is an important point for all foreign language teachers to consider. Reading and writing may help a non-dyslexic adult to learn a foreign language because their strong literacy skills will transfer from their L1 and their mature metacognitive skills will help them to develop the new sound-symbol correspondences. However, a dyslexic adult will have problems connecting the sounds he hears with the written language. Even if he has learned to compensate in his L1, he can still experience trouble learning the new sound-symbol relationships of the L2. Charlann Simon (2000) spoke of her own experience as a successfully remediated dyslexic adult learning French she said, “When one is dyslexic, there is always a gap between what one knows and what one can do. Learning a foreign language provides one more example of this discrepancy.” (p.159) She notes that when reading aloud the phrase “Y a-t-il” (pronounced E-ah-teel) she would say “why-ah-til”. This points to the fact that the printed word was, in fact, interfering with her ability to speak the language. If at all possible, spoken language and vocabulary building should precede instruction in reading and writing.                                                                                                                

There is still much debate over the best way to remediate dyslexia. Grace Fernald (1943 quoted in Stuaffer, 1978) proposed a kinesthetic-sensory method. Her program consists, essentially, of the following stages:


Stage 1: The student looks at the word, says the word and traces the word.

Stage 2: The student looks at the word being written by the teacher, says it, and writes it without looking. The student reads stories written by himself.

Stage 3: The student looks at the word says it and writes it. At this stage students begin to read stories other than those written by themselves.

Stage 4: Students are able to recognize new words from their similarity to other words or parts of words he has already learned.


Fernald (1943) says, “It is necessary to establish the connection between the sound of a word and its form, so that the individual will eventually recognize the word from visual stimulus alone. (p.40) (Quoted in Stauffer, 1978)

What makes this approach different from many others is that Fernald minimizes the phonological route to reading and maximizes the visual route. Words are never sounded out and the student should not look back and forth and he is writing out the word.  Fernald stresses the semantic (word meaning) significance of word unity. No copying is permitted and also no erasing or patching of words. Of course this requires close teacher supervision and may be impractical in the classroom setting. However, Fernald makes the point that the students should be learning to read words they already know how to use in speech and that they should be allowed to read and write what is interesting to them. Students must keep a word-file and re-read the words they have learned within twenty-four hours.

Other researchers such as Gang and Siegel (2002) recommend beginning with the phonological route to reading. They believe that direct sound-symbol training is essential and that phonological rehearsal must be developed so that the student begins to rely less on echoic memory and is able to remember long strings of sounds. They note that dyslexic students will need more time to learn these things and that the goal of remediation is to produce the fluency and automaticity necessary for the student to use the visual route to reading. In this, both Fernald’s method and the suggestions of Gang and Siegel are in agreement. The goal is to help students become fluent visual readers.

Goswami (2002) seems to bring these approaches together by stating:

…that children learning to read English must develop multiple strategies in parallel in order to be successful readers. They need to develop whole-word recognition strategies and rhyme analogy strategies, in addition to grapheme-phoneme re-coding strategies. In fact, there is more consistency in English spelling at the rhyme level than at the phoneme level.


            The Orton-Gillingham Method is quite well-known as is its simplified counterpart, the Barton Reading and Spelling system. Both begin teaching with phonemic awareness and proceed to lay out the English language in easily learned and practiced rules. This gives students the confidence to know how a word is said. However, Barton stresses that ESL students who are taught this system should speak English fluently at a second grade level before they begin. This is because learning to read depends on the reader being able to identify “real” words in the language.

            The Lindamood phoneme sequencing system (Lips) teaches students to read by teaching them how the sounds feel as you say them. This helps students to get past the initial obstacle of being unable to break down words into individual sounds.

