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Dyslexic students talk about learning strategies

Dyslexic students talk about learning strategies
But I won’t forget I was learning French at a young age, nine, ten years old, and my first French teacher was teaching in a very– well, she had asked us to sit in a U shape. The desks were in a U shape. And her lesson was very interactive and was very interesting. And she was the exception to the rule. Unfortunately, it only lasted for one year because another teacher came after that. However, another thing that happened at school was we got in touch with some French students in a state school in France. And we visited them. And we stayed in the houses for 15 days. And then the following year, they came to our country.
And we got to know each other really well. And then we started being pen friends for many years. And that was so nice and interesting. And it helped me so much develop my oral skills, my writing because I had to write letters every month. And that was fantastic. Group work, group projects were really fun and interesting.
Whichever teacher or tutor gave us something fun to do it helped me learn. So to me, learning should be associated with fun.
One of the most useful things was that I had a couple of teachers. So actually seeing the language from different perspectives I found was really helpful because if I had difficulty saying it one way, I could see it another way and it would make a lot more sense that way. And I’d be able to learn it easier that way. Maybe it’s, again, more reading, which I’m able to see. I’m able to connect things easier that way rather than just doing rote learning. There wasn’t anything in particular that was unhelpful. But just trying to avoid rote learning, just continually doing this and this and this. It’s very boring.
Trying to mix it up and to keep it fairly interesting and also applicable to the real world, I found was probably really useful. I’ve actually learned quite a few different techniques for this. One of them is I found that I’m very good with flash cards. So if I write the word down in English on one side and then Spanish on the other. And then I’ll use different colours. One colour for English and one for Spanish. And I’ve found that if I repeat things out loud, then I remember them a lot easier. And I’ve also found using mind maps works a lot because then I can think back and remember it better.
And for reading, I’ve learned that instead of trying to read the entire thing and then getting confused and panicking, I’ll read the introduction and then the conclusion to see if I understand that. And then skim through the middle. And then I find that I can understand it a lot better. I find that when the teachers take time to make sure you understand the class and don’t speak too quickly. I also find it useful if they can tell you in advance what the class is going to be about. Because that way you can prepare before you go in. And also if they write end notes out and give you written work as well as just speaking at you.
I found when I was at school the teachers would just speak and not tell you what the class was going to be about. And then I would be lost. But once I’ve had words with them they’re better at telling you what the class is going to be about and preparing it better. I’ve found that if the class was a bit more informal, then that would be better. But sometimes I like if the teacher didn’t put you on the spot. That’s a good way. Because sometimes teachers like to let you answer the question and then you get nervous and forget the answer. But I find that if– I’m not sure.
If the class is more informal and put you into small groups, I think that works better. As I said, for English we used spelling tests. And then every time I got the word wrong you would repeat that word five times. And then try the spell test again. We also used flash cards and various computer programmes. I couldn’t tell you which ones though.
Also, reading, reading helped me quite a bit, I think. I remember when they would use a lot of diagrams to associate with the words that would help me. But other than that– I think when there was a wall of text– if, for example, they were using PowerPoint slides, if there was just a slide full of text, I would find it really hard to go through a slide as they were working through it. And that made it hard to follow those lessons.

This video with students helps you refresh what we learned last week.

The students talk about how classroom teachers can make learning another language easier and enjoyable for them. They also describe their own strategies and how these can facilitate learning.

Do the students you work with use similar strategies? Are there any additional learning strategies your dyslexic learners use or you recommend them to try?

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Dyslexia and Foreign Language Teaching

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