When a teacher enters a differentiated classroom, they must ensure that their lesson should be according to their student’s learning styles and provide a healthy and safe learning environment. Teachers must cope with all students learning needs and difficulties, and one of the learning difficulties now becoming common in classrooms is Dyslexia. Many people termed dyslexia as a learning ‘disability’. However, I don’t agree with this elaboration because Dyslexia causes difficulty with reading. It may also impact children’s comprehension, math, spelling and writing proficiency. Dyslexia is a problem with language, not with vision. Students who are having such difficulties are physically active as other children. Dyslexic students needs extra help typically emphases on phonics and spelling rules. It is unfortunate that students, despite having extra care and attention, have a hard time reading.
According to NSF, researchers believe dyslexia can be eliminated from the brain. Dr Jason Yeatman states that although dyslexia is often considered permanent, research shows that targeted, intensive instruction leads to ‘substantial’ improvements in reading skills. It also changes the ‘underlying wiring of the brain’s reading circuitry. The most important brain engineers who can help with proper instructional strategy are – Teachers.
Teachers with proper teaching and instructional strategy can help reduce dyslexic students reading difficulties.
Following are some teaching tips for dyslexia
- More appreciation, less criticism
Dyslexic students need affection and encouragement, especially from those they inspire; teachers are one of them. Recognition helps maintain students’ self-confidence and helps them learn to overcome their difficulties.
- Avoid asking the dyslexic student to read aloud.
A dyslexic student’s primary difficulty is reading because its words are hardly recognisable. Reading aloud may cause embarrassment to them as they hardly pronounce or read correctly in front of the classroom.
- Avoid Punishment if a Dyslexic student forgets anything
Offer positive strategies such as having one place to put things away.
- Avoid using phrases like ‘idle mind.’
Dyslexic students need to work harder to yield a smaller quantity. They will have trouble staying attentive when reading, writing or listening.
- Make prints of homework instead of asking them to write in a diary
Make individual homework printouts with labelled steps, e.g. 1. Do this. 2. Do that etc.
- Allow them to type their home task.
Doing a home task in a written format can torture dyslexic students. Allow them to use the Spell checker and help with grammar and punctuation so that you can see the quality of the content.
- Allow them to answer any question verbally.
Dyslexic students may demonstrate their understanding with a verbal answer but cannot put those ideas in writing.