An easy and fun way to increase automaticity is through the “Victory Drill” program (Enderlin 1970) in which students begin by reading lists of simple words. For example, the first page has three letter "short a" words such as pat, can, map and Sam, the next page has short e words and then a review page has words with both vowels. The students read as many words correctly in a minute as they can. The result is charted and the goal is for the student to increase his speed each day. The pages increase in difficulty until they reach five syllables in length. These words are good for L-type dyslexics who have great difficulty dividing words into syllables and who have poor visual memory for longer words. Students enjoy this activity. They increasingly say the word as a whole unit instead of agonizing over its individual parts. They quickly gain a sense of accomplishment as their success is easily measured and they attack their other reading tasks with more zest and confidence.

            A suggestion for the more technical among us is the use of voice-speech recognition software programs such as “Dragon Naturallyspeaking” which can be purchased at the website listed in the “references” section. This sort of software would be particularly effective for students whose spoken English is quite clear and fluent but who struggle to put their thoughts down on paper. The program will take the words they speak and turn them into written English. The student can learn to read more easily through the medium of his own text and the activity is naturally motivating.                                                               

            Another, though widely disputed, theory is that certain colors help dyslexics read better. Rick Weiss, writing in Science News (Sept. 29, 1990), says researchers have found that 70% of dyslexic children show deficits in a part of the visual processing system called the transient subsystem. This a neural switchboard that helps us understand depth, motion and eye movement. The other major visual subsystem, the spatial system, gives us information on stationary details and seems normal in dyslexic children. The theory is that reading requires the two brain systems to work together. In dyslexics they do not work well together and this can be helped by altering the visual contrast of the printed material. They found that materials printed on blue or gray paper - or covered by a clear blue or gray overlay - produced a significant improvement in reading comprehension in 80% of the dyslexic students tested. My own “action research” with dyslexic students showed an immediate and sustained improvement in fluency and comprehension when a clear blue overlay was used. Whether this improvement derived from the transient subsystem or from the novelty of reading through a blue sheet, I cannot say, but any improvement is a welcome encouragement.

            Dyslexic musicians often have trouble reading music as well. One musician found that if she color-coded the notes, she was able to increase the automaticity of her reading (Sitser, 1998) This method of color-coding may be useful when a dyslexic has particular trouble remembering certain sound-symbol correspondences. The Barton Reading and Spelling system uses colored letter tiles. The consonants are blue and the vowels are yellow. This helps the student to see quickly and clearly where the vowels are in the word. It also helps the rules to be more memorable.

            Further ideas for helping dyslexic students can be found at the websites listed in the "references" section.

            Many of the great thinkers and creative geniuses of the last two hundred years are thought to have been dyslexic. Among them are Hans Christian Anderson, Niels Bohr, Dame Agatha Christie, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison, George Patton Jr., Nelson Rockefeller, Auguste Rodin, and Tom Cruise. Stephen Cannell became a very successful television writer once he learned to compensate for his dyslexia. Charles Schwab runs a multi-million dollar business. What distinguishes all of these people is not that they have a different way of learning to read. It is their intelligence and creativity; their drive and ambition.

            Most students who come to this country with student visas have come to improve the English skills they have already acquired in their home countries. By implication, they have been quite successful in learning English and are not likely, as Connie pointed out, to be dyslexic. The situation may be different for immigrants. Many immigrants come to Canada because of social or political upheaval in their home countries. Many come for economic opportunities or to be reunited with family members. It is entirely likely under these circumstances that some immigrants will be illiterate or semi-literate in their own languages. Some will come from language backgrounds where a shallow orthographic depth has masked their dyslexia. Or they may come from a culture that does not acknowledge dyslexia and has, instead, labeled them as “lazy” or “stupid”.  In any case, averages would imply that three to five students in a class of 25 immigrant beginner students would show symptoms of dyslexia.

            Dyslexia is a significant disadvantage to native English-speaking Canadians. It is a double disadvantage to our immigrant population. Many come to this country with technical training or professional credentials but they face stiff opposition when they seek to have these credentials validated within Canada. If they face the additional barrier of difficulty in learning English, they may resign themselves to a life of poorly paid and unfulfilling work. Immigrant children who experience year after year of failure (despite being promoted through the system) will also face a bleak future. It is imperative that our educational institutions begin to take the problem of dyslexia seriously, providing in-service training for their ESL teachers and emphasizing to all staff that struggling students need to be identified, assessed, and provided with an opportunity to succeed.




