Skip main navigation

Identifying Specific Learning Differences

Anne Margaret Smith talks about identifying specific learning differences and advice on what to look out for

In this video Dr Anne Margaret Smith discusses how language teachers might spot signs of learning difficulties in the language classroom.

Identifying learning difficulties among multilingual speakers especially if no diagnostic tools are available in the students’ first language is not an easy task. Nonetheless, it is not impossible and the lack of first language test tools should be no excuse for giving up on diagnosis. The lecture provides you with advice and suggestions what to look out for among your learners and when you might consider seeking help from a trained and qualified dyslexia assessor.

Even if there is no assessment available for your learners yet, you can still make adjustments to your teaching and apply the teaching techniques we recommend in further steps of this week, and in Weeks 3 and 4.

  • Have you used any of the methods described in the video for identifying learning difficulties in your classroom?

  • Do you have some additional tips and suggestions?

Please share those with us in your comments.

In addition to the Cognitive Assessment for Multilingual Learners tool, you can also find some phonological awareness tests on the website of the Literacy Resources Inc.

You might also read more about it in Phillips, Kelly and Symes’ (2013) book: Assessment of Learners with Dyslexic-type Difficulties.

Transcript of this video is available in Chinese and Arabic.

This article is from the free online

Dyslexia and Foreign Language Teaching

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now