Sunday, 6 March 2016

What is dyslexia?

" The bottob line it thit it doet exitt, no bitter whit nibe teottle give it(i.e ttecific lierning ditibility, etc) iccording to Thilly Thiywitz ( 2003) itt trevillence it ictuilly, one in five children, which it twenty tercent. " 

So, that´s crystal clear, right? You mean you didn´t understand it? Did trudging through these words slow down your ability to read? Imagine facing this battle each time you are presented with a text. This demonstrates the predicament endured by dyslexics on a daily basis. This is obviously magnified when having to learn a second language which is not necessary totally based on phonetics.

Many people with dyslexia are labelled as being lazy or not particularly intelligent –but is that true? The answer to that is an unequivocal, no! Dyslexia is simply a condition which affects the way in which the brain processes the written and spoken language. A dyslexic uses their brain differently. 
Can they grow-out of it? No, they can´t. It´s a condition they will have to live with for their entire life. But that doesn´t mean that they cannot live a fulfilled life and become successful. Many people including Albert Einstein or Whoopi Goldberg also have dyslexia.

How do the experts define dyslexia and what is important to bear in mind with
dyslexia? Emily Lapkin notes the following in Understanding Dyslexia:

Dyslexia is primarily associated with trouble reading. Some doctors, specialists and educators may refer to it as a “reading disorder” or a “reading disability.” But it can also affect writing, spelling and even speaking.

People with dyslexia can still understand complex ideas. Sometimes they just need more time to work through the information. They may also need a different way to process the information, such as listening to an audiobook instead of reading it....
It’s important to keep in mind, however, that struggles with reading and other issues can lead to frustration and low self-esteem. The stress of dealing with schoolwork can make kids with dyslexia lose the motivation to keep trying.
There are lots of tools and strategies that can help. It might take some trial and error for you to figure out which work best for your child. But finding the right strategies and seeing improvement can boost your child’s confidence.
Essential Skills for Reading Comprehension
For kids with dyslexia, reading a single word can be a struggle. Dyslexia also makes it hard to understand and remember what they’ve read.
·       Connecting letters to sounds: Kids have to learn that each letter of the alphabet is associated with a certain sound or sounds. (Teachers refer to this as “phonics.”) Once your child can make these connections, she’ll be able to “sound out” words.
·       Decoding text: The process of sounding out words is known as “decoding.” Once your child can decode individual words, she can start to make sense of entire sentences.
·       Recognizing “sight” words: The ability to read a familiar word at a glance without having to sound it out is called “word recognition.” The more words kids can recognize by sight, the faster they’ll be able to read. Average readers can recognize a word by sight after sounding it out a dozen or so times. Students with dyslexia may need to see it 40 times.
·       Reading fluently: Fluent readers can recognize most words by sight and quickly sound out unfamiliar words. They also can read smoothly and at a good rate. Fluency is essential for good reading comprehension.
·       Understanding the text: Strong readers can remember what they’ve just read. They can summarize it and recall specific details. Readers with dyslexia can get bogged down sounding out individual words. This interrupts the flow of information and makes it harder to understand and relate the new material to what they already know.
Early in elementary school, students are expected to read a passage of text and answer questions about it. This is what’s known as “reading comprehension,” and it’s essential for building a strong foundation for success in school. Students with dyslexia often have reading comprehension problems because they need to develop several underlying skills, such as:
If your child has been having trouble reading, it’s a good idea to find out what’s going on and get her some extra help. That’s because kids who start out struggling with reading rarely catch up on their own.
Fortunately, researchers have been studying dyslexia for decades. They know which teaching methods and tools can help children with dyslexia succeed. If dyslexia is diagnosed by third grade, it’s easier to catch up. But it’s never too late. "  

Please bear in mind that children, taking a second or at times third language in school, need extra support when learning vocabulary or writing essays.

This succinct video graphically illustrates what dyslexia is.

 How do children with dyslexia feel? Click on " How do children with dyslexia experience life at school?" for an animated short story.


MINDSET: Encourage your children to move from: This is too hard, I can´t do it to This may take some time and lots of effort, but I´ll make it.

Monday, 29 February 2016

Children learning English as a second language with dyslexia. Lese-rechtschreibeschwache Schüler/innen und Englisch in der Schule.

"Legasthenie/LRS und Englisch als Fremdsprache

Lese-rechtschreibschwache Schülerinnen und Schüler bekommen in der Regel auch Schwierigkeiten in Englisch. Und das, obwohl sie in der Grundschule oft hochmotiviert und spielerisch an die Fremdsprache herangeführt werden."

Many parents, whose children are dyslexic, crave for the miracle solution to their children´s dyslexia. When a child already has problems writing in their mother tongue, how on Earth will they be able to cope with a second language? 
I´ll be looking into this topic and speaking with parents and children and experts alike to establish how the children and family can best and realistically cope with dyslexia.