Archibald, John and Gary Libben. (1995). Chapter 12: Language comprehension.       Research Perspectives on second language acquisition. Ontario:           

           Copp Clark Ltd. 


Cannell, Stephen J. (1999). A dyslexic writer’s story. Newsweek. November (79)


Caris, Joan Davenport. (1990). Aunt Morbelia and the Screaming Skulls.

Boston: Little Brown Co.


Clarke, Louise. (1973). Can’t read, can’t write, can’t takl too good either.  U.S.A.:

            Walker Publishing, Inc.


Deponio, P. John Landon, and Gavin Reid. (2000). Dyslexia and bilingualism -    

            Implications for assessment, teaching and learning. In

            Lindsay Peer and Gavin Reid, (Ed.), Multilingualisn, literacy and dyslexia:      

            a challenge for educators. (pp.52-60).London: David Fulton Publishers


Eisenson, Jon.1(989). Really now, why can’t our Johnnies read?. California:           

            Pacific Books, Publishers.


Enderlin, A.C.(ed.). (1970). Victory Drill Book. U.S.A.: Victory Drill188300

            Redwood Road, Castro Valley, CA 94546


Gang, Marjorie and Linda S. Siegel. (2002). Sound-symbol learning in children   

            with dyslexia. Journal of Learning Disabilities. March/April 35/2 (137-162)


Ganschow, Leonore, Richard Sparks and James Javorsky. (1998). Foreign        language learning difficulties:a historical perspective. Journal of Learning

          Disabilities. 31/3 (248-259)


Goldstein, Bram H. and John Obrzut. (2001). Neurophychological treatment of      

          dyslexia in the classroom setting. Journal of Learning Disabilities 34/3  

          My/Jn (276-285)


Goswami, Usha. (2002). Phonology, reading development and dyslexia: A cross-

          linguistic perspective. Annals of Dyslexia 52


Healy, Jane M. (1990). Endangered minds: Why children don’t think and what we   

         can do about it. U.S.A: Simon and Shuster Inc.


Kantrowitz, Barbara and Anne Underwood. (1999). New hope for dyslexia.

          Newsweek. November (72-78)


Lyman, Donald E. (1986). Making the words stand still: a master teacher tells

         how to overcome specific     learning disability, dyslexia and old-fashioned  

         word blindness. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company


Lundberg, Ingvar. (2002) Second language learning and reading with the

         additional load of dyslexia. Annals of Dyslexia. 52 (165-187)


Palacco, Patricia. (1998). Thank-you, Mr. Falker. Philomel Books: New York.


Paradis, Johanne. (2003). Exploring the Consequences of bilingualism for          children with specific language impairment. Presentation: University of     

           Calgary, March 31, 2003


Pinker, Steven. (1994). The language instinct: How the mind creates language.

           New York: William Morrow and Company.


Quigley, Kenneth K. (1998). Unlocking the gifts of those who learn differently. Canadian speeches 12/2 (47-52)


Reilly, Rob. (2001). Dyslexia: some background, some technology tools.

           Multimedia Schools. 8/6 (70-72)


Richards, Todd L. (2001). Functional resonance imaging and spectroscopic      imaging of the brain: application of FMRI and FMRS to reading disabilities    and education. Learning Disability Quarterly. 24:3 (189-203)


Simon, Charlann S. (2000). Dyslexia and learning a foreign language: a personal  

           experience. Annals of Dyslexia 50 (155-187)


Sitser, Sheryl. (1998). Colors aid dyslexic pianist. Music Educators Journal.        84/March. (44)


So, D. and L.S. Siegel. (1997). Learning to read Chinese: Semantic Chinese

           syntactic,phonological and working memory skills in normal achieving and

           poor readers. Reading and Writing. 9/1 (1-21)


Stauffer, Russell G. 1978. Chapter 11: Remedial instruction. Diagnosis,

           correction and prevention of reading        problems. New York: Harper and            Row, Publishers, Inc.


Torgesen, Joseph K. (1998). Catch them before they fall: Identification and

           assessment to prevent reading     failure in young children. American 

           Educator. Spring/Summer


Tressoldi, Patrizio E., Stella Giacomo, and Marzia Faggella. (2001). The

           development of reading speed in            Italians with dyslexia: a longitudinal

           study. Journal of Learning Disabilities 34/5 (414-417)


Weiss, Rick. (1990). Dyslexics read better with blues. Science News. 138/ Sept.   



Helpful Websites:




The home page of “Bright Solutions for Dyslexia” -for more information on the diagnosis and treatment of dyslexia as well as links to other helpful sites. They offer a free video on the ”Barton Method” and, of course, the opportunity to purchase the materials.




(The home page of the “Orton-Gillingham Method”)




(The home page of the National Reading Panel Report)




(For information on Dragon Naturallyspeaking software)




(For short, useful descriptions of many learning disabilities and some research articles.)


Source : http://ateslcalgary.wikispaces.com/file/view/DyslexiaRev06.doc

Dyslexia in the ESL Classroom: A Practical Guide to Understanding, Diagnosis and Remediation

Web site link to visit: http://ateslcalgary.wikispaces.com/

Google key word : Dyslexia what is it , definition characteristics symptoms resources education. Dyslexia at school. file type : doc

Author : Shannon L. Lu

If you are the author of the text above and you not agree to share your knowledge for teaching, research, scholarship (for fair use as indicated in the United States copyrigh low) please send us an e-mail and we will remove your text quickly.


Dyslexia what is it , definition characteristics resources education


Twenty ‘Dyslexia Friendly’ Tips for Supporting Writing


  1. Writing Frames and Planners


  1. Writing Checklist to tick off as writing progresses.


  1. Close Texts/Sentences to complete


  1. Sentence/text/picture jumbles to rearrange


  1. Multiple choices


  1. Mapping/Draw a line to link…


  1. Personalised word books with useful phrases/vocabulary (link to type of writing e.g. persuasive words/ descriptive words)


  1. Highlighting/Underlining


  1. Key rings/word mats for useful/tricky vocabulary


  1. Alphabet strips & letter formation and joining guide stuck to table


  1. Word building kits


  1. Spelling Choice cards/posters


  1. Coloured paper


  1. Tramlines and margins to aid height and placement of writing on page.


  1. Mini – whiteboards for ‘guessing’ before checking in dictionary


  1. Electronic Dictionaries/Thesaurus


  1. Word Processing/Spell Checking


  1. Clicker Computer Programme (Crick Software) for on screen word grids.


  1. Writing Buddies


  1. Word Magnet  http://www.xmleducation.co.uk/magnets.html


Source : http://www.freewebs.com/laset/documents/20%20tips%20to%20help%20children%20with%20dyslexia%20and%20writing.docx

Web site link: http://www.freewebs.com/laset/

Google key word : Dyslexia what is it , definition characteristics symptoms resources education. Dyslexia at school. file type : doc

Author : not indicated on the source document of the above text

If you are the author of the text above and you not agree to share your knowledge for teaching, research, scholarship (for fair use as indicated in the United States copyrigh low) please send us an e-mail and we will remove your text quickly.


Dyslexia what is it , definition characteristics symptoms resources education.

Top tips of how to help students with Dyslexia and Dyspraxia


Key about Dyslexia


  1. About 10% of the population are affected by dyslexia to some degree.
  2. The word 'dyslexia' comes from the Greek. It means 'difficulty with words'. Dyslexia is a general term for disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols, but that do not affect general intelligence
  3. Dyslexia is a brain-based, genetic trait. Research supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development suggests that dyslexia affects the temporal parietal lobe.
  4. Brain activity while reading of a non-dyslexic person (left) and dyslexic person (right). These two brains are reading. The red and yellow sections indicate brain activity.


Key facts about Dyspraxia


  1. Developmental dyspraxia is an impairment of the organisation of movement. The way that someone with Dyspraxia processes information in the brain can result in messages not being properly or fully transmitted.
  2. The term dyspraxia comes from the word praxis, which means 'doing, acting'. Dyspraxia affects the planning of what to do and how to do it. It is associated with problems of perception, language and thought.
  3. Dyspraxia is thought to affect up to ten per cent of the population and up to two per cent severely. Males are four times more likely to be affected than females. Dyspraxia sometimes runs in families.


How to tell if someone might have Dyslexia


  • They often report that words seem blurry or that they move or dance on the page or are jumbled up
  • They might see some letters as backwards or upside down
  • They might not be able to tell the difference between letters that look similar in shape such as o and e and c
  • They might not be able to tell the difference between letters that have similar shape but different orientation, such as b and p and d and q
  • The letters and words might look all bunched together
  • The letters of some words might appear completely backwards, such as the word bird looking like drib
  •  They might see the letters o.k., but not be able to sound out words -- that is, not be able to connect the letters to the sounds they make and understand them;
  • They might be able to connect the letters and sound out words, but not recognize words they have seen before, no matter how many times they have seen them -- each time they would have to start fresh;
  • They might be able to read the words o.k. but not be able to make sense of or remember what they read, so that they find themselves coming back to read the same passage over and over again.
  • It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and there are no clear cut-off points.
  • Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor co-ordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not, by themselves, markers of dyslexia.

• Difficulties with numbers (eg learning times tables, getting numbers in the wrong order, confusing numerical signs)- Dyscalculia

• Poor organisation

• Directional confusions

• Difficulties with sequencing information

• Poor sense of time

• Problems making skills become “automatic”

• Difficulty taking in oral information

• Problems with pronouncing some words

• Problems finding the right words (word retrieval)

• Difficulty learning and applying rules eg punctuation rules

A dyslexic person could have any of the above symptoms – or none! It is possible for a dyslexic person to be able to read very well, yet find it extremely difficult or impossible to write or spell.


Associated Strengths


People with dyslexia may also experience some of these strengths, again to differing degrees:

• Intuition

• Good at visualisation, including in 3D

• Creativity

• Good at seeing the whole picture

• Good at making links between things, seeing connections

How to tell if someone might have dyspraxia


  1. Clumsiness. May drop things, spill things, bump into people, etc.
  2. Difficulty writing, both forming letters and the speed. Writing may even be painful.
  3. Reading difficulties and Speech problems.
  4. Poor short term memory. E.g. If given a list of instructions to carry out, may remember the first and last one but not the ones in between.
  5. Awkward walking and running.
  6. Sensitive to sounds, e.g. may not like loud music
  7. Poor concentration. E.g. easily distracted by background noise.
  8. Poorly organised. E.g. leaving things you need for school at home
  9. Have trouble learning new tasks particularly those involving organization and concentration.
  10. Trouble with social skills, E.g. problems reading and understanding body language, trouble understanding distance rules when sitting/standing next to someone, cannot keep eye contact, etc.


What you can do to help students with Dyslexia and Dyspraxia


  1. Treat them as individuals- you cannot help until you know what their difficulties are and if they need any help! So a discussion of their needs early on would be useful!
  2. General Hints and Tips for organisation and homework
  3. If they have difficulties with organisation- letting them use a phone to set deadlines and reminders this will help with time management and remembering to bring resources
  4. Encourage good organizational skills by the use of folders and dividers to keep work easily accessible and in an orderly fashion.
  5. Break tasks down into small easily remembered pieces of information.
  6. Deadlines and tasks must be written clearly on the board and students strongly encouraged to write down
  7. Set a limit on time spent on homework, as often a dyslexic child will take a lot longer to produce the same work that another child with good literacy skills may produce easily.
  8. All children should be encouraged to proof read, which can be useful for initial correction of spellings. Dyslexics seem to be unable to correct their spellings spontaneously as they write, but they can be trained to look out for errors that are particular to them.


Tips for Board Work


  1. Use different colour pens for each line if there is a lot of written information on the board, or underline every second line with a different coloured pen.
  2. Use of mind maps on the board helps to break up information for students as well as using their visual skills. Even better if different coloured pens are used for different sections
  3. Ensure that the writing is well spaced. Leave the writing on the blackboard long enough to ensure the child doesn't rush, or that the work is not erased from the board before the child has finished copying.


General Hints and Tips


  1. Give them thinking time when you ask on the spot questions
  2. Let them talk to the person next to them (task related)- they are not trying to be disruptive often they are checking understanding and building confidence that they know what they are doing.
  3. Inspiration software for mind maps is available on all computers in college- students can create notes and revision materials using pictures in mind maps and diagrams
  4. Audio tapes for recording lessons that can then be written up at a later stage- Dictaphones are available from upgrade at the start of the year.
  5. Written record of the pupil's verbal account, or voice activated software can be used such as dragon.
  6. Students could be encouraged to listen in lessons rather than take notes and then write up notes from moodle after the lesson.
  7. Use of colours i.e. Different coloured packs for different topic areas or students could be encouraged to use highlighters
  8. Starter sentences for essays or extended writing- or begin task in class


Maths specific tips


  1.  It has been estimated that around 90% of dyslexic children have problems in at least some areas of maths. General mathematical terminology words need to be clearly understood before they can be used in calculations, e.g. add, plus, sum of, increase and total, all describe a single mathematical process. Other related difficulties could be with visual/perceptual skills, directional confusion, sequencing, word skills and memory. Dyslexic students may have special difficulties with aspects of maths that require many steps or place a heavy load on the short-term memory, e.g. long division or algebra.
  2. The value of learning the skills of estimation cannot be too strongly stressed for the dyslexic child. Use and encourage the use of estimation. The child should be taught to form the habit of checking their answers against the question when they has finished the calculation, i.e. is the answer possible, sensible or ludicrous?
  3. When using mental arithmetic allow the dyslexic child to jot down the key number and the appropriate mathematical sign from the question.
  4. Encourage pupils to verbalize and to talk their way through each step of the problem. Many children find this very helpful.
  5. Encourage them to say their workings out as they do them.
  6. Encourage a dyslexic child to use a calculator. Make sure they fully understand how to use it. Ensure that they have been taught to estimate to check their calculations. This is a way of 'proof reading' what they do.
  7. Put key words on a card index system or on the inside cover of the pupils maths book so it can be used for reference and revision.
  8. Rehearse mathematical vocabulary constantly, using multi sensory/kinesthetic methods.
  9. Put the decimal point in red ink. It helps visual perception with the dyslexic child.


Source : http://actionresearch.farnborough.ac.uk/files/ARP/file/Action%20research%20sheet.docx

Web site link to visit :http://actionresearch.farnborough.ac.uk/

Google key word : Dyslexia what is it , definition characteristics symptoms resources education. Dyslexia at school. file type : doc

Author : not indicated on the source document of the above text

If you are the author of the text above and you not agree to share your knowledge for teaching, research, scholarship (for fair use as indicated in the United States copyrigh low) please send us an e-mail and we will remove your text quickly.


Dyslexia what is it , definition characteristics symptoms resources education.

If you want to quickly find the pages about a particular topic as Dyslexia what is it , definition characteristics symptoms resources education. Dyslexia at school. use the following search engine:



Dyslexia what is it , definition characteristics symptoms resources education. Dyslexia at school.


Please visit our home page


Larapedia.com Terms of service and privacy page




Dyslexia what is it , definition characteristics symptoms resources education. Dyslexia at school.